Point of Fethaland 20.06 .2016

We’ve recently returned from a fortnight in Shetland, during which we were out exploring its fantastic coastline every day and amazingly, experiencing almost continuous good weather.  I don’t intend to write a post about every single day (because I’m too lazy), but hopefully this will be the first of three posts covering some of our most memorable days.

Fethaland is the northernmost tip of Mainland and somewhere that we hadn’t visited on our previous trip to Shetland.  Like everywhere in Shetland, the coastline here is a chaotic jumble of cliffs, headlands, inlets (geos), skerries, stacks, natural arches, sea lochs and caves.  Every twist and turn of the coast reveals another staggering view, or another headland that just has to be walked out to.  For this reason, even short walks in Shetland take hours.

Our plan was simple – we would set off from North Roe and keep the coast on our right till we reached the Point of Fethaland, whence a good track would return us to our start point.

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A couple of small geos near the start of the route

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Looking north – the coast of Yell can just be seen on the right

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Looking south across Burra Voe

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Looking right across the peninsula to the west coast

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Another of the many geos – Yell in the background

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Looking back south along our route

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Approaching the Head of Virdibreck

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Wick of Virdibreck

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Kame of Isbister – or as Karen called it, the Dragon’s Head

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Looking back at the Head of Virdibreck

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Another view of the Kame of Isbister and its natural arch

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…and another

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Looking north along the coast

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Trumba and Eislin Geo

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A closer view of Eislin Geo

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Our objective finally comes into view!

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The Isle of Fethaland – the northernmost point of the peninsula (though not actually an island)

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The rock architecture hereabouts was amazing

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You can really see why Shetland is so popular with geologists

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This geo isn’t maned on the map, but the headland has the wonderful name of Fluga Taing

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I wonder how far back that tunnel goes?

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Common seals (I think)

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Wick of Breibister

The Isle of Fethaland was the undoubted highlight of the walk.  The cliff scenery here is almost too spectacular to be true.  It must be an incredible sight when the winter gales bring the waves crashing in.

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Looking south-west from the north tip of the Isle

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Skerries off the northern tip

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The amazing cliff scenery on the west coast of the Isle

On the neck of land that connects the Isle of Fethaland to the rest of the peninsula are the remains of a haaf (deep sea) fishing station, which remained in use until the 20th century.  Amazing to think that somewhere that is so peaceful today was until relatively recently a hive of industry.

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Remains of the fishing station

Some photos by Georgina Collins.

 

 

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