27 May 2014

Shetland on a Tuesday

The forecast for Tuesday was windy, cool but sunny so we thought we'd take the opportunity to do a little walking. 

We headed north to Northmavine and Eshaness to take in the scenery, the geology (Shetland is recognised as a member of the European Geoparks Network) and the seascape. 

To get to Northmavine you have to cross Mavis Grind - a long narrow isthmus that joins the Northmavine peninsula to the rest of the Shetland mainland. On one side of the isthmus is the North Sea (below) and the Atlantic (lower picture).

We headed on to the north, passing lots of interesting sea features....the Drongs off Hillswick and Dore Holm.

We drove all the way to the Eshaness Lighthouse (another Stevenson Lighthouse) and took the cliff top circular walk. We started on the inland path as the wind was more favourable for that route and headed towards the brooch. That's the remains of the broch in the picture below. 

We then headed on across the sheep grazing fields, towards the cliffs, the sky gathering fair weather clouds as we walked.

The area is volcanic in nature, so from the shifting sands of the St Ninian's tombolo one day, to volcanic deposits the next. Shetland truly has it all! At Eshaness the sea has carved away the flank of an ancient volcano exposing layers of lava and volcanic ash.

Here is the view from the end of the walk looking back along the cliffs to the lighthouse. We saw birds and seals as we walked.

Looking for a lunch spot, we headed to Stenness, just along the coast of Eshaness. It is also volcanic in nature, but with a more sheltered natural harbour it used to be a fishing station. Below is a picture of the old bod (fishing store) above the beach, from which the fishermen launched their boats. It was also the safest place to bring the supplies for the lighthouse along the coast. 

Sea kelp at Stenness.

An arty shot of the lichen on the bod.

Seals at Eshaness!


Thimbleanna said...

More beautiful photos Di! Are those cliffs high enough for puffins to roost there? I'm glad you're fully documenting this trip -- for when we go back LOL!!!

Bethany Hissong said...

I didn't know that there was volcanic rock there in Shetland or even near to you! Gorgeous countryside.