Shetland is an island archipelago between UK and Faroe island in Norway. There is a cluster of 100 islands only 16 of which are populated. So it was a long journey from mainland UK.
Day 1: London – Abardeen
This was long day started at morning in Hemel Hempstead. We had to travel all the way Kings Cross and then take the train Abardeen. It`s one of the longest train journey in UK ( longest one is Aberdeen to Penzance) of more than 7 hour . We reached Abardeen in late afternoon and checked in to our AirBnB accomodation. In the afternoon I went for a long afternoon walk to Abardeen beach and Donmouth local nature reserve.
Next morning we left by bus to Stonehaven to explore Dunnottar Castle. This iconic castle sits on a rocky outcrop glaring out to the North Sea. It is one of our most photographed castles & was the backdrop the film “Hamlet” starring Mel Gibson. The various buildings within the castle include the 14th-century tower house as well as the 16th-century palace. Unfortunately weather was not good , it was foggy all over . Nevertheless we spent few hours around the area and then took a bus back to town which was sunny and warmer. Then we spent few hours in pub to kill time and have lunch.
In early afternoon we walked back to our hotel to collect bags and then took overnight ferry to Lerwick.
Day 2 Busta House
The ferry arrived at Lerwick in the morning . After having breakfast in the ferry we took our rented car from ferry terminal and left for our first stop Scalloway . Outside Lerwick there is hardly any traffic . Scalloway has a nice little castle and sweeping view across the ocean. Here our car broke down in middle of the road, it wont start. So I had to call the renting company and wait . A mechanic turned up somehow managed to start the car and then we had to go back Lerwick to change the car.
We got a pretty large black sedan insted of the small hatchback we rented originally and we were off again. We drove about 40 miles to Stenness beach spend bit of time and then came back Braewick Cafe and caravan park for lunch. Unfortunately the place was closed so we drove towards our hotel , Busta house. After having our lunch and taking some rest we drove to Eshaness Lighthouse. I went for Eshaness circular walk which took about 2 hours. Overnight we stayed at Busta house.
Day 3 Baltasound / Unst
This morning we left Busta house for the island of Unst / Blatasound. First we had to reach to Toft to take the ferry to Ulsta . Then we drove towards Burravoe and did a small walk . We the drove and made a kunch stop at Otterswick and saw the statue of The White wife of Otterswick. The we conitnued our drive all the way to Breckon Sands. After spending 30 mins and soaking up the view we the came back to the ferry terminal Gutcher to take Belmont ferry. From Belmont ferry we drove to Muness castle and then finally to Baltasound where we stayed for the night.
Day 4 Busta House
In the morning I went for a small walk called The Keen of Hamar. This is famous for its rare flower. After having breakfast and picking up some food we left for Unst saw viking ship wreck and then reached Skaw, the northermost beach. From Skaw we went to Hermaness Natural reserve. I went for the hike there .It was about 12 Km. Finally we drove all the way back to Busta House. Ltter in the evening we drove to Muckle Roe
Day 5 -7 Lerwick
Today morning I drove again to Muckle Roe and did Hams of Muckle Roe. Later after breakfast we drove Lerwick. We first went to Minn beach which is south end of West Burra. A footpath from the car park leads down to the beach and on to Kettla Ness, a wild headland with seals and colonies of Arctic skuas and Arctic terns. Latter in the afternoon we went to our accomodation . It was a big house with 4 bedrooms. There was also a small garden and BBQ space. In the afternoon we drove to Sumburghead light house and visitor center. This has huge bird colony . We also visited Shetland pony experience .
Next morning we visited island Mousa by boat. Mousa (“Mossy Island” in Old Norse) today is an RSPB Nature Reserve with important breeding colonies of seals and seabirds including the diminutive storm petrel, hundreds of which have made their home within the mighty broch walls. We walked around the island which is about 5k round walk. Later in the afternoon I drove to Bigton and did a circular walk around St-Ninians Isle
Day 7 -9 Inverness
Early morning after breakfast we drove to Airport. On the way we had brief stop Jarsholf ruins. At airport we deposited our car ad then took the morning flight to Abardeen. From Abardeen we took a train to Inverness which was about 2.5 hours. After checking in our accomodation , I went for a walk. It was circular walk along river Ness which took me about 3 hours (11 K) .
Next day we went for Jacobite cruise on Loch Ness and visit to Urquhart Castle . We boarded at Dochgarroch, then the journey took us along Thomas Telford’s famous Caledonian Canal and, of course, across the legendary waters of Loch Ness.
Last day was a long long train journey back home . It was about 3.5 hours to Edinburg and another 5 hours to London Euston.