Verdant cliffs, natural arches and vibrant houses abound in Shetland. Come on a vivid photo tour of this last outpost of Britain, a magical cluster of islands and colours.
I wasn’t expecting it, not at all. Yet the morning sky was yawning with warmth as it stretched its sleepy head towards the caressing sun. The ship from Aberdeen sailed across breezeless waters into Lerwick harbour, a prismatic jumble of colours.
It is here, in Shetland, that my adventure begins, one that has yet to be played out, but one that will encompass every emotion imaginable as I start my 2,500-mile hike.
The backpack, which felt like it had a wheelbarrow of bricks in it, accompanied me across fields, along cliff edges, through bog and on roads, to take in the archaeological and natural beauty that Shetland humbly possesses. Pitching wherever was sheltered and not squelching with bog, I wild camped my way around the islands. On three occasions, I was taken in by compassionate families and given a roof over my head that didn’t shudder with every small gust of wind.
I discovered Neolithic sites dating back to 3,500BC, undisturbed by modern life. I walked along part of the Great Glen Fault in Ollaberry, a large split in the earth’s crust caused some 370 million years ago.
Wherever I turned, there was a titbit of awe or a full-blown gasp of amazement. From the kindness shown to me by the locals, to the eye-widening beauty of the scenery.
Shetland has been a wonderful place to begin the adventure, and a place that I will be sorry to leave.
Stay tuned for posts about Shetland’s Neolithic Past and Hiking in Shetland. Both coming soon…
All photographs and text are copyright of Yes Jane Can.