Benches with a message

Inverewe benchThis month, Jude’s Bench Series is looking for benches with a message, of which we spotted several while on holiday. This one, for example, is at Inverewe, though I defy you to read the inscription from the picture. Even in close up, it’s hard to decipher.Inverewe bench Inverewe bench Inverewe bench Don’t ask me about the Gaelic, but I think the English says “The clear, fresh air in a place so peaceful invites us anew to the shores of Loch Ewe”.

The next one is near Smoo Cave. Much easier to read! Bench near Smoo Cave At Broch of Gurness, on Orkney, we came across this lovely memorial to Dr Olaf Cuthbert: “I leave few footprints on the sand for stormy seas to wash away. I take with me the breadth of sky and seas of unimaginable blue”.

Finally, another memorial, this time to Ronnie Johnson, fisherman of Eshaness in Shetland.

I have one more bench from Shetland, but I’ll keep that for next time.

Lighthouses and cliffs: three Shetland walks

Our last few days in Shetland were spent at Busta House in the North Mainland. From there, we did three great walks, all featuring lighthouses and spectacular cliffs.

Esha Ness

Esha Ness Lighthouse
Esha Ness Lighthouse

From the lighthouse at Esha Ness, a circular walk takes you past multiple features. The deep, dark inlet of Calder’s Geo and Moo Stack:

Loch of Houlland and its broch:

The Hole of Scraada, a blowhole where the ground has collapsed. At one end, a burn runs into it; at the other a tunnel leads to the sea which appears dramatically 300 yards inland from the cliffs:

Dore Holm, a sea-stack with a huge natural arch, which is said to look like a horse drinking, and then back to the lighthouse (with the ubiquitous sheep):

Muckle Roe

Muckle Roe is a separate island, but it’s so close to the Mainland that you can reach it by a short bridge. There’s only one road, and when it ends a very pretty walk leads to the lighthouse.

Point of Fethaland

Fethaland is the most northerly point on Shetland’s Mainland. To get to the Point and its lighthouse, once again drive till the road ends and either follow the farm track or a coastal path (we went out by the former and back by the latter) before crossing onto an island via a spit of boulders and pebbles. Here, there are a dozen or so ruined fishing lodges used up until the early 20th century. On the way back, we visited the small churchyard of St Magnus with some unusual wooden grave “stones” – the one in the gallery below is for a two-year old boy who died in 1898.

And so ends our adventure on Shetland. Next stop – Orkney!

(This post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walks. Take a look for some round-the-world rambles.)