a walk around the lighthouse

Outside the lighthouse, the ground rises steadily and steeply. Bressay Sound reveals its spectacular arch.

We are climbing up toward the cliffs. Every ledge has its own maalie (fulmar). We are prepared for spitting, but they don’t seem to mind us. Sitting there at the edge, everything is quiet except for the soft whoooosh of their wings as they ride the thermals.

If you think of the landscape of Shetland as bare, then you just haven’t looked properly. The heathland around the cliffside is a glorious haze of colour.

Poking out among the grasses are exquisite, tiny jewels.

Spring Squill




Bird’s-foot Trefoil

Bog Cotton

Heath Milkwort

Heath Spotted Orchid

Turning inland, the land becomes more peaty. Marauding bonxies (great skuas) patrol the moor.

We keep well away from the lochan which, from the numbers circling above, we assume to be their nest site. But these birds aren’t keen on two-legged intruders, even at a distance.

. . . this is their landscape . . .

. . .and they aren’t afraid to remind you . .

. . . time to duck again!

Rounding back toward the headland, Lerwick looks like a toytown in the distance.

The road verges are pink with campion. . .

. . . and the gates of the lighthouse reflect the hazy evening sun.

We make pizza for supper.