Hill: Vord Hill (Fetlar)
Date: Sunday 19th May 2013
Company: Myself, John and Derrick
Distance: 6.8km, Ascent: 167m
Time: 2Hrs 05Mins

We set off this morning to catch two ferries - the first ferry from Mainland Shetland to Yell and the second ferry from Yell to Fetlar. While waiting for the ferry from Mainland Shetland to Yell, we watched a lone cormorant diving near the pier.


Toft to Yell Ferry:

On eventually arriving in Fetlar, we drove to and parked beside Fetlar Primary School.

Fetlar primary school:

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the school, we had to take a short detour around some building works.

Start of walk:

A short distance beyond the building works, Derrick had a wee ride on a tractor .

Shetland transport:

After climbing over two barbed-wire fences, we began our ascent of Vord Hill heading towards Rooin.

Derrick ascending the lower slopes of Vord Hill:

During the ascent we passed countless birds including Greylag Geese and dozens of Great Skua. In almost every direction we looked, we could see Great Skua standing on the ground. As we gained height we also saw a bird that I hadn’t seen previously. I believe it is an Arctic Skua.

Arctic Skua:

Arctic Skua:

On reaching the wide South-East ridge, we continued on towards the summit of Vord Hill. The cloud was disappointingly low, again!

At the summit area, we visited the summit cairn, the trig point and two very large chambered cairns.

Summit cairn and trig point of Vord Hill:

Chambered cairn near summit of Vord Hill:

John and Derrick beside large chambered cairn:

As we had plenty time before catching our next ferry, we opted to return via Stackaberg. During the descent, I decided to see how close I could get to a Great Skua before it flew off. I got to within about ten feet of it.

Great Skua:

Stackaberg cairn:

From Stackaberg, we made our way down towards Skutes Water.

Skirting round Skutes Water:

There were three divers in Skutes Water which were unfortunately quite distant. I think they were Red-throated Divers.

One of three Red-throated Divers on Skutes Water:

On returning to the car, we drove back to Hamars Ness to catch the ferry from Fetlar to Unst. Near Tower Brough, we stopped to take some photos of wild Shetland ponies.

Shetland Pony:

Shetland Pony:

Shetland Ponies:

While waiting for the ferry, I took a photograph of a Black Guillemot.

Black Guillemot:

The crossing from Fetlar to Unst took just over twenty minutes.

Fetlar/Yell to Unst ferry:

Welcome to Unst:

On arriving in Unst, we had several potential starting points in mind for an ascent of Valla Field. As we drove towards the hill, we could see that East of the hill was covered in clag, while West of the hill had some blue sky. We therefore decided to approach the hill from the West.

We started our ascent from just South of Westing.

Hill: Valla Field (Unst)
Date: Sunday 19th May 2013
Company: Myself, John and Derrick
Distance: 6.7km, Ascent: 243m
Time: 1Hr 40Mins

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

It was nice to start our ascent with blue skies and sunshine. We ascended the grassy slopes towards several ruin houses near Gossa Water.

Initial ascent towards Valla Field from start of track:

One of three ruin houses near Gossa Water:

Looking back towards Lang Holm and Round Holm:

After passing one of the ruins, we skirted round the North end of Gossa Water.

Looking back to Gossa Water:

It was nice to get limited views down towards the coast which was better than no views at all.

Unst coast below Valla Field:

It didn’t take long for us to reach the excellent track leading all the way to the summit of Valla Field.

On the track leading to the summit of Valla Field:

Lochans below summit of Valla Field:

To reach the trig point, which is 2m from the summit, we had to climb over a fence.

At the summit, there is a circular concrete base for something now no longer there, possibly a transmitter or radar.

At the summit of Valla Field:

Coastal view from near the summit of Valla Field:

From the summit, we returned via the same route back to the car.
A good day out despite the mist.