Coastal Walks – Fladabister to Quarff – 27th April

27th April

Fladabister to Quarff

A bonny day, nice and bright and not too cold with a minimal wind, so decided to take the bike in the car, park at Quarff and cycle to Fladabister then walk to Quarff. Went down to Ukinsetter at the Bay of Okraquoy and sat for ten minutes at a beautiful little gorge absolutely covered in primroses. I enjoyed this little gem of a bay before setting off along the coast. A lovely beach path to walk along, with the sea sparkling beside me, I came across yet another dead gannet floating in the water. Beautiful graceful bird, even in death.

Despite one or two of those ghastly barbed wire fences to climb over, I made good progress. The geology around this part of Shetland is really interesting (as it is most places in Shetland) but it defines the coastline and gives each walk a variety of features such as caves or stacks. A real mixed bag here, sedimentary rocks consist of  flaggy old red sandstone to basal breccia with intrusions of metamorphic crystalline limestone and gritty and micaceous psammite.  Here, around  North Stour Houll, the ground oozes out a red iron rustiness. One field looked like it had actual veins.

Needless to say the geologically named ‘Fladdabister limestone’ gave rise to the  limekilns that date back to the 1600’s – although why they were stuck on top of a hillock had me a little puzzled  – maybe they needed a good ‘sook’ for them to be effectively hot enough to burn the lime.

The caves at Leea Geo looked amazing – and a Kayakers dream with a calm day. From here a stiff climb up the ‘Coall’ gave lovely beautiful panoramic views north and south. Descending to a tortured coastline, the ‘Erne Stack’ almost looked man made with it’s geometric pyramid shape.

More fantastically coloured leeching of iron rust gave magical patterns to rock faces and the grass before arriving at the East Voe of Quarff.

A fantastic little walk with lots of interesting landscape and historic buildings to enjoy.



© Copyright Diane Garrick