Shetland Islands 2013

June 2013

After cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats last year, I longed for a return to cycle touring and wild camping. My first idea was to visit Orkney, however the Shetland Islands had remained burrowed under my skin and there was the unfinished business of a few islands to consider. Adverse weather conditions continued to disrupt the Foula ferry service, however I decided to give it another go, albeit slightly later in the year.

The MV Hjaltland would transport me both ways, late booking meant that the cost rose to £326.00 but included executive cabins and the bike went free. I'd read mixed reviews since the controversial decision to award Serco the Northern Isles ferry contract, so a comparison with two years ago would be interesting.

I arranged train travel using East Coast's website, first class with a direct train to Aberdeen and a change in Newcastle on the way back, all for £120.55.

The main aim to set foot on Foula largely guided the route planning stage. As a result, the week's mileage would not be huge however a plan B in case of ferry no-show took in Muckle Roe and South Nesting. Voe House Böd in Walls was booked optimistically for the Monday night, to enable easy access to the Foula Ferry should conditions allow.

Day one