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Northern Scotland isn’t exactly the first place which springs to mind when having a break in winter, especially if you don’t own a car but we bit the bullet and sorted out a week travelling around by train, plane, bus and a 1 day car hire.
We grabbed our coconut steamers from AMT at Glasgow Queen Street (our ritual when travelling on lengthy train journeys!) and found our seats on the train. WiFi but no power points grr Scotrail! So we did some reading instead as we made our way north.
One of the things I like about train travel is being able to enjoy the scenery. One of the good views, when sitting on the left hand side, is crossing the railway bridge at Perth. If you’re on the right hand side the coastal scenery coming up to Aberdeen is astounding. 👌
It all passed too quickly, well 2 1/2 hours later, We arrived in Aberdeen.
But we hadn’t finished yet! We made a bus journey to a hotel near the airport for a night before flying out to Shetland the following morning (flight prices to Sumburgh were considerably cheaper from Aberdeen).
The weather changed overnight so we weren’t looking forward to the trip. After some Dutch courage, we made our way onboard.
The plane was dinky with three seats in each row, but was comfortable enough and we were served a cuppa and choice of snack (biscuit, flapjack or chocolate wafer). Time to chill and relax, well as long as you can a short 1hr flight!
We broke through the rainy clouds to stunning weather.
Bendy looking propellers through the mobile
We landed at Sumburgh airport which is about as far south as you can get on the Shetland mainland. Did you know the road from Sumburgh Airport crosses the runway (photo in part#2).
Such a difference from the weather in Aberdeen. So peaceful and beautiful. It was good to be back. I’d last been in Shetland a good few years more than I’d care to admit! My grandmother was a Shetlander and years ago had taken me with her on a visit to her place of birth. I was very young at the time and can’t remember much more than sheep, sheep poo and getting a funky Shetland wool jumper in Lerwick.
We travelled north and it wasn’t too long before we reached the town of Scalloway where we settled into our cosy home for the night.
Scalloway was home to the Shetland bus, not a bus service as we know it but a wartime resistance movement during World War II. I’ll put together a piece with more information and add a link here later.
The town is pretty with some bright houses (like Tobermory), seaside walks, a really good restaurant and a couple of surprisingly good shops.
It was out of season for a visit to the Scalloway Museum but the Scalloway Castle keys are held at the hotel so we got a private viewing!
A view of Scalloway from the castle.
By this point the weather had turned dull and it was time for dinner and some much-needed rest…