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Foula - The Edge of the World


Quick Guide
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Foula is one of Britain's most remote inhabited islands (population 30) and boasts mile after mile of bird-covered cliffs, and also Britain's highest cliff - the Kame rising over 400m above sea level. Puffins nest all along these spectacular west cliffs, in grassy banks and in cracks in the cliff face. Recent estimates suggest at least 50,000 pairs of Puffins nest on the island.

Foula leaves a lasting impression on everyone who visits, for there is something very special about the island it may be the quality of light, the natural beauty and remoteness, the community way of life or a combination of these.

The crofting townships are situated in the narrow eastern coastal strip with the expanse of peat and moorland rising steeply to Foula's five dramatic peaks da Noup in the south is divided by the glacial valley of the Daal from Hamnafield, da Sneug, da Kame, and Soberlie which stretch westwards until they drop sheer to the sea in breathtaking cliff, ranging from 500 to over 1200 feet.

Foula's natural heritage is exceptionally rich and diverse for such a small area. The island has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) both for its flora and fauna, and for the geology of its dramatic coastline and it is also a National Scenic Area, and a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds.

In the long midsummer days, wildflowers provide a burst of colour. Sea Pinks, blue Spring Squill and yellow Tormentil carpet the shoreline while Marsh Marigolds and wild orchids blossom gold and purple in ditches and marshes, with white tufted Bog Cotton, Sphagnum Moss, Sundew and Crowberry making patterns across the moorland.

Located at the south point of the island,  is the Foula Lighthouse  accessible via a hiking trail.

Foula lies about 20 miles to the west of the Shetland mainland. As isolated as it is (lying 23km from the nearest point in Shetland), the island can be reached by boat two or three times per week in the summer (weather permitting) from Scalloway (to the west of Lerwick), or by British Airways Express plane (run by Loganair) from Tingwall airstrip (near Lerwick) who operate at least three flights per week. The island can also be day-tripped during the summer months by flying.

The small harbour is exposed, and the airstrip can be affected by crosswinds or fog, making both sea and air travel to Foula completely dependent on suitable weather conditions. Delays are sometimes unavoidable it is strongly recommended that you check with the ferry or airline before you travel to the terminal.

Location: Foula, Shetland

Grid Reference: HT969388 Ceremonial County: Shetland Isles

Map Link: Multimap

Aerial photo: Multimap Aerial

Getting there: By Ferry from Walls Pier on the West Mainland, or Air from Tingwall Airport just outside Lerwick.

Access: No taxis or public transport on island - so feet are the main form of transport.
Website: Shetland Heritage - Foula
Other Useful Websites: Visit Shetland   Wiki Foula Heritage   Found on Foula
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Nearby Locations: Foula Lighthouse, Shetland
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By: Tracey Park Section: Wildlife Key:
Page Ref: Foula Topic: Coastal Cliffs  Last Updated: 06/2010


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