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Foula, located in the Shetland archipelago of Scotland
Foula Island (Photo Credit: Unsplash)

Foula Island

If you interest about Foula, then you are probably either the owner of a boat, or an island 'collector', for this wee speck in the ocean is the most remote of inhabited British islands also it rises 22 km west of Mainland, in the midst of the turbulent waters of the Atlantic.

Foula has long been inhabited recently, the remains of a stone circle was found at Da Heights, in the north, with an alignment to the midwinter sunrise. Conquered by Norsemen in 800 AD, they settled on the reasonably fertile, eastern coastal strip. People here are proud of their Norse heritage, as their culture and traditions bear witness. The last person here who spoke Norn, the old Norse dialect, died in 1926 and a local tradition is the observance of the Julian calendar, meaning that Christmas is on January 6th and New Year on January 13th.

To the west of the two main settlements, Ham, where the ferry docks, and Hametoun, further south, moorland rises to five great peaks, running most of the length of the island. In the west, the Kame is a magnificent cliff, the second highest in Britain, which rears straight up from the waves beneath, and from which, on a good day, you can see all the way from Unst to Fair Isle. Further south is the sinister vertical chimney, Sneck o’da Smallie, that drops right down into the sea- some say all the way down to Hell.

Foula is a great place for birds — 250,000 of them, including the largest colony of great skuas in Britain. Artic terns wheel and screech in the sky, and the cliffs are alive with puffins, guillemots, razorbills and fulmars. Red- throated divers inhabit every small loch on the island, and many rare birds have been spotted here, especially during the spring and autumn migrations.