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01 Hermaness to Burwick

Map 7: the End of the Isles


See pics at Instagram @ridealltheosmaps

We didn’t really want to leave our lovely home for the last 2 nights; and our excellent airbnb hosts Hilary and Edward at their charming farm “Heima” (which we highly recommend); but after breakfast on a beautiful day it was time to head south towards the final map of the Northern Isles section of my […]

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01 Hermaness to Burwick

Map 6 – Orkney Mainland


See pics at Instagram @ridealltheosmaps

I learned quite a few things today and one of them is that the old name for Orkney Mainland is Pomona. You don’t see it on an OS Landranger map; but you do see it on older hand-drawn ones. It is also the name of a pub and a cafe in Kirkwall. Pomona was the […]

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01 Hermaness to Burwick

Day 5 – Leaving Westray


See pics at Instagram @ridealltheosmaps

Westray seems to find ways of keeping hold of you. Jo, a 20 year resident of Orkney (but originally from Hampshire), and her Orcadian husband, were setting up a pop-up craft shop in the front room of the small hotel and told us about their previous trip out to Westray, when the weather was so […]

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01 Hermaness to Burwick

Map 5 – Westray


See pics at Instagram @ridealltheosmaps

We took the ferry 90 minutes north out of Kirkwall to OS map 5 Orkney Northern Isles and the island of Westray, home to 600 people and many sheep and cows. On the way we met Colin, one if its residents, a quietly spoken retired businessman from Aberdeenshire who built his own home next to […]

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01 Hermaness to Burwick

Map 4: 4 islands, 3 ponies, 2 capitals and a broch


See pics at Instagram @ridealltheosmaps

After yesterday’s exertions, Jenni was pleasantly surprised to discover that her legs were still working this morning. The weather forecast was for very high winds of twice yesterday’s strength and a strong probability of rain. Not very enticing and possibly rather dangerous for cycling in; even though the actual weather, when it arrived, turned out […]

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01 Hermaness to Burwick

A very quiet Yell


See pics at Instagram @ridealltheosmaps

Day 2 dawned with the sun making a welcome reappearance; but a stubborn 25 mph headwind was still blowing from the south west. We made an early start, allowing almost an hour to catch the 8.40am ferry from Unst to Yell, and in normal conditions should have covered the 6 undulating miles comfortably enough. In […]

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01 Hermaness to Burwick

Map 1 – Unst


See pics at Instagram @ridealltheosmaps

And so it begins! Early start today fuelled by our local Unst host Willie McLeod’s excellent cooked breakfast. We rode our bikes on a dry but windy morning out to Britain’s most north-westerly road head at Hermaness, where a boardwalk path leads over the hillside to emerge dramatically on the edge of sheer cliffs above […]

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01 Hermaness to Burwick

The start


See pics at Instagram @ridealltheosmaps

The trip will start at the northernmost cyclable part of Britain on the island of Unst, Shetland. That’s where the road starts (or ends) at a very small place called “Skaw”. It’s not technically the top of Britain; that accolade is generally given to the small island of Muckle Flugga, some 3km further north (and […]