Visiting The Mousa Broch -
With the 7.5 weeks of school summer holidays flown past we had still not made it to Mousa! Luckily The Mousa ferry boat continues to run throughout September too, which is great, and we finally made it! On board the Solan IV.
As a considerable queue of visitors lined up at the small pier and the boat looked a bit small to hold everyone, but it was deceiving and we all fitted in nicely with a beautiful burst of sunshine and perfectly calm water. There is no booking required, you just turn up and pay onboard. (£16 per adult, £7 per child) Leaves from Sandsayre, Sandwick. Taking 15 mins to cross to the island of Mousa, with free whale watching as 2 Minkys happened to be in the area.
The entire trip is 3 hours, leaving plenty of time to complete the round island walk of hour with lots of time for a picnic and chillax.
The fabulous Mousa broch is 1/3rd of the way round from the pier, following a marked grassy path. The 2,ooo year old broch is magnificent as it comes into view and is now open to the public to explore inside and walk up the hidden staircase to the top! The broch stands 13 metres tall.
The broch has already inspired me to create several pieces of artowork including my mosaic where I recreate the broch using tiny pebbles. However after this recent trip I was successful in taking many beautiful photographs and have a few new ideas for paintings!
As well a the Broch, Mousa is a nature reserve and hosts an array of wildlife found throughout Shetland including - Seals, great Skuas, Fulmers, Shags, Arctic terns, Storm Petrols, Shetland sheep and Shetland Wrens. There is also ruins of houses to see around the island measuring 1 x 1.5 miles. The first house you meet off the boat is still usable, built in 1770 called Ham house was used as a fishing bothy. The others are ruins, each with fascinating history of times past. Interestingly there is still no agreement amongst experts as to what the Broch was originally used for! Belonging to a classification of "complex Atlantic roundhouse" Could it have been a fancy house, store for grain, defensive structure ?? The imagination runs wild!