This is the second of three posts about my local patches at the south end of Shetland. Part One was all about Scat Ness. This time it's about Quendale Beach.
When we first bought the Shetland house, I posted a picture showing ‘our beach’. A few folks took me literally and assumed that buying a house with its own beach would be the sort of thing I might do.
Our property buying did stop with a house and garden near the beach but it’s proximity has left me calling it ‘our’ beach over the years - and it definitely qualifies as one of our local patches.
Quendale Beach has two major plus points as a local patch. Firstly it’s only a few minutes walk from the front door and secondly there are lots of walk variations we can do from the beach - so no matter what the weather is doing there is a walk to be had, which means we’ve seen it in pretty much every weather
If the weather is really rubbish (or time is short) we might walk just to the east end of the beach, or sometimes along the beach to the west end and back (about a mile each way) - although if the wind is blowing directly from the east or the west, it can seem much longer one way than the other.
If there’s more time (or better weather) you can walk on towards Garths Ness (site of the Braer disaster 20 years ago, and of an old LORAN station) or up to Quendale Mill and on (and up) to Windy Stacks and to Fitful Head.
Quendale Bay faces due south and catches lots of the big storms each year - this means that there is regularly stuff washing up on the beaches (including big logs, whale carcasses and the inevitably plastics and ‘ghost gear’.
The shape of the headlands on each side of the bay also means that the winds and waves regularly reshape the sand on the bay so the two streams (Eel Burn, and the Burn of Quendale) that drain across the beach into the bay are forever struggling to find new routes into the sea. Every winter brings changes to the beach - sometimes minor, other times more dramatic - as in the 17th Century when the sand overwhelmed an entire village just behind the current dunes. All that’s left visible now (I’m told) is a single gravestone which was outside the Quendale Kirk.
|January 2007 - the occasionally seen Quendale wreck|
|August 2010 - Our Beach|
|October 2010 - Gold at both ends?|
|November 2010 - Snowy Footprints|
|October 2011 - Autumn Storms|
|January 2012 - Flotsam or Jetsam?|
|June 2013 - Pilot Whale Stranding|
|March 2014 - Low tide from the west end of the beach|
|July 2014 - Beach Bruck|
|December 2014 - Gold at Quendale Mill|
|February 2015 - Snow on the Beach|
|April 2015 - Ghost Gear|
|August 2015 - Cloud Writing|
|February 2016 - Winter High Tide|
|November 2017 - Shetland Lace Pattern|
|April 2018 - Spring on the Beach|
|April 2018 - Washed Ashore|
|April 2018 - Evening Light at the West end of Quendale Beach|