Geo-Trips :: The Shortest Flight in the World

Orkney

A journey by scheduled public transport from Kirkwall, Wed, 13 Jun 2018 by Anne Burgess

We boarded the ferry from Kirkwall to Westray, then drove from Rapness to Westray Airport. There we boarded the shortest scheduled flight in the world, from Westray to Papa Westray (Papay), which is timetabled as 2 minutes but actually lasts only about 90 seconds. We then spent most of the day walking on Papay before catching a ferry back to Westray and collecting the car there. We explored Westray until heavy rain stopped play, and retired to a dry warm tearoom until it was time to drive back to Rapness for the ferry back to Kirkwall.

Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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HY4411 : Destination Boards by Anne Burgess
Destination Boards
The poles fit into sockets at the seaward ends of the ferry queueing lanes so that... more

HY4411 : Kirkwall Harbour by Anne Burgess
Kirkwall Harbour
The tall prominent building is the Kirkwall Hotel, at the head of the harbour, and... more

HY4511 : Kirkwall Marina by Anne Burgess
Kirkwall Marina
This basin of the harbour has been redeveloped as a marina with pontoons and... more

HY4511 : Cromwell Road by Anne Burgess
Cromwell Road
Cromwell road runs alongside the east basin of the harbour.

HY4411 : Kirkwall Harbour by Anne Burgess
Kirkwall Harbour
Boats alongside the west pier in the larger harbour basin.

HY4411 : Westray Ferry by Anne Burgess
Westray Ferry
The ferry to Westray is almost ready for boarding, just after seven o' clock in... more

HY4412 : Packed Like Sardines by Anne Burgess
Packed Like Sardines
The ferry crew certainly knew how to maximise the use of the limited space on the... more

HY4718 : Ayre of Vasa by Anne Burgess
Ayre of Vasa
The Ayre of Vasa is a headland on the island of Shapinsay, with Vasa Loch just... more

HY4719 : Salt Ness by Anne Burgess
Salt Ness
Second World War defensive buildings on the island of Shapinsay. Photographer... more

HY4719 : Banks of Runabout by Anne Burgess
Banks of Runabout
From the way this Second World War building has been undermined, you can see how... more

HY5039 : Coast of Westray by Anne Burgess
Coast of Westray
The farm buildings are in the next square but the shore and fields are in this... more

HY5140 : Rapness Pier by Anne Burgess
Rapness Pier
This is where the vehicle ferry from Kirkwall lands, at the south end of the... more

HY4348 : Pierowall Lady Kirk by Anne Burgess
Pierowall Lady Kirk
The kirk dates mostly from the 17th century, but parts of the south wall were... more

HY4348 : Pierowall Lady Kirk by Anne Burgess
Pierowall Lady Kirk
Inside the mainly 17th century kirk.

HY4348 : Pierowall Lady Kirk by Anne Burgess
Pierowall Lady Kirk
The glass case protects two notable 17th century grave slabs from the ravages of... more

HY4449 : Gill Bay by Anne Burgess
Gill Bay
If the tide had been out, this would have been a view of the Sand o' Gill, but as... more

HY4552 : Airport Gate by Anne Burgess
Airport Gate
There's not much risk of anyone failing to spot the warning notices at Westray Airport!

HY4552 : Skaill by Anne Burgess
Skaill
The farm at Skaill stands on a gentle slope with a good view of the airport.

HY4551 : Field Beside the Airport by Anne Burgess
Field Beside the Airport
In fact the crosswind runway is just over the fence on the far side of this field.

HY4652 : Westray Airport by Anne Burgess
Westray Airport
One of the airport staff kindly escorted me airside so that I could photograph the... more

HY4651 : Westray Airport by Anne Burgess
Westray Airport
One of the airport staff kindly escorted me airside so that I could photograph the... more

HY4552 : Terminal Building by Anne Burgess
Terminal Building
These are the buildings at Westray Airport. The terminal on the left and the fire... more

HY4651 : G-BLDV Taxiing to the Terminal by Anne Burgess
G-BLDV Taxiing to the Terminal
G-BLDV is one of the Loganair fleet operating the Orkney inter-island service. It... more

HY4851 : Unloading at Papa Westray by Anne Burgess
Unloading at Papa Westray
To my great disappointment, my seat on the shortest commercial flight in the world... more

HY4851 : Reception Committee by Anne Burgess
Reception Committee
The small crowd at the gate wasn't waiting for us, of course, but for four of our... more

HY4851 : G-BLDV Departing for Kirkwall by Anne Burgess
G-BLDV Departing for Kirkwall
We had barely reached the gate when the Islander was on its way back to Kirkwall.... more

HY4952 : Ruined Farm by Anne Burgess
Ruined Farm
Looking down from the only road on the island of Papay (Papa Westray).

HY4952 : Gate Posts by Anne Burgess
Gate Posts
Rather elaborate for a field entrance!

HY4952 : Roadside by Anne Burgess
Roadside
This farm isn't named on the modern maps, but the first edition of the six-inch... more

HY4952 : Orchid Path by Anne Burgess
Orchid Path
The lowest parts of this path were full of orchids, probably Northern Marsh... more

HY4952 : Beach near Midhouse by Anne Burgess
Beach near Midhouse
A small beach of fine white sand, with Midhouse (left) and Storehouse (right) at... more

HY4952 : Mayback by Anne Burgess
Mayback
Drystane dykes, the ones for the buildings using angular slabs, and the field... more

HY4952 : Skennist by Anne Burgess
Skennist
Like many of the farms here, the buildings are on higher ground to avoid the wet... more

HY4951 : Building at the Pier by Anne Burgess
Building at the Pier
A rumour reached us that a cup of tea might be available in one of the buildings... more

HY4951 : Hookin by Anne Burgess
Hookin
The map says Hookin, which I take to be the name of these ruins right on the... more

HY4951 : Loch of St Tredwell by Anne Burgess
Loch of St Tredwell
A very shallow loch, almost at sea level and surrounded by boggy ground.

HY5051 : Swans on the Shore by Anne Burgess
Swans on the Shore
Usually you see swans on fresh water, but these ones were exploring the shore.... more

HY5050 : Remains of a Fence by Anne Burgess
Remains of a Fence
The stile for crossing the fence is still standing, but the fence it used to cross... more

HY5050 : Zigzag Rocks by Anne Burgess
Zigzag Rocks
I assume that the sea, having detached parts of the bedrock, has flipped the loose... more

HY5050 : Bay of Burland by Anne Burgess
Bay of Burland
The farm in the distance is called Blossom. At the far side of the bay is Redcraig Geo.

HY4950 : Bay of Burland by Anne Burgess
Bay of Burland
The bay contains several small shingle beaches between rocky outcrops. The nearer... more

HY4950 : Bay of Burland by Anne Burgess
Bay of Burland
It looks as if people still come here, although the access is by rough or faint... more

HY4950 : Cuppin by Anne Burgess
Cuppin
Cuppin stands on a low ridge between the shore and the Loch of St Tredwell. It... more

HY4950 : Track to Blossom by Anne Burgess
Track to Blossom
As we feared that we were getting short of time we decided to follow a track... more

HY4950 : Blossom by Anne Burgess
Blossom
The house and steading at Blossom are derelict and now occupied only by sheep.

HY4949 : Former Fence by Anne Burgess
Former Fence
The satellite view shows several small fields here, but the wire of the fences... more

HY4949 : Insulated Containers by Anne Burgess
Insulated Containers
One is labelled 'Papay Frozen' and the other 'Papay Chilled'. We could only... more

HY4949 : Moclett by Anne Burgess
Moclett
The bay at Moclett, complete with public toilets. Orkney Islands Council is to be... more

HY4448 : 'Golden Mariana' at Gill Pier by Anne Burgess
'Golden Mariana' at Gill Pier
'Golden Mariana' operates the passenger-only ferry service between Westray and... more

HY4551 : Windywalls by Anne Burgess
Windywalls
Like most of the farms here, Windywalls stands on slightly higher ground.

HY4551 : The Ouse by Anne Burgess
The Ouse
The Ouse is a shallow sandy bay in the north of Westray. The buildings on the far... more

HY4550 : The Ouse by Anne Burgess
The Ouse
The Ouse is a bay of fine white sand, almost cut by the Ayre of Ouse, a spit of... more

HY4942 : Puffins this Way by Anne Burgess
Puffins this Way
This unofficial sign indicates the way to the Castle of Burrian, reputed to be one... more

HY5042 : Craw Nev by Anne Burgess
Craw Nev
Having got accustomed to all the rocks in Orkney being in fairly orderly strata... more

HY4942 : Rack Wick by Anne Burgess
Rack Wick
'Wick' is from the Norse and means 'bay'. This is just one of several Rackwicks in... more

HY5042 : Boardwalk by Anne Burgess
Boardwalk
For the convenience of those walking to and from the cliff path, a boardwalk has... more

HY5042 : Pink Campion by Anne Burgess
Pink Campion
Red Campion and White Campion, both of which occur here, are known to hybridise.... more

HY5042 : Puffin (Fratercula arctica) by Anne Burgess
Puffin (Fratercula arctica)
Although we were assured by several people that there were hundreds of Puffins at... more

HY5042 : Cove at Saaclay by Anne Burgess
Cove at Saaclay
The old six-inch map suggests that Saaclay is the name of the promontory from... more

HY5042 : Castle o' Burrian by Anne Burgess
Castle o' Burrian
The name seems to be applied to the sea stack rather than just to the prehistoric... more

HY5042 : Castle o' Burrian by Anne Burgess
Castle o' Burrian
From here you can clearly see that this is a rock stack, cut off from the land at... more

HY5042 : Bare Rowa by Anne Burgess
Bare Rowa
Bare Rowa seems to be the name of the bay or cove enclosed by the headland here.

HY5042 : White Campion (Silene latifolia) by Anne Burgess
White Campion (Silene latifolia)
The cliffs were thick with both White Campion and Red Campion, and a range of... more

HY5042 : Bight of Stangerhead by Anne Burgess
Bight of Stangerhead
The bay and the cliffs on the right are in this square, but Stanger Head itself is... more

HY5042 : Red Campion (Silene dioica) by Anne Burgess
Red Campion (Silene dioica)
One of the numerous fine large clumps of Red Campion along the cliffs.

HY5042 : Sea Campion (Silene uniflora) by Anne Burgess
Sea Campion (Silene uniflora)
This campion is fairly common alongside the clifftop path.

HY5042 : Thrift (Armeria maritima) by Anne Burgess
Thrift (Armeria maritima)
A particularly fine clump of Thrift or Sea Pink.

HY4148 : Noup Farm by Anne Burgess
Noup Farm
We had intended to go to Noup Head, but this was as far as we got because it was... more

HY4248 : Noltland Castle by Anne Burgess
Noltland Castle
This is the Great Hall of the castle, now open to the skies (and of course the... more

HY4248 : Noltland Castle by Anne Burgess
Noltland Castle
The rather forbidding exterior of the castle, with its multiplicity of gun (or... more

HY5039 : Looking towards Scarra Taing by Anne Burgess
Looking towards Scarra Taing
Scarra Taing is the promontory with a small pier. It is in the next square, but... more

HY5039 : East Sous by Anne Burgess
East Sous
This is a small sandy beach among the rocky coast of southern Westray.

HY5040 : Sands of Helzie by Anne Burgess
Sands of Helzie
Another of the string of little sandy beaches along the south coast of Westray. At... more

All images © Anne Burgess and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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