Muckle Flugga

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Muckle Flugga
Picture by: Jonny McIntosh

Shetland Islands
OS Name: Muckle Flugga
Shetland Name: Flugga
Muckle Flugga Map.jpg
UK Grid Reference: HP607197
Area (ha): negligible
Population: None, (Lighthouse keepers resident from 1854 until 1995}
Community Council:
Ferry Services: Sightseeing and birdwatching boat trips from Lerwick
Muckle Flugga seen from Saxa Vord.
Picture by Spasov.

Muckle Flugga, from the old norse Mikla Flógey, meaning steep sided island <ref>It is a widespread and often published error that the original name of the rock was North Unst and that this name was changed to Muckle Flugga in 1964. Fact is that the lighthouse was originally named North Unst, not the island/rock!</ref>, is a rocky sea stack at the north end of the Island of Unst, and is the site of the Muckle Flugga Lighthouse, the most northerly lighthouse in Britain, which was built by Thomas & David Stevenson in 1854.
It is often wrongly referred to as the northern tip of the British Isles, that distinction being held by Out Stack which lies about 600 metres further northeast.

Muckle Flugga is part of a group of stacks and skerries which are named, from north to south; Muckle Flugga, Little Flugga, Cliff Skerry, Tipta Skerry, Pulsa Stack, Rumblings, Vesta Skerry, and Ruscock. The skerries are separated by Pulsa Sound.

Local folklore tells that the stacks of Muckle Flugga and Outstack were formed from large rocks, thrown at each other by the giants Saxa and Herma, during a fight over a mermaid they were both in love with. To settle the matter the mermaid offered to marry whichever giant followed her to the North Pole. Both giants tried, but as they couldn't swim, they drowned.

Muckle Flugga is part of the Hermaness National Nature Reserve and is visited by frequent sightseeing and birdwatching boat trips from Lerwick, during the summer.
The best onshore viewing point for Muckle Flugga is from the northeast tip of Herma Ness, a 3.5km walk north from the Hermaness Visitor Centre, which is located in the former lighthouse shore station at Burrafirth.

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