Baltasound

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Baltasound
Baltasound is located in Shetland
Baltasound
Baltasound
 Baltasound shown within Shetland
Council area Shetland
Lieutenancy area Shetland
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SHETLAND
Postcode district ZE2
Dialling code 01957
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Orkney and Shetland
Scottish Parliament Shetland
List of places
UK
Scotland

Coordinates: 60°46′N 0°52′W / 60.76°N 0.86°W / 60.76; -0.86

Baltasound is the largest settlement on the island of Unst in Shetland. Unst is the most northerly inhabited island in the United Kingdom. The village lies halfway along the island's east coast on a sheltered bay called Balta Sound.

Baltasound Post Office, the most northerly in the UK

Baltasound was formerly the most important herring port in Shetland, in 1902 its catch exceeded that of the Shetland capital Lerwick. The herring trade declined rapidly after 1905 but the physical remains of the herring boom remained long after.[1]

Baltasound can also lay claim to the most northerly "wood" in the British Isles, although it is not very substantial.[2]

Amenities[edit]

Many of Baltasound's current amenities hold the record for the most northerly in the UK:

  • Airport - Baltasound Airport - Airport code UNT, runway length 2,099 feet (640 m).,[3] currently only used by emergency services.
  • Leisure Centre
  • School - Baltasound Junior High School[4]
  • Hotel - The Baltasound Hotel[5]
  • Post Office - Baltasound Post Office is now the most northerly post office. For many years this record was held by the post office at Haroldswick until its closure in 1999.[6]
  • The Unst Bus Shelter, also known as Bobby's Bus Shelter, is a famous bus shelter and bus stop near the village. It is maintained by the Shetland Islands Council.

Climate[edit]

Baltasound is home to the most Northerly Met Office weather station in the United Kingdom.[7] Despite its isolated location, as with the rest of the British Isles, Baltasound experiences a maritime climate, albeit a very pronounced one, with particularly cool summers and mild winters. Its extreme northerly location combined with frequently overcast skies lead to very low levels of sunshine during the winter months - December will average just under 15 and a half minutes of sunshine daily.

Baltasound also holds the record for both highest and lowest (reliable) temperatures readings in the Shetland Islands; 25.0 °C (77.0 °F) during July 1958,[8] and −11.9 °C (10.6 °F) during February 2001.[9] This suggests that despite the absence of a close landmass allowing for the advection of extreme temperatures, Baltasound's north-facing location results in a Fohn effect induced by hills to the south.

Climate data for Baltasound 24m asl, 1961-1990
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5.4
(41.7)
5.5
(41.9)
6.5
(43.7)
8.4
(47.1)
10.8
(51.4)
13.4
(56.1)
14.6
(58.3)
14.8
(58.6)
12.6
(54.7)
10.4
(50.7)
7.3
(45.1)
6.1
(43)
9.6
(49.3)
Average low °C (°F) 1.0
(33.8)
1.0
(33.8)
1.5
(34.7)
2.5
(36.5)
5.1
(41.2)
7.4
(45.3)
8.9
(48)
9.1
(48.4)
7.6
(45.7)
5.8
(42.4)
2.7
(36.9)
1.6
(34.9)
4.5
(40.1)
Precipitation mm (inches) 136
(5.35)
92
(3.62)
119
(4.69)
74
(2.91)
58
(2.28)
59
(2.32)
61
(2.4)
76
(2.99)
118
(4.65)
137
(5.39)
143
(5.63)
143
(5.63)
1,216
(47.87)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 16.7 43.9 77.3 130.9 151.1 154.7 124.9 129.1 90.4 58.3 24.7 8.0 1,010
Source: Met Office[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hudson, Norman - Souvenir Postcards from Shetland, Shetland Times, 1992
  2. ^ Blackadder, Jill Slee Shetland (Colin Baxter Island Guides) (2003) Colin Baxter Photography, Strathspey ISBN 1-84107-125-0
  3. ^ Airports Worldwide
  4. ^ Baltasound Junior High School website
  5. ^ Baltasound Hotel website
  6. ^ BBC News report on closure of Haroldswick post office
  7. ^ "Station Map". UKMO. 
  8. ^ "1958 Maximum". UKMO. 
  9. ^ "2001 minimum". UKMO. 
  10. ^ "Baltasound 1961-90 averages". Met Office. Retrieved 3 Nov 2011. 

External links[edit]