Beam Me Down, Scotty

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The Independent Travel
FIRST REACTION

Am I seeing things? Is that a red telephone box?

COUNTRY & REGION

Welcome to Scotland! You are on Eday, a small exclamation mark of an island in the Orkneys - just a hop, skip and a short swim from John O' Groats.

NATURE OF THE TERRAIN

The island is dominated by a great block of heather-covered upland, with farming confined to a narrow strip of coastal ground.

ALTITUDE

About two metres

NEAREST HOUSE

You are in the chicken pen of Cooperhall, a former crofter's cottage. Backaland pier, where the ferries land is just 10 minutes walk along the lane, or five if you cut through the heather.

POSSIBLE HAZARDS

Other than falling off a cliff or into a peat cutting, the worst that could happen to you would be get stranded on the island in bad weather.

USEFUL LANGUAGES

The Orcadian accent sounds like a cross between Faroese and Scottish. Everyone speaks Scots-English.

TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER

Ultimately Tony Blair. But the local MP is the much-respected Jim Wallace

LIKELY WEATHER CONDITIONS

If you want an exact answer, tune into the shipping forecast.

REASONS FOR HANGING AROUND

Eday is littered with prehistoric sites of interest, amongst which is the five-metre high, Stone of Setter - Orkney's most spectacular standing stone. If you follow the cliffs northwards you come to Carrick House. This grand house was once the prison of the pirate John Gow (on whom Walter Scott's novel 'The Pirate' is based) whose ship the 'Revenge' ran aground here.

GETTING THE HELL OUT OF THERE

Ferries leave for Kirkwall once a day at 4.30pm. From Kirkwall their are regular flights to seven regional airports on the UK mainland.

This week's random co-ordinates chosen by the computer are:

59 9' N 2 45' W

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