How a Lonely Bus Stop On the Isle of Unst Became One of Scotland’s Most Curious Sites

The remote Isle of Unst, Scotland’s most northerly inhabited island is Scotland’s last port of call before diving off into the icy waters of the Norwegian Sea. It’s a flat expanse of grays, greens and rocky outcrops, but you’ll notice a strange and unexpected interruption of color: an unusual little bus stop that’s come to be known as Bobby’s Bus Shelter. The story began over 20 years ago, when 6-year-old Bobby MacAulay and his friends would seek refuge from the unforgiving weather while waiting for the school bus. Pounded by wind and rain, the bus stop was battered and rusty, so the City Council decided to take it away. Little Bobby was outraged and wrote a letter to the local newspaper, asking for a new one to be built in its place. Touched by Bobby’s letter, the newspaper called on the City Council to honor Bobby’s request. To everyone’s surprise, they obliged and a new bus shelter was erected. However, soon after, strange things began to happen. A small wicker table and sofa appeared in the bus shelter. Then a microwave, then a carpet, telephone, and curtains. Soon, there was a television set in the shelter. Finally, a hot snacks dispenser showed up. Eventually, news of the little bus stop had spread far beyond the realms of Unst’s population of just 650, becoming something of an island icon and one of its main tourist attractions. Every winter, on an island that sees just six hours of sunlight, Bobby’s Bus Shelter provides a sparkly and bright intermission from the shroud of polar darkness.