Interesting Info
The first (hand-drawn) pictures of The Old Man of Hoy depict it with a much larger base with a cave running through it. The rock of the Old Man is being slowly eaten away by the sea, and one day it may collapse altogether.
Useful Advice
When walking to the Old Man from Rackwick give yourself three hours for the return trip.
Essential sites to visit
The Old Man of Hoy
The Dwarfie Stane
Rackwick Beach
Scapa Flow Visitor Centre
Martello Tower
Longhope Lifeboat Museum
Lyness War Museum

Old Man of HoyHoy is a spectacular island, much hillier than the rest of Orkney, with a wealth of things to see. In North Hoy is the islands most famous landmark, the Old Man of Hoy, a 137m sea stack, which is regularly climbed during the summer. Along the same cliffline is St Johns Head, Britain's tallest vertical cliff face, standing at 351m. Ward Hill, The Dwarfie StaneOrkney's highest hill is also found in North Hoy (from where you can see every island,except the two closest) as is the Dwarfie Stane,a Neolithic tomb cut into a massive slab of rock, and Rackwick valley and beach - a sea-swept sandy beach littered with massive boulders.

The North of Hoy is a large RSPB reserve, and mountain hare can be seen during the winter. Between North and South Hoy Betty Corrigall's Grave can be found in a desolate spot. The tragic story of Betty Corrigall is of a young girl in the last century, pregnant by a sailor, who Betty Corrigal's Gravecommitted suicide and was buried away from hallowed ground. Her grave is a lonely place. The landscape of the South of Hoy is less wild and more populated, with a fascinating war and sea-faring history. Here at Lyness can be found the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre (Lyness was the site of the Royal Naval Base during World War 2) and a visit here is a superb way of learning the wartime history of Scapa Flow.

Martello Tower was built for defence in the Napoleonic Wars and was used again in wars that followed. It is well worth a visit, as is Melsetter House, the Longhope Lifeboat museum and the village of Longhope itself. For children, there is a playpark and a swimming pool at Hoy and Walls school.

Ferries to the island of hoy land at Moaness (a passenger-only ferry from Stromness) and Lyness (a passenger and car ferry from Houton in Orphir.)

George Mackay Brown
Another road branches westwards into utter desolation, a place of kestrels and peatbogs. After five miles the road ends abruptly at a glimpse of sea. The dark hills are still all around, but they hold in their scarred hands
a green valley. This is Rackwick, Orkney's jewel.

George Mackay Brown, An Orkney Tapestry

Beneth'ill CafeFiona Matheson,
Beneth'ill Cafe,
Moaness, Hoy,
Tel: 01856 791119
Mobile: 07913 332654
Beneth'ill Cafe

Simple good food for hungry walkers and sight-seers on the island of Hoy.
Open daily 10am - 5pm and weekends 10am - 7pm. Licence pending.

Burnhouse Self CateringMrs H Mackay,
Cannigall Rd,
St Ola,
Orkney, KW15 1SX
Tel: 01856 870058
Mobile: 07762 689225
Burnhouse Self Catering

Experience remote island life with fantastic views of Scapa Flow and Ward Hill, with the 3,925ha RSPB Reserve on your doorstep. Burnhouse provides a home from home, comfortable, relaxing and well-equiped for families.

Cantick Head Lighthouse CottagesNadia Schwartzmann,
Islands of Hoy & Walls,
Orkney, KW16 3PQ
Tel: 01856 701 888
Mobile: 07804 348631
Cantick Head Lighthouse Cottages

Self-catering cottages. Two cottages:
Principal Cottage sleeps 4 people,
Assistant Cottage sleeps 4 people.

West Linksness and Nether LinksnessFiona Matheson,
90 Dundas Street,
Tel: 01856 851116
        01856 791119
Mobile: 07913332654

West Linksness and
          Nether Linksness

3 Star VisitScotland Rating

Two beautiful Orkney stone self-catering cottages on the island of Hoy.

Old Hall Cottage Self Catering and Bed and BreakfastSandra Atherton,
Old Hall,
Orkney, KW16 3PQ
Tel: 01856701213
Old Hall Cottage
Recently renovated stone cottage providing comfortable self-contained accommodation for up to 6 people. Set in large garden with panoramic views over Scapa Flow. Tranquil location close to sandy beach and south coast of the island of Hoy. Good disabled access with level entry shower and support rails.

Scar Cottage in Rackwick Suzan Manson,
Franklin Road,
Orkney, KW16 3AN
Tel: 01856 850460
Scar Cottage, Rackwick
Scar Cottage in Hoy is a recently renovated holiday cottage. Enjoy modern appliances - cook in a brand new kitchen or relax under a power shower after a long walk! High on the hill of Moor Fea, Scar is reachable by car and offers stunning views over the beautiful sandy Rackwick bay.

Odin Tours of OrkneyOdin Tours of Orkney
South Walls
Orkney KW16 3PA
Tel: 01856 701214 / 07541 039321
Odin Tours of Orkney
Privately guided tours of Orkney and Hoy by experienced and fully qualified drivers guide Frank Gaertner.
I can show you world famous locations and some off the beaten track treasures during your unique tour of these fabulous islands.

Rackwick photo © Fraser Dixon, Scapa Flow Visitor Centre photo © Fraser Dixon, Old Man of Hoy photo © Fraser Dixon, Dwarfie Stane photo © Fraser Dixon,
Betty Corrigall's Grave photo © Fraser Dixon. All text © Magnus Dixon. GMB extract © The Estate of George Mackay Brown.

Got any suggestions or questions? Contact Us