Thousands of historical sites, hundreds of miles of coastline and huge skies as far as the eye can see. Finding your own space isn’t a problem in Orkney.
If you’re visiting the islands and want to find your own space on a coastal walk, here are some of our favourite routes that are well worth seeking out.
South Ronaldsay is an island with some excellent coastal trails, and the route from Windwick to the Eastside beach is one of the best. Think sea stacks, seabirds, sealife and a special sandy beach at the end of it all.
A classic Orkney experience, this walk is part coastal, part moorland but 100% breathtaking. The scenery as you climb out of the Rackwick valley is beautiful, but your first glimpse of the 450-foot-high Old Man of Hoy is even more special. You can carry on up the coast to St John’s Head for more spectacular views.
At the start of this walk you’re closer to Scotland than you are to Kirkwall. The coastal path here takes you past seal-pupping sites, spectacular cliffs, hidden geos and beautiful views out over the Pentland Firth.
Yesnaby Castle is one of Orkney’s most famous sea stacks, but carry on south along the coast and you’ll come across another, the jaw-dropping North Gaulton Castle. This stack sits in a natural amphitheatre, perfect for finding a safe spot to relax and watch the waves roll in.
This is a wild and wonderful place to be, as you’d expect on the north-western tip of our archipelago. Noup Head Lighthouse is perched on the edge of these huge cliffs, which are full of seabirds and the sound of the sea. There are stunning views here and plenty of fresh air – just right for clearing the cobwebs.
Find these spaces
1 - Windwick, South Ronaldsay; 2 - Old Man of Hoy, Hoy; 3 - Burwick, South Ronaldsay; 4 - North Gaulton Castle, West Mainland; 5 - Noup Head, Westray