Photos and the City

Slow travel & photography

Hoy – the island that always had a cloud on top. I was late booking a ferry and only got a return in the afternoon, so I didn´t have that much time to explore it and just have to come back another time to walk to the Old Man of Hoy and also visit the Scapa Flow Museum, which was under renovation.

Today around 400 people live on Hoy but during WW2 13.000 people were stationed on the island. There are still a lot of reminders of that time. But let´s start at the beginning.

Betty Corrigan’s Grave

While on the way to Rackwick beach I stopped at this little grave of a Betty Corrigan next to a hillside loch and near a tiny forest, an unusual sight in Orkney. But overall Hoy reminded me more of the Highlands than the other Orkney, which seemed so much softer with its rolling hills.

A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach.

The story of Betty Corrigal is a sad one. In the 1770s, at the age of 27, she was unmarried and pregnant; the father of her child had run away to sea. In a time when this was frowned upon, she tried to take her own life by walking into the sea. She was rescued but went on to hang herself a few days later. Her body was buried in the hills, on unconsecrated land between the parishes of North Walls and Hoy. (Northlinkferries.com)

A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach.A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach.A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach.

A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach.

Rackwick Beach

I continued my journey towards Rackwick valley, which is just picturesque. Surrounded on three sides by hills and a white beach on the fourth side.

It was once populated by crofters and fishermen who lived in crofts with evocative names; Scar, Groups, Crow’s Nest. These crofts were abandoned and have since been rebuilt as holiday homes for Orkney folk who visit Rackwick at the weekend. (Northlinkferries.com)

A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach.A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach.A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach.

A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach.A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach.

A lovely bothy next to the beach, ideal for a quick stay for a night.

A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach.A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach. Walking the coastal walk from Yesnaby in Orkney, Scotland. A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach. A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach. A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach. A day trip to Hoy, the island under the cloud, visiting Betty Corrigans Grave and Rackwick beach.

After a long walk on the beach, it was time to head the same way back and visit another grave, more about that one next time!

 

Wherever I looked, I always stumbled on this walk along the coast of Yesnaby – everyone seemed to say that one shouldn´t miss this one – of course, I had to go there!

Yesnaby is located 6 miles from Stromness and it is a stretch of amazing cliffs, seastacks, rocky beaches and promontories carved out of Old Red Sandstone rocks which were part of the seabed 400 million years ago. (Northlinkferries.com)

Yesnaby 1

The coastal walk from Yesnaby (or Skaill) starts at some wartime buildings and one already gets a nice view of this rugged coastline, formed by the sea millions of years ago.

The result is a spectacular array of cliff scenery where you’ll find towering sea stacks and blow holes created by the force of the mighty ocean. (The Scotsman)

Yesnaby 2

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First view of Yesnaby Castle, a 35m high sea stack with two legs. And the first of a few stacks I saw this day, even without going the whole length to Stromness.

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Nesting birds everywhere.

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The island of Hoy under a cloud, I´ve never seen it without one, except on the day I left Orkney and the ferry was passing by Hoy.

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North Gaulton Castle, is another impressive stack about 70 m high.

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I turned back after around 1,5 – 2 hours and walked back to Yesnaby.

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One can also continue the walk on the other side of Yesnaby towards Skaill, I went for a bit but didn´t even make it to the Broch of Borwick – another time.