Farewell to #Orkney, via the Old Man of Hoy #Scotland

On our last morning on Orkney, we thought we should investigate a little closer to home – or rather, near to where we were staying with a friend who had kindly offered us the use of her converted steading (barn) for our stay. The property is at Deerness, around 13km south east of the main town of Kirkwall.

This is the lovely view from her front drive

You can clearly see what a tiny sliver of land connects this area to the mainland, and the causeway is where we stopped to investigate at the start of our final journey. Once again, we found a section of the Orkneyinga Saga trail.

And another glorious sandy beach.

Caught in the act!

And looking in the opposite direction, with our backs to the beach

Then it was onward to a final lunch in Kirkwall before heading north to the ferry terminal. Note of warning – Orkney is not a place to visit if you want fine dining. Café food and basic pub-style meals are good quality, but definitely not cordon bleu, unlike some of the Hebridean islands we’ve visited.

Helgis had some unusual dishes I can highly recommend

Note the Highland Park symbol up there on the wall? Highland Park is Orkney’s own malt whisky – one of the ‘smoky’ flavoured whiskies which I love so much. The distillery is on the outskirts of Kirkwall

And its presence is felt everywhere!

If you have a moment, take a look at these extraordinary facts: ‘9 things you should know about Highland Park Scotch Whisky’

We were still early for lunch, so we wandered down to the docks to take a look at the new Pentland ferry – HUGE compared to the old Pentalina we’d arrived on, but in the same style.

And back on the main street, we found this extraordinary charity box:

Along with this wonderful example of Scottish architecture: Kirkwall town hall.

Love those little turrets!

After lunch, it was time to drive up to Stromness, the second largest town on Orkney, to catch the ferry back to the Scottish mainland. This route supports a much larger ferry which takes a route around the back of Hoy, with wonderful close-up views of the Old Man of Hoy – the reason I picked this particular time of day to travel (some of the sailings are at night), and we were blessed with good weather – not always a given, considering our location!

Plenty of space on deck from which to view the coastline

And a rather luxurious interior!

But I was more interested in the views outside

Look carefully at the above picture – on the far right you get your first glimpse of the Old Man.

Fro Wikipedia: ‘The Old Man of Hoy is a 449-foot (137-metre) sea stack on Hoy, part of the Orkney archipelago off the north coast of Scotland. Formed from Old Red Sandstone, it is one of the tallest stacks in the United Kingdom. The Old Man is popular with climbers, and was first climbed in 1966. Created by the erosion of a cliff through hydraulic action some time after 1750, the stack is no more than a few hundred years old, but may soon collapse into the sea.’

Up close!

And finally, moving away, and farewell to Orkney.

Until next time…

Thank you for coming on this journey with me – I love sharing my travels, and this wonderful country I now call home, and I’m sure once travel becomes easier again I will have plenty more photos and history of the Scottish Highlands to bring you.


  1. Jane Sturgeon · · Reply

    Stunning pictures, Debby. Thank you. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love looking at them again, they are so lovely it would be criminal not to share!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is the second post I’ve read of the Old Man in two days. I think I need to see him for myself. Lovely post, Deborah. Great photos.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 😀 I’m sure you do.


  3. Omg Deb, spectacular photos and a fantastic tour. I can’t get over the size of that ferry! I thought in the first shot it was a cruiseship and wondering who the heck is on a cruiseship now LOL. What a gorgeous little island! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was gobsmacked by the size of the ferry, I’ll use it when I go back to Orkney, once we are allowed to, and I’ll get pictures on board – it looks amazing.
      I’d like to travel to some of the other islands next time, but I now realise it takes a bit of forward planning – several of them are quite a long trip, and will require an overnight stay to make them worth the effort. Maybe next year…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, next year when we all begina fresh slate and start over – life! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Maybe. Maybe not. To use a cliché, (bad author), how long is a piece of string? We can only hope.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Lol, I get you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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