Heard of the Old Man of Hoy in Orkney Islands? Make sure you plan a Weekend Getaway to enjoy this place
Orkney consists of about 70 islands off the North coast of Scotland, of which fewer than 20 are inhabited. Hoy is the second largest of the islands after Mainland and makes for a great weekend getaway. It is renowned for spectacular scenery and fantastic wildlife. It is the only island that is not flat, and the views from its hills are of moorland, bright green turf and vertical cliffs reaching down to white sand beaches and turquoise bays. The Old Man of Hoy is a rock stack 137 metres tall.
It is a favourite of rock climbers around the world. The first successful recorded climb was done in 1966 by Chris Bonnington’s team. If you walk from the pier along the road through the lovely Rackwick Glen, you will pass the Dwarfie Stone, an unusual rock-cut tomb, and thought to be 5000 years old. It may not be the ideal place to take your better half if you are on a honeymoon, but there are other places you can enjoy some sightseeing.
Wildlife and Birds
The remoteness of the Orkneys and their untamed landscape make them a haven for wildlife. The northern part of Hoy has been a Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds reserve for more than 20 years. At the right time of year, visitors can see seal colonies, porpoises and even otters, if they are fortunate, but they will plainly see some of the millions of seabirds including puffins that thrive on the cliffs and shores. The best way to see the wildlife is to take a trip in a boat around the coast. Botanists will find rare and beautiful wildflowers, and fishermen can fish for free – the brown trout are supposedly the best in Britain. You may need a travel guide to get you to these secret tourist attractions to enjoy a romantic getaway.
How To Get There
From Aberdeen and Edinburgh you can fly to Kirkwall (the most significant town on Mainland Orkney), and on arrival, you will need to take a ferry to Hoy. There is also a car ferry service that runs from Aberdeen and Lerwick. Compare flights and check for flight deals so that you can pick a budget hotel or maybe get a holiday package.
If you prefer getting them by ship, check with your travel agency for cruise deals and make sure you map out your itinerary prior to reaching Scotland.