Hoy & Walls | Colin Nutt


These neighbouring islands, connected by a short causeway, include mountainous moorland, glacial valleys, ancient monuments and historical defences. The iconic Old Man of Hoy sea stack guards the northwest of Hoy, whilst the man-made Martello Tower at Hackness on the east coast of Walls was first built to protect British ships during the Napoleonic Wars before being used in WWI. Head inland to explore the UK's most northerly native wood or discover the Dwarfie Stane.

Did you know that the name for Walls in Orkney dialect is Sooth Waas?

Famous For

  • The famous 450ft red sandstone sea stack, The Old Man of Hoy, is one of Orkney’s most iconic landmarks. A walk from Rackwick Bay following the coastline leads to a vantage point overlooking the stack.

  • The Hackness Martello Tower and Battery on Walls were built in 1813-14 to protect British convoys during the Napoleonic Wars and were adapted during later conflicts. The Martello Tower is one of only three surviving in Scotland.

  • Hoy was named ‘High Island’ by the Vikings. It is home to Orkney’s highest peak, Ward Hill. At 1,570 feet, it can be seen from almost anywhere on Mainland, Orkney.

Ask an Islander

  • Berriedale Wood on Hoy is the most northerly native wood in the UK. It can be found at the heart of the RSPB Nature Reserve.

  • Longhope Lifeboat Station on Walls has saved over 500 lives since it opened in 1834.

  • Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery is the resting place for those who lost their lives during the World Wars. This includes the Battle of Jutland in 1916 and the sinking of HMS Hampshire in 1916, Vanguard in 1917 and Royal Oak in 1939.


Check out the following accommodation listings to book your stay.

Visit Scotland accommodation

Island of Hoy Development Trust - accommodation (including Walls)

More Information

You can find some additional information about Hoy & Walls at the links below

Explore Orkney


Please check the latest rules on travelling to and around the Scottish islands on the Scottish Government website, including guidance on testing before you travel. Please note that advice may vary depending on the specific island you are visiting.

Getting here


In order to keep our island communities safe during the ongoing pandemic, please check the latest guidance from the Scottish Government about travelling to and around the islands. Please note that advice may vary depending on the specific island you are visiting.

Orkney Ferries operate a daily service for vehicles and passengers from Houton on Mainland Orkney to Lyness on Hoy, and a passenger-only service from Stromness on Mainland Orkney to Moaness on Hoy.

Walls is accessible from Hoy by road via a causeway.

Find out more about getting to Mainland Orkney.

Get Your Passport

You can find lots more information about things to see and do on the island, see some amazing island photography and collect your island stamp by downloading our app.

Download the app

App in phone

Download the Scottish Island Passport app to collect your island stamps! The app also provides lots more information on each island including recommendations from locals about things to see and do, info on how to get around, more stunning photos and useful offline maps.

  • Unlock Stamps - Collect them all! Stamp your passport when you visit each island - with an individual stamp designed to represent a unique aspect of island heritage.
  • Experiences - Discover the best experiences each island has to offer – from local boat trips to exciting traditional festivals, there is something for everyone.
  • Maps - Navigate the islands with useful offline maps, handy for areas where internet connectivity is weak.
  • Travel Jounals - Create an in-location travel journal with pictures from your island adventures, to look back on your trip.
  • Favourites - keep track of your most loved islands with the favourites feature. Available to access from your account on both the app and web.