Burray, Hoxa, and Hobbister

Night 32/2018 staying in my caravan. This is my 5th and final night at Pickaquoy Caravan Site in Kirkwall, Orkney.

Got up around 0630, and as usual, took the dogs around 'Peedie Sea' over the road from the site. It was a grey and drizzly start to the day, but at least the winds had died down from yesterdays storm.

First beach of the day was off Glimps Holm island, just north of Burray. Nice walk, despite the weather, walking from Churchill Barrier No2 to No3 along the coast and back.

We continued further along the road and walked at Churchill Barrier No4, just outside Burray Village. It was raining constantly, so no pictures! Returned to the car to find that Bonnie had lost her collar. That's the 3rd in the last month. Just a well i keep a choked lead in the car, and a few spare collars and tags in the caravan (more on this later).

Headed south from here, past St Margarets Hope to the road end at Hoxa. There's a fine circular coastal walk here past the the best preserved remains of WWII batteries on Orkney.

As we reached the coast, offshore the MV Pentalina was approaching port. This is the ferry I arrived on and will depart on tomorrow.

There are a lot of buildings still remaining here. Some were for searchlights, some for gun emplacements, and a variety of buildings for accommodation and 'ablutions'. A lot of concrete was poured here on what must have been a very big activity.

Very 'Orwellesque' structure. The top part was observation, the lower section had a pair of rotating 6 inch guns.

To defend Scapa Flow, there is a battery on each side of the channel into Scapa Flow and a channel wide anti submarine boom.

Returned to the van in improving weather, in fact it got quite warm. Decided to head back to Hobbister (about 10mins away) and do the fine circular walk.

The view over to Waulkmill where we walked yesterday.

A really nice moor/cliff walk. Interestingly, just read in the Orcadian Paper that there was a pod of 3 Killer Whales off this point for the whole of last week. Never know, might see them from the ferry tomorrow.

Returned to the van around 1500. I got a call from a woman in Stromness to say she'd been walking in Burray and found a collar with my number on it. She was more than happy to post it onto me at home. That's the first time I've ever had one returned. Result!


  1. Safe trip home, Iain. Reads like a good week in an island with interesting topography, fascinating history and good, honest people. Will be interested to hear if (a) you think Orkney (and the Orcadians) feel more Scottish or Scandinavian and (b) has it whetted your appetite to visit Shetland, which is very different but always discussed with Orkney.


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