The Orkneys can be anyone's Ultima Thule. They have the remoteness, the preserved authenticity, the wilderness of cliffs, bays and seas, quaint towns with an atmosphere and a history of their own. And they were certainly on the route of Pytheas the Greek when he adventured on the northern icy waters.
On the west coast of Hoy, one of the Orkney Islands, there are two great sceneries that attract visitors to the rather wild coast : Rackwick Bay and the Old Man of Hoy, a slim but high rock column.
Coordinates: 58° 52' N, 03° 23' W.
The tiny settlement, previously a farm, was converted to a boothy for visitors, a hostel and a small museum.
Rackwick has its own microclimate and is often warmer than elsewhere in Orkney. The terrain is hard to walk on but the views and landscape make the suffering worthwhile!
Rackwick is also the home to the Crows Nest Museum and the Rackwick Hostel.
The Rackwick Hostel
Old Man of Hoy
Coordinates: 58° 15′ N, 5° 23′ W
A handful of houses are scattered around Rackwick Bay, but there’s no shop, pub or café which is probably the reason that the place has retained its charm. But also reminds us of how har life used to be there:
No bloody sport, no bloody games,
No bloody fun; the bloody dames
Won't even give their bloody names
atribb. to Captain Hamish Blair
Has inspired this little jewel on the piano, Rackwick Bay by Phamie Gow: