Old Man of Hoy – Orkney, Scotland - Atlas Obscura
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Orkney, Scotland

Old Man of Hoy

A red sandstone freestanding monolith rises out of the sea in northern Scotland. 

The Old Man of Hoy isn’t actually a man at all, or a human being for that matter. It’s a red sandstone monolith nearly 450 feet high, rising out of the sea in northern Scotland, and part of the Orkney archipelago.

The monolith is a journey to get to and popular with climbers. If you choose to not visit on foot, you may catch a glimpse of the towering stone sea stack from a boat or the ferry running from the mainland to Orkney. The Rackwick Bay and cliffs in the area are worth the visit alone.

Know Before You Go

By car or bike from the Lyness ferry about 25km in total. 20km on a single track road and the last 4.5 or so on trail. There may also be tour services.

Park by the Rackwick bay in the free and open lot, or attempt to park up the road by the hostel if you can find the driveway. The site is not well signed from the roads. Once you are at the bay, just head to the right and up and towards the few bothys on the hillside on any trail you see. They will line up with the trail to the Old Man. Winds can be strong, bring layers and water... and of course a camera!