Yesnaby Cliffs Walk

The Yesnaby cliffs are a popular tourist spot on Orkney, probably because there’s a road that leads up to it and a decent sized car park that is the firing point of the World War II anti-aircraft firing range.

Yesnaby carpark showing AA gun mounting points

The circular mounting points for the AA guns can clearly be seen in the concrete and crews from ships moored in Scapa Flow would come here to practice firing at targets towed by aircraft (including Defiants, Skuas, Martinets and Cheaspeaks) based at H.M.S. Tern (R.N.A.S. Twatt).

Yesnaby carpark showing AA gun mounting points

Near the carpark is the Brough of Bigging which is a promontory which has views from Hoy to Marwick Head.

Panorama from Brough of Bigging showing Hoy to Marwick Head

Further on there is the Castle of Qui Ayre, an arch that is still – just – attached to the cliffs.

Castle of Qui Ayre

On the other side of this is the stack known as Yesnaby Castle.

Yesnaby Castle

Waking further round this back the path heads up hill along the edge of Inga Ness and becomes significantly less trafficked, it’s obvious that the vast majority of visitors don’t venture much past Yesnaby Castle.

Yesnaby Castle and Garthna Geo

Further along the cliffs past Inga Ness is Harra Ebb where the cliff tops slope down more gently to the sea.  There were a number of seals round the rocks here.

Harra Ebb

Next is the point of Lyregeo which features an impressive cave.  This coast line is a great example of a school geography lesson with the tag line “cracks, caves, arches, stacks and stumps” which are the stages of erosion on this kind of coast.

Point of Lyre Geo

At the furthest point we walked to (and had our lunch before turning back) is North Gaulton Castle which was used for a Rover advert.

North Gaulton Castle