The island of Hoy is Orkney’s finest walking country, with the route between the hills going to the valley of Rackwick, where a burn runs into the sea on a beach facing the open Atlantic, guarded by high cliffs.
“There are sandy beaches too in the North Isles, great arcs of shell sand in Sanday and Stronsay, and in Westray where the cliffs rise up to Noup Head with its lighthouse.
“The hills of Eday once produced peat for Scottish distilleries. Rousay’s central hill ground rises steeply too, while on lower ground there is a group of chambered cairns from neolithic times. In neighbouring Egilsay is the ruined church with its round tower, where once St Magnus came.
“North Ronaldsay with its native sheep is reached by air, while in the south are the islands of Scapa Flow, with Flotta in particular retaining a strong presence of wartime buildings.