Rackwick Bay – Bothy and Campsite – Hoy, Orkney, Scotland: A superb location beside the Atlantic at 59 degrees north.
The ‘bothy’, provided by the Hoy Trust, is a wonderful, simple shelter, ideal for cooking and socialising. An open fire can be maintained using driftwood and seaweed from the adjacent beach.
The scenery is breathtaking, beside the Ocean, surrounded by cliffs. Excellent, easy walking all around. Highlights include the Old Man of Hoy, Ward Hill, Dwarfie Stane, Berriedale and the local croft called Craws Nest. Best of all though is the campsite and bothy – very hard to leave!
Facilities include running water (untreated), toilet (paper too) and washing soap, use of the bothy and a stone walled grass camp plot, big enough for a dozen tents. Fires and BBQs are common.
Note: I left plenty of tinder and fuel for a fire – please consider others and replennish this supply. “Leave it a little better than you find it“. The fireplace is the heart of the room so treat it carefully and avoid setting fire to the place – especially the lovely heather thatched roof.
Donations for upkeep can be left in an honesty box. Please do help.
Rackwick Bay is beautiful. It is 4 or 5 miles walk from the Moness Pier (ferry to Stromness) and the cafe there is very handy (the pub has closed I believe). No shops. Bring enough food for extra days!!! A telephone and a scattering of houses are nearby, in emergency, but it is otherwise quite remote. A very popular bothy and camp site – expect other people, even in winter – and groups must book in advance. Hoy is magic! Go, enjoy, and respect the fragile nature all around. Tred gently!
There is also a small SYHA hostel in Rackwick, up by the telephone and the path to the Craw’s Nest / path to Old Man.
The bothy – a basic shelter with a concrete floor and no lighting – is in the house called “Burnside” on maps.
Rackwick means ‘rock bay‘ in old norse – you’ll see why when you get there! So you don’t need the word ‘bay’ after it. I have a picture of the rocks in Fire Your Imagination.
Go to Five Senses for info about holidays and getting to Hoy, Orkney, with Malcolm.
See the first BASE jump off Hoy and the sad story of one of the jumpers, here.