Explore WWII Hoy and Walls

Welcome to the Island of Hoy Development Trust’s WWII Site Explorer. Here it is possible to get an idea of just how extensive the archaeological legacy of World War Two is on Hoy from the comfort of your digital device.

Site Explorer is a condensed version of a much larger geographical database of sites which is held at the IoHDT Office in Longhope. If you are interested in reading more information about Hoy’s WWII sites and seeing more photographs then you are most welcome to contact the office and arrange a convenient time to visit the archive and use the database.

There are lots of ways to explore the archaeology of WWII on Hoy both digitally and physically. The Site Explorer offers a good starting point showing where you can find sites if you are out and about and in most cases it will also explain what the sites are. If you’d like a to take a more informed journey into the past then why not pick up one of the Lyness Wartime Trail Leaflets, available from most Orkney travel centres, tourist information centres and museums, or look out for a guided walk led by one of the highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff of the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum. As the location of the Royal Navy’s Home Fleet base in WWII, Lyness has one of the highest concentrations of surviving standing buildings dating to the Second World War in Orkney not to mention a wealth of engaging stories to share making it a great place to start.


Try our Wartime Heritage Geocache Trail

For the more adventurous, IoHDT has launched a Wartime Heritage Geocache Trail which takes in sites across Wee Fea Hill, just beyond Lyness. It is a 7 point multi-cache trail with each cache box providing the coordinates to the next site. Each cache contains information to help explain what took place at each of the sites on Wee Fea during WWII and there are also activities in each of the boxes to encourage younger participants to explore the landscape and find out more about the wartime past of Hoy. All you need is a GPS or smart phone with active GPS capability or if you’re good at accurate navigation then a map and compass. You can start your adventure here.


AA Anti-Aircraft OP Observation Post
AASL Anti-Aircraft Searchlight PAD Passive Air Defence
AALMG Anti-Aircraft Light Machine Gun PDO Passive Defence Office
AAOP Anti-Aircraft Observation Post RAF Royal Air Force
ACOS Admiral Commanding Orkney & Shetland REME Royal Electric & Mechanical Engineers
ADIT Horizontal access tunnel into an underground mine RME Royal Marine Engineers
CA Coast Artillery RN Royal Navy
HAA Heavy Anti-Aircraft RYPA Role, Yaw, Pitch, Alter Course
LAA Light Anti-Aircraft UOFS Underground Oil Fuel Store
L/T Land Telegraphy W/T Wireless Telegraphy
LOP Light Observation Post
Glossary of Abbreviations Used in Site Explorer


Start Exploring:

Explore the Hoy & Walls WWII Wartime Heritage sites on this website from anywhere, including at the sites themselves using your GPS enabled digital device, and the Island of Hoy Development Trust’s Site Explorer interactive maps which can be found on the pages below.  The sites have been geographically categorised into the following to aid physical exploration while visiting Hoy.

Why not tell us about your visit to a site and share your experience with others by posting a comment and maybe a photograph on the relevant Site Explorer page. Perhaps you or older relatives have memories, stories or photographs of these sites from during WWII or the years since. If so then please feel free to share your recollections with us in the Comment section at the bottom of the Site Explorer pages.

RNLI Longhope lifeboat
RNLI Longhope

On March 17th 1969 Longhope station suffered one of the worst tragedies in British lifeboat history; the T.G.B. was lost with all eight crew after answering a mayday call during…

Hoy History

Check out Historic Hoy  

Old Man of Hoy
Old Man of Hoy

Rising out of the Atlantic Ocean to a height of 450 feet (137m), The Old Man of Hoy is the UK’s tallest sea stack. Separated from land by the erosive…

Hoy Community

Explore our Community from Hoy’s own Newsletter — “The Blether” — to its Art & Culture scene.

Chapel of St Colm and St Margaret - Melsetter House
Melsetter House

Melsetter House is a private home overlooking the bay of Longhope. The current house was built, incorporating an earlier property, in the late 1890’s by the famous Arts & Crafts…

Travel to and on Hoy

Hoy is accessed from Orkney mainland by short sea crossing operated by Orkney Ferries   Houton — Lyness 01856 811397 Vehicle & passenger timetables: Summer — May to September 2016 Autumn — Winter — Spring…

Rackwick Beach
Hello from Hoy, Orkney, Scotland

If you are looking for a guide on the sights, sites and services available to you as a visitor to, resident (or prospective resident) of Hoy and Walls, delve further…

postbox news
Cantick Head Lighthouse
Cantick Head

As its name suggests, Cantick Head is a headland at the tip of the Walls peninsula attached to the Orkney island of Hoy. Surrounded by the sea, Cantick is flanked…

Longhope Lifeboat Museum
Longhope Lifeboat Museum Trust

Patron: HRH The Princess Royal Scottish Charity number SC032029 The Trust was funded in 2000 by local people following the offer of the former Longhope Lifeboat “Thomas McCunn”, the redundant…

A guided walk around Lyness led by IoHDT Wartime Heritage Officer Gavin Lindsay
The Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum

The main exhibition illustrates the importance of Scapa Flow as a base for the British fleet throughout history, concentrating on its role during two world wars. It includes photographs, text, artefacts, films…

bothy Rackwick Hoy
Rackwick Bay

Nestled among the Hoy Hills is beautiful Rackwick Bay.  This crofting township is considered one of the most beautiful places in Orkney. Bounded by towering 200m cliffs and steep heathery…

walk to Rackwick
RSPB Hoy Reserve

Just past the main entrance to the RSPB Hoy Reserve is Sandy Loch — there is basic car parking and you can walk around the loch or through the glen to…

Betty Corrigall's Grave
Betty Corrigall’s Grave

Betty Corrigall’s Grave is reputed to be the loneliest in the UK, yet probably one of the most visited in the Orkney Islands. Young Betty fell under the spell of…

Lyrawa Viewpoint

During WWII Lyrawa was an anti-aircraft and coastal defence battery; in more peaceful times the viewpoint offers stunning views of Orkney’s many islands.

Dwarfie Stane Hoy Orkney
Dwarfie Stane

Dwarfie Stane is a huge block of sandstone in which a Neolithic burial chamber has been cut.   It is believed to date from around 3000 BC. The tomb was…

Heldale Water

Heldale Water is a large fresh water loch in a peaceful setting a couple of miles off the beaten track above Longhope.   Brown Trout fishing is reputed to be…

Pegal Burn

On the road North from Lyness there is an attractive picnic area to your right. Under the stone bridge runs Pegal Burn, which rises in the foothills of the Knap…

The Royal Longhope
Bars and Dining

HOY HOTEL, LYNESS Public Bar & Resturant 01856 791377   ROYAL HOTEL, LONGHOPE Public House 01856 701276   SCAPA FLOW MUSEUM AND VISITOR CENTRE, LYNESS Café ~ seasonal 01856 791300…

bothy Rackwick Hoy

On these pages get into the ‘nitty gritty’  of where you might stay and eat…

Martello Tower Hackness Hoy
Martello Towers

Martello Towers began to appear along England’s coastline around 1805 as a defence against invasion from the sea, particularly by Napoleon.   The Longhope Martello’s are unique in Scotland and…

scottish primrose - primula scotica
Hill of White Hamars

Hill of White Hamars has attractive coastal cliffs with caves, natural arches, stacks and a large blow-hole. The many narrow inlets provide good opportunities for short-range viewing of cliff-nesting seabirds.…

St Johns Head, Hoy
St John’s Head

At 1,128 feet (335m) St John’s Head is the highest vertical sea cliff in the UK. The horizontal beds of sandstone at St John’s Head have weathered to give dramatic vertical…

Ward Hill by Barry Jones
Hoy Hills

Hoy means the high island so the Hoy hills are a sight to behold among the generally flat landscape of Orkney.    


More info and an accommodation search facility is available from Visit Scotland Bed and Breakfast QUOYDALE Hoy Double /Twin Ensuite Evening meals available   Hostels HOY CENTRE Hoy Sleeps 32 Family…

WWII Hoy Then & Now - The Royal Marines Marching Towards Haybrake
Wartime Heritage

The Island of Hoy is host to one of the best preserved and least disturbed World War Two defence landscapes in the United Kingdom and can comfortably claim to have…

Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery
Royal Naval Cemetery

Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery is dedicated to the men who gave their lives to World Wars I & II The inscription around the base of the central Cross reads: THEIR…

approaching Old Man of Hoy from Rackwick
Hoy island guides

Try the following sites for more info on Orkney in general and Hoy in particular         Visit Scotland’s Orkney and Hoy sections           Visit Orkney and their Hoy section…

Rackwick beach

Hoy means ‘High Island’ from the Old Norse ‘HAEY’. It is the second largest island in Orkney at 57 square miles. The north and west are hilly and more ‘Highland’…

hoy kirk
Hoy Kirk Heritage Centre

The parish of Hoy (population approx. 40) situated in the north end of the island of Hoy covers Rackwick, Moaness and Braebister and extends about 9 miles to the grave…

IoHDT wind turbine

The Island of Hoy Development Trust (IoHDT) is a charitable organisation founded in 2007. It’s role is to enhance social, educational, economic and environmental aspect of the island. It is…

longhope harbour

  Passenger & cycle ferry to and from Flotta, Lyness & Houton Local Taxis & Tours: Mr & Mrs Hill — 01856 791240 — Coach, Mini Bus, Taxi & Tours…

Scapa Flow Visitor Centre & Naval Museum at Lyness

Vehicle and passenger ferry to and from Longhope, Flotta & Houton Public toilets & waiting room Taxis & Tours: Mr Clarke — 01856 791315 — Mini Bus, Taxi & Tours…

Moaness pier Hoy

Passenger ferry to and from Graemsay & Stromness Taxis & Tours: Mr Clarke — 01856 791315 — Mini Bus, Taxi & Tours Mr Thomson — 01856 791263 — Mini Bus & Taxi…

Rackwick Hostel

Car Park Public toilets Bothy – Open to the public for summer, no advance booking required, it may be used by a number of guests at any one time Public…

IoHDT wind turbine
Wind Turbine

The Wind Turbine was installed in 2011. The various sections of the wind turbine completed the journey from Lyness to Ore Brae and were assembled in situ. Here are some photographs…

Membership of IoHDT

To apply for membership of the Isle of Hoy Development Trust (IoHDT) please download, complete and submit the application form

IoHDT wind turbine
IoHDT Board Members

The following are the board members of the Island of Hoy Development Trust (IoHDT), the positions held and sub-group involvement, including the Community Enterprise Worker.   Deborah Jaques (Chair) Ian…

Old Man of Hoy

Check out Hoy’s Historical and Geographical Places of Interest

ND29NE 2 - H7 Lyrawa HAA Battery
LoC Survey: Hoy and Walls WWII Archaeological Sites

  The above map is a summary of all the sites from the other geographical sections (Hoy: , North Walls and South Walls) on this website coupled with the WWII Hoy & Walls Wartime…

Map of Wartime Heritage Sites

[bgmp-map zoom=”11″ height=”660″ type=”hybrid” center=]  

Legacies of Conflict

Hoy & Walls Wartime Heritage Project 2013-14 Project Background In October 2013, the Island of Hoy Development Trust (IoHDT) gained funding from ScotGrad Graduate Placement Scheme, Orkney Islands Council’s Community…

Y073 - Defensive Firing Position on Wee Fea
Explore WWII Hoy and Walls

Welcome to the Island of Hoy Development Trust’s WWII Site Explorer. Here it is possible to get an idea of just how extensive the archaeological legacy of World War Two…

Hoy Ferry

Travelling to Orkney and Travel on and around Hoy is outlined in the pages below but some good guides and help can be found at: Visit Scotland Discover Orkney Traveline…

IoHDT Accounts
hoy minutes
IoHDT Minutes
The Blether – Hoy’s Newsletter


Hoy Half Marathon

ENTRY NOW OPEN FOR 2016! We are pleased to announce that entry is now open for the 30th Hoy Half Marathon on 12 June 2016. The number of entrants is…

Hoy Hounds Hoops
Hoy Hounds

Hoy Hounds was formed in 2006 by a group of dog owners wishing to enhance their relationship with their dogs. Over the years, we have held many agility displays both here…

hoy kirk
Friends of the Hoy Kirk

Hoy Kirk was completed in 1892 and served the parish of Hoy, in the north end of the island, including Rackwick, Moaness and Braebister, as well as the island of…

Flotta, Hoy and Walls Parish Football Team
Flotta, Hoy and Walls Parish Football Team

    Check out the Flotta, Hoy and Walls Parish Football Team facebook page  

Garden Party Bunting
Hoy & Walls Garden Club

The Hoy & Walls Garden Club was originally set up twenty seven years ago by Wright Atkinson and a few of the residents of Hoy & Walls. At present we…

Ward Hill
Hoy Outdoor Centre

The Hoy Centre was formally the primary school for Hoy, converted to an Outdoor Centre in the 1960’s. The Centre was enlarged in 1988 and then completely refurbished in mid…

Longhope regatta
Longhope Sailing Club

Longhope Sailing Club was formed in 1933 when a group of sailing enthusiasts, led by Capt. Dunnet, met in the Longhope (now the Royal) Hotel. Membership fees were discussed at the…

Hoy Hoolie 2015
Hoy Hoolie

The Hoy Hoolie is organised by a large number of community volunteers that work as a sub group of the Island of Hoy Development Trust. The main body of the…

Form completion
IoHDT Downloads
IoHDT Newsletter
postbox community
Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies – small text files that are placed on your machine to help the site provide a better user experience. In general, cookies are used to retain user…

The Blether
Subscribe to The Blether

Complete the form below to Sign up to receive the Hoy Orkney Newsletter – The Blether – which is our bi-monthly Newsletter relaying (as you would expect) Info & News relating…

The Blether
Thank you for subscribing to The Blether

Thank you for subscribing to The Blether – Hoy’s bi-monthly Newsletter. We will include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each Newsletter in case it all gets too much for you,…

Hoy sea cliff walk
Hoy Geography

Explore Hoy’s Geographical sites & sights — those places which are interesting from a natural perspective

Wartime Defences Map of Hoy 1943
Hoy & Walls in WWII

The successful delivery of the Legacies of Conflict Project has relied upon a sound understanding of the wartime historic environment and the contextual narrative in which it is set. To…

postbox news

our address Island of Hoy Development Trust Revenge, Naval Halls, Longhope, Stromness, Orkney, KW16 3PG phone/fax 01856 701356 e-mail liz.davidson.iohdt@gmail.com or dea.johnston.iohdt@gmail.com   Say hello — we like that — or please…

Events Calendar

  Next 7 days’ Events:  

R053 - Accommodation Hut Base for HY1.3 Rackwick Bay Camp
LoC Survey: Hoy — The South Burn Valley & Rackwick

The different site types are shown in different colours on the map.       other Explore WWII Hoy & Walls pages  

Travel to Orkney

Travel to Mainland Orkney Travelling to the far North of Scotland by road or rail is an experience especially if you enjoy fabulous scenery. Take time out to visit John…

Buses Photo
Community Bus

Please click  for the community bus timetables. Concessionary fares available A day’s notice is required for the carriage of non-collapsible wheelchairs. For further information, please contact: phone 01856 701356 mobile 07833…

longhope harbour

Get info on the various Hoy hubs (or centres of the action!) including its villages and Ferry terminals.

The Blether
The Blether

Get the most recent hot off the press edition of The Blether  — Hoy’s Newsletter — or explore past editions…



HY91A - Bomb Crater near Braebuster
LoC Survey: Hoy — Quoyness to Braebuster

  The different site types are shown in different colours on the map.       other Explore WWII Hoy & Walls pages  

weather windy seas

Take a look at the current and upcoming Weather for Hoy and surrounding areas

Hoy and Walls Health Centre
Hoy and Walls Health Centre

The team at the Hoy & Walls Health Centre provides general practice, community nursing and emergency care for all residents, and for our numerous summer visitors. phone: 01856 701209 e-mail:…

HY16 - Weapons Pit on Lyrawa Hill
LoC Survey: Hoy — Lyrawa Hill

  The different site types are shown in different colours on the map.       other Explore WWII Hoy & Walls pages  

Scad Head CA Searchlights
Hoy WWII Archaeology

The proof of Hoy’s incredible WWII legacy lies in the scale and quality of the remains that survive. The island-wide community archaeological survey that was undertaken as part of the…

WWII Hoy Then & Now - West Pier, Lyness
Then and Now – Hoy at War: A Photographic Journey

This is an embedded PowerPoint presentation of “Then and Now – Hoy at War: A Photographic Journey by Gavin J Lindsay”.    Boom Defence June 1938 Boom defence personnel arrived…

The Spanish Imposition
Gable End Theatre Company

The Gable End Theatre Company Limited was born in 2000 when work started to transform the semi-derelict old school buildings at North Walls into a community theatre. There was already…

Skerry CA Battery study
Get Involved

Although the Legacies of Conflict: Hoy & Walls Wartime Heritage Project came to an end in 2014, there is a still a lot to learn about Hoy’s WWII story, about…

HY20SE 2.04 - Scad Head Coast Artillery Battery Auxiliary Engine House
LoC Survey: North Walls — Rysa to Pegal

  The different site types are shown in different colours on the map.       other Explore WWII Hoy & Walls pages  

rackwick plough
Hoy & Walls Places of Interest Map


pegal burn
IoHDT Editable Places of Interest Map

Why not add your own Hoy & Walls Places of Interest to our editable Google map of Hoy & Walls below?  These can be places you like to visit on…

North Walls Healthy Living Centre

Orkney’s fourth Healthy Living Centre opened its doors on Saturday June 24 2006 at the North Walls Community School. The Centre has high quality fitness equipment and is supervised by…

IoHDT archaeological survey kit in action
Further information

There are a range of resources available at the Island of Hoy Development Trust Office in Longhope to help you find out more about Hoy’s WWII heritage and get you…

HY32A-B - Haybrake Camp Ablutions Huts
LoC Survey: North Walls — Lyness

The different site types are shown in different colours on the map.       other Explore WWII Hoy & Walls pages

walk to Rackwick
Hoy Ramblers

Our aim is to have a walk on the first Sunday of each month, unless this clashes with another event. Walks will vary in difficulty, but most will be 3-4…

HY75B - Crockness Camp Mess - Cookhouse
LoC Survey: North Walls — Crockness

  The different site types are shown in different colours on the map.       other Explore WWII Hoy & Walls pages  

hoy kirk
Parish Profile

Please click HERE to access a profile of the Parish of Hoy and Walls.

W035A - UOFS Rear Access Tunnel
LoC Survey: North Walls — Wee Fea

  The different site types are shown in different colours on the map.       other Explore WWII Hoy & Walls pages  

HY90 - CoastGuard Watchers Hut
LoC Survey: North Walls — North Ness to Brims

  The different site types are shown in different colours on the map.       other Explore WWII Hoy & Walls pages  

HY80D - Nissen Type Hut Base
LoC Survey: South Walls

  The different site types are shown in different colours on the map.       other Explore WWII Hoy & Walls pages  

ND29SE 4 - Underground Oil Fuel Store
WWII Hoy & Walls RCAHMS Sites

  The map shows the WWII Hoy & Walls Wartime Heritage Sites currently listed in the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) database – the relevant links to that…

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