One of the most famous coastal features around the coast of Scotland is the Old Man of Hoy, a tall sandstone sea stack which featured in a live BBC outside broadcast in 1967 when Chris Bonnington and other climbers took part in the Great Climb. The stack is within the North Hoy RSPB Reserve, where in summer rare red-throated divers can be seen. Although it is the second largest of the Orkney Islands, the population of the island is less than 300. This is presumably due to the terrain: Hoy is a high, rugged island, in fact the name Hoy comes from the Old Norse for "high island". The main town on the island is Lyness, which is linked by ferry to the island of South Walls, the island of Flotta in Scapa Flow and to Houton on Orkney Mainland. During World War II, Lyness was the base for HMS Proserpine, the main base for the fleet at Scapa Flow. There is another ferry from Moness to Graemsay and Stromness. Hoy's most imposing house is Melsetter House, dating from 1738 and open to visitors by appointment.
Map of the area.