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Vat of Kirkbuster & Bay of Houseby

Orkney Islands Walk

County/Area - Orkney Islands - Isle of Stronsay (Orkney)

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.6 miles / 12.4 km    Ascent - 400 feet / 121 metres

Time - 4 hours 10 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 465Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 465Digital Map1:25kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Vat of Kirkbuster & Bay of Houseby
Click image to see photo description.

The island of Stronsay lies in the eastern sector of the Orkney Islands. This walk explores the east coast of Stronsay, and the highlights include the Vat of Kirkbuster, a rugged coastline, the Bay of Houseby and, in season, abundant birdlife. The route follows the coastal path and uses quiet lanes for the inland section of the walk.

The start is the small parking area for the Vat of Kirkbuster (grid ref. HY682241). After parking pass through the gate and follow the enclosed path east to the coast. Turn right and follow the grassy path along the cliff tops to reach the Vat of Kirkbuster a blowhole cut into the cliffs. Continue along the coast path to reach Burgh Head where the path veers south for a two-kilometre section to Lamb Head.

Continue along the coast path (indistinct in places) for a further 1.5 kilometres around the Bay of Houseby. Reaching the Pow, a rocky area of foreshore, turn right up a concrete track (grid ref. HY676221). After just under a kilometre the track leads into a tarmac lane. Continue ahead to reach a junction with the B9060 at the South Schoolhouse. Again, continue ahead soon reaching a bungalow where the lane bends left. Continue along the lane for 600 metres to the next junction (grid ref. HY674276). Turn right (brown sign to Vat of Kirkbuster). At the next junction turn right and continue along the lane to the parking area.

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