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The Gloup, Deerness Brough & Mull Head

Orkney Islands Walk

County/Area - Orkney Islands - Orkney Mainland

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 4.0 miles / 6.5 km    Ascent - 550 feet / 167 metres

Time - 2 hours 30 minutes    Grade - easy

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 461Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 461Digital Map1:25kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - The Gloup, Deerness Brough & Mull Head
Click image to see photo description.

This short circular Orkney Mainland walk offers an interesting insight into the coast at Mull Head. The highlights are the Gloup, a collapsed cave, Deerness Brough and the headland. In addition, the area sees abundant birdlife in season.

The start is the Mull Head carpark (grid ref. HY590079) on the north-east coast of Deerness. Nearby is the Mull Head Visitor Centre. After parking follow the path to the coast. You soon pass the Gloup is a collapsed cave 80 metres wide, 40 metres long and 25 metres deep which ends in a land bridge on the coast. Reaching the sea turn left and follow the coast path north.

After a kilometre of easy walking along the cliff tops you reach the Deerness Brough, a grass topped rocky island, which was connected to the mainland many centuries ago. A steep descent to the bottom of Little Burrageo is followed by a steep, narrow ascent along the south face of the Brough to reach the summit. A safety rope is in place to assist the precipitous ascent (and descent). Once on the Brough you will see the remains of a chapel, which was part of a much greater complex of buildings.

Return to the mainland and continue north on the coast path to reach the Chip of Mull, the most northerly point at Mull Head. The path turns west and passes an OS trig column before heading south-west. Continue past a rock arch and at the next fence (grid ref. HY582090) turn inland. Continue along the fence for 600 metres and turn right. Continue ahead for 200 metres to reach track. Turn left and follow the track back towards the start. The track bends sharp left and passes in front of the visitor centre to reach the car park which is on your left.

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