Hoy is an island near Stromness, famous for its sea stack of Orcadian red sandstone perched on a plinth of igneous basalt, 137 metres high, affectionately known as ‘The Old Man of Hoy.
It was climbed for 15 million b & w television viewers on the weekend 8th and 9th July, 1967, ending with Chris Bonnington doing a late evening abseil from the summit.
There is a well paved path from the Rackwick Hostel to The Old Man which may be a good thing or not, depending on whether you want to keep wild wild or make it tame for everyone.
The composer Peter Maxwell Davies lives here in Rackwick – a favourite haunt of the writer George Mackay Brown.
Let no voice idly whisper here.
Between those strong red cliffs,
under that great mild sky
lies Orkney’s last enchantment,
the hidden valley of light.
– 1950 GEORGE MACKAY BROWN