Loons - Water Works - West Shore - Town Walk

7.5 miles, with exit points to make a shorter walk

  1. Leave Burnside and head towards the main road, turn left and walk towards town
    for a few hundred yards. At a house called Brig Stanes, turn right. This path takes
    you up through a sheltered housing scheme. Follow the path and you'll find yourself
    on Hillside Road. Turn Right when on this leafy, sloping road.

  2. Follow Hillside Road up, and turn when it turns left. Continue until a fork in the road.

  3. Take the road to the right. This takes you along past a farm called Stairwaddy.
    You'll come to a turn-off with a sign saying 'Oglaby'. Turn along this road and
    follow it for just under one mile.
    You're walking the around 'The Loons' (Old Norse for marshy area)

  4. You'll come to a sign saying 'Water Works'. Turn up this road and follow it up.
    You'll pass the town's reservoir. It's worth taking the steps up to look over it to
    see what wildlife you can see.
    You're looking west towards the Black Craig from here.

  5. Head up past the reservoir, with it to your right. You'll come to a fork in the dirt track.
    You can either walk straight ahead, or turn left. The map continues straight ahead.
    Which ever option you take, you'll end up on the same road, so take whichever
    appeals most.
    You're in Outertown, lots of farming land here. With exceptional views
    over towards Hoy and on a clear day, over to Scotland.

  6. You'll reach a track than runs parallel to the shore (much much higher up!). Not long
    after you land on this track, you'll pass a beautiful cottage on your left that belonged
    to Sylvia Wishart, a local artist. See some of her work in the Pier Arts Centre.
    Follow this track until you come to a group of houses at a rough cross road.

  7. At this cross road, turn right, down a pot-hole ridden track. This is taking you
    down towards the shore. You'll meet a main road.

  8. Continue straight ahead. You'll be walking down a long hill, with intense views
    over the seascape to Hoy. Light will make it appear to change moment by moment.
    The Graveyard will come into view as will Warbeth beach, to it's right.

  9. Once at the cemetery, you can either walk through it, looking at the old stone.
    Or you can turn right and head towards the beach. This is changes from boulders
    to sand depending on tidal forces.

  10. After spending some time here, find the track that follows the coast. It will have
    you walking with the sea to your right. The track becomes more formed once at
    the cemetery. Follow it for just under two miles.
    You are at the West Shore, where you will see the geology of Orkney laid out
    in front of you. As you turn around corners, you'll see Stromness in the distance.
    Orphir is in the far distance. The island of Graemsay is to your right, with Hoy behind.

  11. The town's golf course will appear on your left-side. Day rates are available. Keep walking
    along the road (it's now tarmac-covered). Heading near to the Point of Ness, the road will
    turn right: keep ahead to walk past more golf course, and then head towards the camping
    site. You'll pass old boat yard. Now you're at the bottom end of Stromness.

  12. Now you can stroll through the town. Lots of closes, piers and lanes to explore,
    all with their own history. Why not stop in at the museum, or walk out onto it's pier.
    Look north towards the centre of Stromness: quite breath talking this view is!

  13. Strolling through the streets, continue north until you get to the pier head. Here you
    can walk straight ahead, or turn right, then straight ahead. The latter option takes
    you along the sea, the other, through more street.

  14. Burnside is about half a mile up ahead!
    Enjoy your shower and relaxation after this walk!

    Exit Points to make a shorter walk

    Option 1:
    Brinkies' Brae
    (distance from 2-5 miles)

    At point 2:
    At the fork, instead of turning right, continue ahead, up a sloping hill.
    Turn left. This is taking you over Brinkies Brae, you'll see far from the top of here, and deep
    into the town of Stromness.
    The road joins up with Back Road.
    You can turn right here, to head towards residential areas of Stromness.
    Left will take you down towards the main street. Straight ahead will take you into the
    Old Academy.
    You can walk through this and end up on Franklin Road: a twisty road that's worth exploring.
    Follow it by turning right: you'll end up, after half a mile, up a cobbled lane with a view over
    Scapa Flow. Any lane you follow will take you to the main street. Explore!

    Option 2:
    Loons to West Shore, cutting out Waterworks (good if a wet day)

    At point 4
    Instead of turning up to the waterworks, keep on the straight road. Follow it around a bend.
    You'll come to a fork: go straight ahead. You'll come to the cross road from Point 7.
    Continue with the walk as above from point 7.

    Option 3:
    Reverse the walk!

    Simply reverse the walk, heading for the town, and towards the Point of Ness.
    Along the shore, you'll come to a road which