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Cantick Head, as its name suggests, is a headland at the tip of the South Walls peninsula attached to the Orkney island of Hoy.  Surrounded by the sea, Cantick Head is flanked by the gentle waters of Kirk Hope to the north west, the notorious Pentland Firth to the south and overlooks Cantick Sound which is a southern entrance to Scapa Flow.

Several currents and tides meet at the Ruff of Cantick, waves and surf try to reach the cliffs and often crash against each other like mighty white stallions racing for the shore. Even the roughest of seas will have little pools of calm drifting amidst the more turbulent currents, giving the appearance that someone has attempted to pour "oil on troubled waters". 

Sunrise Cantick

Numerous birds and marine life enjoy Cantick, wild flowers grow where they please. Porpoise, Seals and Whales are often seen in  the area, Orcas have been sighted several times each summer. Recent sightings include Minke, Orca & Pilot whales along with 'new' visitors Basking Sharks and Dolphins. 

Kirk Hope bay is a popular birthing ground for Common & Grey Seals from June to December and 'families' can often be seen.  Resident sea birds include Cormorants, Curlews, Great Skuas, Guillemots, many members of the Gull family, Oystercatchers and Shags. Arctic Skuas, Terns, Barnacle Geese, Gannets, Eider ducks and Puffins are amongst the more seasonal visitors

The viewpoint outside the Lighthouse attracts locals and visitors alike, the sea and landscape views are reputed to be the best in Orkney. The ever changing sea is permanently framed by landscapes from the Hoy hills in the northwest to mainland Orkney, the islands of Flotta, Switha, South Ronaldsay, Swona, Stroma in the north and east and to the south-west the unmistakeable outline of Duncansby Head and Scotland's northerly coastline. All around are cliffs and granite rocks interspersed with sandy areas, "balconies" and "seats" have been carved out of the granite by years of sea and wind erosion; it is very easy to lose oneself gazing out to sea watching the birds glide silently by. 




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