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".
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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