The village of Longhope sits in the parish of South Walls, connected to the rest of the island of Hoy by a thin strip of land. The surrounding area is in stark contrast to Hoy – expect green fields and gently rolling farmland.
The Longhope Lifeboat was featured in the ‘Britain’s Ancient Capital: Secrets of Orkney’ programme, with the modern craft based at the pier in the village. However, nearby, the Longhope Lifeboat Museum is located in the former lifeboat station and houses the island’s 1932 lifeboat ‘Thomas McCunn’.
The museum also contains stories and photographs from Longhope Lifeboat history, including the 1969 tragedy that saw the entire crew of eight lost during a rescue operation in the Pentland Firth.
The museum is free but donations are welcome. It is open all year but isn’t always manned, although you can phone 01856 701 431 to arrange a tour.
How to get there
There are daily Orkney Ferries sailings to the island of Hoy from Houton (car ferry) and from Stromness (passenger ferry only).
In the area
Longhope Lifeboat Memorial – pay a visit to the Longhope Lifeboat Memorial, commemorating those lost during the disaster nearly fifty years ago.
Hackness Martello Tower and Battery – this impressive coastal defence battery was built to protect merchant shipping during the Napoleonic Wars but, thankfully, never saw action. Now you can climb to the top of the tower for views over Scapa Flow and explore the battery next door.
Hill of White Hamars Nature Reserve – this Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve features impressive cliffs, caves, natural arches and sea-stacks on its coast. You can watch seabirds and, during the spring, see wildflowers bloom – including the rare Primula scotica.
Find out more
Visit the official Hoy website for other recommendations on things to see and do.