Orkney’s coastline is littered with sea-stacks, caves and natural arches. Some are famous, like the Old Man of Hoy, but others tend to slip by unnoticed.

That’s certainly the case of North Gaulton Castle. This spectacular and delicate-looking 170-foot stack can be found on the west coast of the Orkney mainland, south of Yesnaby. It’s a lonely part of the coastline but it’s worth taking the time to explore as you’ll be greeted with beautiful scenery and wildlife.

Surprisingly, North Gaulton Castle’s appearance in the BBC Two programme wasn’t its debut on television. It was also featured in a car advert in the early 90s when a vehicle was placed on top by a helicopter.

How to get there

You can park at Yesnaby and walk south, past the Yesnaby Castle seastack, following the coastal path. You can also walk from Stromness to the Bay of Skaill, a route that would take in North Gaulton, Yesnaby and Skara Brae.

In the area

The Brough of Borwick – the cliffs and coastline at Yesnaby are amongst the most dramatic in Orkney, especially during a westerly gale. North of the car park is the Brough of Borwick, an ancient stone structure thought to have been in use for more than a thousand years.

The Bay of Skaill – the beach at the Bay of Skaill, found just below the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, features a beautiful expanse of sand – perfect for a gentle stroll during the summer. If the weather is wild then expect waves to crash into the nearby cliffs and the chance to blow away the cobwebs with some beachcombing.

Skaill House – explore the finest 17th century house in Orkney, full of artefacts and furniture from its 400 years of history. A joint entry ticket with Skara Brae is available.

Find out more

Read about Orkney's West Mainland with our dedicated page. Find out more about accommodation options in the area.

Read about Orkney’s seastacks and explore other west coast walks with the Walk Highlands website.