Hackness Martello Tower

Orkney | Hoy | Historic building | ★★★

[Hackness Martello Tower]

Martello Towers are distinctive circular towers built in the 19th century to guard against enemy attack. Despite hundreds being built across the UK as a whole, only three were ever constructed in Scotland. The Martello Tower on the remote island of South Walls once guarded Scapa Flow and was never used in combat, but it's the only one of the trio open to the public. Reaching the tower entails a reasonable drive via Longhope from Lyness, itself a ferry journey from "Mainland" Orkney, and the inaccessible location keeps visitor numbers low. All the better for the intrepid few then, and if you're lucky you might get a personalised tour. After scrambling up the metal ladder into the tower itself there are three separate floors to explore: powder magazine, cramped barracks and the gun level itself. But you should also take time to explore the slightly separate battery, including reconstructed barracks.

[Soldiers' barracks]

Location & info

📌 Hackness Martello Tower and Battery ★★★
By minor road end 3 mi east of Longhope, South Walls, G.R.: ND 338913 ///reclining.homes.reason
🚌 Infrequent bus stops on B9047 (1 mi), connecting with ferries from Orkney Mainland | 🚗 Car park
Open daily, April to September | £6 adult / £3.60 child / free for Historic Environment Scotland members

[View over Scapa Flow from the top of the tower]


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