Lyrawa Hill & Betty Corrigall's grave

Orkney | Hoy | Viewpoint & grave | ★★

[Water of Hoy]

One narrow and winding strip of tarmac links southern and northern Hoy. Travelling northbound, the road climbs high across Hoy's moorland interior. At the high point a lochan suddenly comes into view, unimaginatively titled Water of Hoy. Stop in the unmarked layby and follow the short boardwalk to Betty Corrigall's grave: the eventual resting place of a 27 year-old lady whose partner deserted her and ran away to sea after she fell pregnant in the 1770s. Unable to bear the shame, she first attempted to drown in the ocean off Hoy, before successfully hanging herself in a nearby barn. Taking her own life denied her a Christian burial, so she was laid to rest on unconsecrated ground close to the Water of Hoy. Even in death she seemed unable to find peace, her body being accidentally disturbed multiple times by peat cutters and Scapa Flow soldiers; only now does a small headstone afford her dignity. Given her desire to be left alone, perhaps it's fitting that the grave's path is unsignposted. Hundreds of tourists must pass by each summer, but few stop to pay their respects. A track branching off a little further along the road (this time signposted) leads to the high point of Lyrawa Hill, scattered with the remains of wartime defences. This is another poignant location, this time from which to gaze out over Scapa Flow, today a graveyard of sunken vessels.

[Betty Corrigall's grave]

📌 Betty Corrigall's grave
Off the B9047 just south of the Water of Hoy, G.R.: ND 280998 ///currently.wipe.dancer
Always open | Free

Anything else? Access to the grave is on foot by a short boardwalk, from the unmarked layby at the south end of the Water of Hoy.

📌 Lyrawa Hill viewpoint
Off the B9047 by the Water of Hoy, G.R.: ND 285997 ///pushing.saddens.punchy
Always open | Free

Anything else? The viewpoint is signposted from the B9047, a few hundred metres up a stony and potholed track. You could try to drive along it, but it's probably better to walk from the signpost.

[View over Scapa Flow from Lyrawa Hill viewpoint]

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