Orkney is a great place to take dogs and there are some great walks to be had. There are wide sandy beaches, amazing cliffs, hills with stunning views and lovely moorland walks dotted with wild flowers. Your dog will have a great time in Orkney, and you’ll love the fresh air and peeping birds overhead! Here are some great walks for you and your dog in Orkney!
1. Skaill Beach
Skaill Beach is a wonderful beach for dogs – it’s a wide sandy bay on the West Mainland of Orkney. Dogs will love charging across the sand and you’ll love the clean air. Skara Brae is close by, and the toilet near the car park at the top of the beach has a dog waste bin and a tap for rinsing mucky paws!
2. Crantit Trail
A popular walk with Kirkwall dog owners, the Crantit Trail is located on the outskirts of Kirkwall close to Scapa Beach. The walk leads to the beach itself and has dog waste bins. This bracing walk is popular because it is not that far out of the centre of town, yet feels like being in the countryside.
3. Grimeston to Stoneyhill and Harray Loch
One of my favourite walks, the Grimeston Road runs through Harray, and meets the Stoneyhill Road (which runs behind Maeshowe). This walk takes you close to the Harray Loch and the views over the loch, taking in the Ring of Brodgar and the hills of Hoy, are lovely.
4. Waulkmill Bay
Waulkmilll is an expanse of clean sand on the shore of Scapa Flow. The beach is so flat that when the sea comes in you can paddle in shallow water for some distance. For this reason it’s a perfect place to let your dog have a good run. There’s a steep walk down a path to and from the beach. Like Skaill there’s a toilet with has a dog waste bin and a tap for mucky pups!
5. Mull Head and the Gloup
Mull Head and the Gloup is located on the East Mainland of Orkney. This is a great place for long walks with your dog incorporating the Gloup (a collapsed sea cave), the Brough of Deerness and Mull Head Nature Reserve. During this walk, where you’ll see superb cliff scenery and plenty of seabirds, dogs should be kept on a lead at all times.
6. Point of Ness
The Point of Ness is at the very south tip of Stromness and is used as a camping site during summer. It’s a great place to walk to, and there are panoramic views over Stromness harbour. You’ll find dog waste bins at the Point of Ness and public toilets too. Make sure you stop to wave to the Hamnavoe as it passes by!
7. Brough of Birsay
In the North West of Orkney, this tidal island is a popular destination with gorgeous seaviews! There are dog waste bins here, and a walk over to the Brough is recommended when the tide is low. Step with caution over the causeway! Dogs will love visiting the Brough of Birsay and the surrounding beach – and there’s a great walk round to Skipi Geo to see the whalebone; a famous Birsay landmark.
8. Wideford Hill
Wideford is the highest hill on the Orkney mainland, located on the outskirts of Kirkwall. This walk might be one for the fitter dog and owner as is quite steep. There are various paths and routes to the top and the view (pictured) of the North Isles of Orkney is a fantastic reward!
Had the misfortune to do work experience with NorthLink Ferries! She’s an animal lover who owns four horses, two cats, a rabbit and a dog named Ozzy, who enjoys walks!