Hill of White Hamars

This Orkney reserve has impressive coastal features, including cliffs, numerous caves, natural arches, stacks and large blowholes. Narrow inlets provide excellent short-range viewing opportunities of cliff-nesting seabirds.  

In spring, the reserve blossoms with wildflowers including Scottish primrose, white campion and heath spotted-orchid.  

There are waymarked paths on the reserve.

Grey seal (c) Charlie Phillips

Why visit?

  • Spectacular coastal views
  • Spot the endangered Scottish primrose
  • Remote and wild location
  • Great views of nesting seabirds

Best time to visit?

  • May and Jul/Aug for Scottish primrose

Visit for:

  • Scenery
  • Geology
  • Coasts
  • Wildflowers
  • Birdwatching


The reserve lies on the south coast of South Walls, Orkney, extending over 1.1 miles of shoreline from the east of Helliack to the west of Rise Geo, and about 0.6 miles inland over the Hill of White Hamars. Most people arrive via the Houton-Lyness ferry. Turn left onto the B9047 and continue to the end of the causeway to South Walls, and take the minor road towards Cantick. After 1.5 miles, turn right to Snelsetter. Follow the track and you should find parking just before the buildings.

Getting onto the reserve

Access to the reserve is from the car park. Footpaths are waymarked.

Getting round this reserve

Hil of White Hamars is a working sheep farm. Please keep dogs under close control at all times.


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