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.

Why visit?

Highlights include:

  • 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:

  • birdwatching
  • wildflowers
  • coasts
  • geology
  • scenery

Other information

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

There are waymarked paths on the reserve.


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How to get there


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.

Get directions

Getting onto the reserve

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

Access restrictions

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

Nearest town
Longhope, Orkney (3 mi / 4.8 km)
OS grid ref
Landranger map


What to look for and when

Explore all wildlife


About Hill of White Hamars

Out & about

Nearby reserves

Local group
North of Scotland

Links & downloads

Reserve leaflet

Reserve map


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