We are surrounded by history in Orkney and at Annie's Place, we overlook the 16th Century Earl's Palace.

Off season Earls Palace sunshine

However, a 15 minute drive takes you to another castle, but not the ruins of luxurious accommodation, but rather the remains of ancient rock formations created by the pounding seas.

This trip along Yesnaby cliffs takes you to "one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in Orkney".....and perhaps also in Scotland?

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Walk along this coastal path for twenty minutes, taking in the stunning sea views. But, take care as the cliff edges drop straight to the sea.

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Suddenly your view of the dramatic, jagged cliffs is enhanced by the incredible Yesnaby Castle, standing proudly off the shoreline. The "castle" is described in the link above as "a delicate sea-stack with a natural arch" but as you can see from the photo, it is only delicate because one day storm waves will succeed in crashing this incredible, natural stucture into the sea.

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Stand and admire before continuing to walk along the coastal path for as long as you want in the direction of Stromness.

In the distance are views of the 335m St John's Head of Hoy; the highest vertical sea cliff in the UK.

In fine weather you can see the Old Man of Hoy (another sea-stack) tacking on at the end.  

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On your return journey you should check out the waterfall that springs from the burn the path crosses,

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Once past the disused quarry, turn off onto a side path to the left of the main track and stand to admire the sea swirling below you at the double cairns.

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Look along the coastline to see the lighthouse in the distance on Brough of Birsay. 

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On the final stretch back to your car, admire the peaceful, fertile farming scene that is in direct contrast to the drama of the sea and its rugged cliffs.

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Before getting into your car, walk with care to a safe distance from the cliff edges where, if tides and the the sea are favourable, you will gasp at magestic waves surfing the rocks or crashin against the cliffs. But do take care as there have been fatalities here. 

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