Climbs 4
Rocktype Sandstone (hard)

Faces S

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Solitude (E2 5b), North Gaulton Castle - 23/07/16 © Kevin Woods

Crag features

North Gaulton castle is a sea stack found in a lonely part of Orkney's west mainland, situated roughly half way between Outertown in Stromness and the car park at Yesnaby.

The stack is very much the big brother of Yesnaby Castle, as they are both of similar dimensions and composition and both are set in an amphitheatre of cliffs which guard against any approach. However, North Gaulton is almost twice the size of Yesnaby Castle.

Approach notes

The most convenient approach is from Mousland Farm, (GR HY 229128) follow the signs for Birsay as you leave Stromness then take the Cauldhame road (sign posted) to Mousland farm. From here it is about a mile walk across open fields to the cliffs that guard the stack.

The easiest way to the base of the stack is undoubtedly by boat. But for those of a more adventurous nature, abseil to the sea level platforms at the base of the cliffs to the south of the bay. From here it is a 40 metre swim to the wave washed platforms at the base of the landward end of the stack. Originally access to the stack was by a massive Tyrolean traverse, roped between the headlands to the north and south of the stack (a distance of 200m). With rope stretch this gave access to the big ledge at the top of the first pitch.


No guides found for this crag

I enjoyed watching Andy Torbet on this stack on BBC2 'Britain's Ancient Capital: Secrets of Orkney episode 1' recently. Unfortunately only a short clip is currently available on iPlayer.
Vanessa Simmons - 13/Mar/17
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
1 Out of the Deep HVS 5a ** 4
2 Solitude E2 5b * 2
Climb name Grade
3 Original Route HVS  
4 Atlantic Odyssey HVS  

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Kevin Woods