Hackness Martello Tower
Hackness Martello Tower
4.5
Historic Sites
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  • George
    Glasgow, United Kingdom7 contributions
    So so interesting.
    Probably about the 4th or 5th time i visited the site, this time with my whole family. The tours are added to on each visit, as more information is discovered over the years. The guide (Glen) is passionate about the period in question, and i was astounded by his level of knowledge and his understandable way of presenting the site to visitors. He also does his own research so a lot of the information will not be found in any general guide books. You are not rushed either. it was quiet and we were there over 2 hours Its a really hard site to visit as you have to get to Hoy first. Its without doubt, the best non neolithic site on the islands. Tours of this nature are made or broke by the guides and this guy is top drawer Go see it.
    Traveled with family
    Written June 2, 2022
  • Flora P
    3 contributions
    Highlight of trip so far
    Really fantastic tour, with a very knowledgeable guide. I had absolutely no idea what i was going to, and will admit, on first impressions was a tad underwhelmed. However (despite being very early for our booked tour) the guide was brilliant, and explained everything in really engaging way. Obviously not as ancient as some sites on orkney, but really really fascinating and the enthusiasm for the place in infectious! Also- be aware access is up very steep stair/ladder. My 68 year mother managed completely fine, but be aware if you have mobility problems/vertigo.
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 15, 2022
  • Mary KB
    6 contributions
    A must-see site for understanding the history of the Orkneys
    What a fascinating place - we ahd a great tour from a very knowledgeable guide. The highlight was climbing up the Rapunzel tower and seeing the canon at the top. It really helps put the Orkney archipelago in a historical context that I wasn't aware of. Fascinating, top marks to guide Glen Moon
    Written June 8, 2022
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
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Vanessa C
Birmingham, UK47 contributions
Jul 2017 • Couples
Our guide, Glen, was a pleasure to chat with as he had a wealth of information and knowledge which he clearly enjoyed sharing. I had no idea prior to our visit how vital Hoy and Longhope Bay had been in both the first and second world wars. I absolutely loved this visit and would strongly recommend it.
Written July 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Peter-T-Summer2013
Stirling, UK30 contributions
Aug 2013 • Family
This was the second time we have visited this excellent Historic Scotland site. This time round, with our 8 year old daughter, we were pleasantly surprised to find the same humorous and informative custodian as our previous visit 10 years ago! Both the Martello Tower and the Barracks, still in original layout, have a really interesting history and our daughter loved trying on the replica uniforms and hats covering all eras of the site's history. This place is well worth visiting.
Written August 22, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Graham2124
Glasgow, UK33 contributions
Sep 2019
We are members of Historic Scotland and a trip here had been recommended by local friends. We arrived expecting to wander around reading boards and were taken aback when we were given a guided tour on our own!

We tend not to follow tours generally as they can be information overload and you are dragged round in a group, but Andy, the guide, was a really nice bloke, very informative and we got so much more out of it than we would have done as we were able to chat and ask questions.

Very interesting history in any event, but made so much better with the tour - no booking necessary!
Written September 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

118lindsaya
Dundee, UK6 contributions
Jul 2019 • Friends
I thought this would be a boring, quick visit to another tower. Quite the opposite! Andy, from Historic Scotland, gave us a very informative tour of the barracks, the gun battery and the tower. It’s amazing how much thought and engineering was put into the building of the Hackness site which Andy explained really well. Only £6 per adult and free with the Historic Scotland card. Very good value for money and definitely worth a visit. For info, to get into the tower there is a metal stair case about 3 metres high.
Written July 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

glen1goodboy
Cupar, UK91 contributions
Jun 2019 • Couples
The Hackness Tower was built around 1813 as a defence against American privateers, America then being at War with Great Britain. It is a stocky, solid building which can house eight men (one NCO and seven privates) and boats a large cannon on the top. The views from it over the west entry to Scapa Flow are spectacular and the informative guide can tell you a lot about how it was used - not only in the war of 1812-13 but in the First World War. It is a most unusual thing, a relic of a time when war was a good deal more 'primitive' than now ; the whole idea of American sailng ships crossing the Atlantic and entering the Flow to prey on British vessels only to be met by the fire power of this huge gun, is mind-boggling!
Written July 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

peediequine
Orkney Islands, UK86 contributions
Sep 2013 • Friends
This is one of the few Martello towers still in good condition in Britain built against invasion in the eighteenth century. It is on the island of Hoy which is a 40 minute ferry ride from mainland Orkney and in the care of Historic Scotland. If you take your car you need to book. You do need transport to get to it - energetic types could cycle. The tower still has the soldiers' quarters and Historic Scotland have turned it into a vivid display. Need to be able to climb up a ladder to get into the tower but the view from the gun turret at the top is worth it. Guide on site is full of information and stories.
Written November 26, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Erica-Hume-Niven
Selkirk, Scotland, United Kingdom35 contributions
Dec 2018
I spotted this on my OS map as i was driving round South Walls (attached to Hoy by a causeway); I thought, mmm, I wonder what Martello tower means, having never heard of one before. The site has Napoleonic barracks, battery and the Martello Tower. The site managers, who take you round, are very interested in the history which makes the whole site come alive. The view from the top of the Tower is beautiful. When I visited the charming David Mager was the site manager. (I was actually there in July 2017 but I cannot select that below)
Written November 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sue P
Lydbury North, UK42 contributions
Sep 2019 • Couples
My husband went round this historic Martello Tower and Hackness Battery, I couldn’t go as I was ill so stayed in the car park in our motorhome to watch the fabulous scenery on Hoy.

The tour guide was fabulous. He was with two other people and Glen the guide was just so informative, pleasant and professional.

Highly recommended if on or near Hoy.
Written September 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Curmo
Clevedon, UK231 contributions
Sep 2019 • Solo
A fascinating slice of 19th century military history in two servings. The immaculately maintained battery with it’s reconstructed living quarters and the equally well maintained Martello Tower. Both ‘garnished’ with an excellent commentary from an enthusiastic, friendly and knowledgeable guide. Recommended.
Written September 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MickK99
Sheffield, UK9 contributions
Jul 2019 • Couples
We visited on a wet and windy Summer's day in Orkney expecting to have a quick look round but in the end stayed for a couple of hours having been given an immensely engrossing personal tour by Glen, one of the guides. Glen brought the place to life with his insights into the use of the tower and battery over the centuries in the broader historical context. Because he had spent many hours with the 99 year-old former owner, John, who still lives on the site, there were particularly fascinating anecdotes from its use in the 2nd world war. I can't recommend a visit (and a tour by Glen) enough.
Written August 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Hackness Martello Tower (Hoy) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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