This is a great place to stay. Spacious and well run, and with breath-taking views across the sea. The cottages are nice and cosy with good facilities. A great location from which to explore Hoy. Thanks so much - we'll be back!
Spectacular doesn't really come close to describing the setting for this place. As you approach along a bumpy track you round the corner to see this beautiful pristine white lighthouse rising above you, with it's little collection of cottages clustered in the walled compound that surrounds it. On the day we arrived the sky was blue, the wind was up, and all around were the sounds of the sea - with South Ronaldsay to the east and the Scottish mainland to the south across the Pentland Firth. This place has wow-factor is spades.
The cottage itself (we were in the principle lighthouse-keeper's cottage) was really nice. Clean and tidy, well-equipped kitchen, good bathroom, comfortable beds, wooden shutters. Yes the decor is a bit dated, but that all adds to the charm. Don't be put off by the rather basic website and old-school email-based booking system - the truth is that this place is an absolute gem - and very very good value for money.
Once it gets dark (pretty late, given how far north we are), you can stand outside and look out across the Pentland Firth to see lighthouses on headlands and islands all around. I think I counted 7 in total. It's really quite magical.
If you want a truly unique holiday let - in the most spectacular surroundings - I struggle to see how you could do much better than this place. Would have been worth it at double the price.
Don't be put off by the
We stayed in the Principle Cottage and it was comfortable, warm and with every home comfort. We felt relaxed immediately.
We felt lucky to be able to watch gannets diving right outside the window while eating our breakfast, added to which we saw a group of three orcas cruising in the bay heading round to Scapa Flow. It took our breath away.
We took a trip to the Old Man of Hoy on the north of the Island, although that was a long treck, it was worth every minute. There are amazing seabird colonies that we saw easily too. There is a beach a short walk away which was popular with our kids.
The owner Marius, lives next door and was kind and helpful. He didn't intrude, so we felt totally alone and secluded. He did let us use his wifi which was great. The cottage has a television but we didn't turn it on all week - we wanted to get away from that!
It rained a bit, but it is Scotland and the clouds were fantastic over the Pentland Firth. We also had some lovely calm days during our week. You can also see round into Scap Flow easily, so the lighthouse cottages are in a really great place, right on the tip of the south of the island.
The Islanders were really very friendly and the Stromabank Hotel is the place to go for a drink.
We stocked up with food on the way over but did visit the general store in Longhope that seems to have everything!
I would advise bringing a car to get around and to be able to see round the island.
In the smaller cottage a woman was using the peace and quiet to write some of her book!
This is going to be our regular annual holiday destination and worth every minute!
We stayed a few days over new year and found the assistants cottage very well appointed, very clean and tidy and perfect for a quiet break. The owner Marius was helpful and friendly and we enjoyed every minute of our stay. If you are hoping to do some of the more touristy things on the island ie the museum's and cafe everything seems to be closed during the winter, opening in March. we still found plenty to do, visiting rackwick, the old man, the dwarfie stane, and Betty Corrigals grave along with numerous walks and looking at some of the countless wartime buildings.
Decent shop on the island, no need to bring much.
Fantastic place to stay and great views.
Our family of four stayed for three nights in the Principal Lighthousekeeper's Cottage.
The views out over the sea are amazing, the waters from Scapa Flow and the Pentland Firth playing out an endless back-and-forth battle under the cliff. We were really hoping to see lots of wildlife, and weren't disappointed - on our second day we saw two Orcas coming into Scapa Flow in the morning, and others (the same two?) leaving that night. The next morning we saw a pod of harbour porpoises in the sea beneath the lighthouse, and of course there were seals and seabirds galore. The kids really enjoyed watching the wildlife and going beachcombing on the rocky shore nearby (lots of sea urchins to be found!).
The cottage was unbelievably warm and cosy (they certainly knew how to build them back then...), and the kitchen was very well kitted out. Our host (Nadia) was very welcoming, and we all enjoyed the rhubarb crumble left for us on arrival!
The rest of the world felt a million miles away whilst we were on Hoy, and it would be wonderful to go back, for longer next time!
We first stayed here 5 years ago and return at least once a year. It is just the perfect place to relax. The cottages are particularly well furnished/ equipped and are very cosy -we've even been here in winter when the storms are spectacular.
Tom and Nadia -the hosts are really lovely genuine people who could not be more welcoming and helpful.
The view from the window of big sea, sky right across to the Pentland Skerries would be hard to beat and it doesn't matter when you come or what the weather does-there is always something to look at. Wildlife birds, dolphins, whales, seals and ships of every shape and size that are back and forth along the Pentland Firth. The sea itself where the Firth meets Scapa Flow is mesmerising-changing colour/direction/flow as you watch it. Truly beautiful.
We love this place and have brought our children and friends here. We cannot recommend this place highly enough. If you love nature especially the sea - you must go to Cantick!
We went to Hoy for two nights and Cantick Head was a bit of a treat. We loved the idea of staying in the lighthouse keepers cottage and were not disappointed in the slightest. Nadia was a very nice host, and was also really helpful before our trip as well as when we were there. She lives next to the cottages, but we did not feel imposed on at all... We stayed in the Principle Cottage and inside was just lovely. The Kitchen was spacious and on the dining table we were greeted with warm apple crumble (which we consumed the next day - yum! Thanks Nadia!)... there was everything we needed down to kitchen roll, cling film and foil, food storage boxes etc etc. I can't even think of anything we might have needed that was not there :)
The house was warm, bedrooms were comfortable, there is a store next to the cottage with videos/dvds/wellies/games etc, which can be borrowed, and also an area where we could put things to be recycled. The Livingroom was a good size and had comfortable sofas... what would have really made it would have been a real fire, rather than electric - but that is no complaint!!
I imagine in the summer when both cottages are booked up it might not feel so secluded and private, but there is plenty of space outside and I imagine it would be a good place for families as well as couples, or friends. I would definitely like to visit again... hopefully soon :)