Strait Separating Scotland And Orkney

Our post today is going to explain what the strait separating Scotland and Orkney is called and hopefully give you some more insight into it.

Strait Separating Scotland And Orkney

What Is It Called?

It’s official name is the Pentland Firth. This actually means Orcadian Strait in Scottish Gaelic.

It’s also not a Firth, despite this being part of the name.

So, What Is It Then?

It’s a straight that separates Caithness (north Scotland) from the Orkney Islands.

It was once known as the ‘Sea of Orcs’ before the Norse occupied Orkney. This referred to the Pictish tribe that were inhabiting Orkney at the time.

What Else Is Around The Firth?

The southern side of the Firth (closer to Scotland) spans between Duncansby Head in the east and Dunnet Head in the west.

On the northern side (closer to Orkney), the Firth spans between Old Head (located on South Ronaldsay) in the east and Tor Ness (located on Hoy) in the west.

The islands of Stroma and Swona sit around the middle of the Firth. To the east, another set of islands reside called the Pentland Skerries. Hoy and South Ronaldsay are part of the Orkney Islands.

Can You Cross It?

Yes, you can use the ferry to cross the strait.

NorthLink operate the oldest service that can carry you across from Scrabster to Stromness.

Back in 2011, Coleen Blair managed to swim across the Pentland Firth! This was the first to have ever been recorded.

What’s The Water Like?

The sea here is known for being pretty dangerous due to the huge tidal swells that can reach several metres tall. This is because it’s where the Atlantic Ocean meets the North Sea.

However, you shouldn’t have to worry about this when using boats and ferries of today.