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Sanday is the largest of the North Isles, 12 miles long and flat as a pancake except for the cliffs at Spurness.
It is well-named, as its most notable feature is its sweeping bays of sparkling white sand backed by machair, and turquoise seas.
Local Sights & Activities for Sanday
There are numerous burial mounds all over the island, the most impressive being Quoyness Chambered Cairn, a 5,000 year-old tomb similar to Maes Howe. The 13 ft-high structure contains a large main chamber with six smaller cells opening through low entrances. Most of the burial tombs remain unexcavated, such as those at Tofts Ness at the far northeastern tip, where there are over 500 cairns, making it potentially one of the most important prehistoric sites in Britain. At Scar, in Burness, a spectacular Viking find was made recently, and at Pool a major excavation has uncovered the remains of at least 14 Stone-Age houses.
Sanday is known for its knitwear, though the factory unfortunately closed down recently. You can still visit the Orkney Angora craft shop, in Upper Breckan, near the northern tip of the island, Tel. 600421.
Sanday Hotels & Accommodation
There are a couple of hotels, the E Belsair Hotel, Tel. 600206, Email Belsair Hotel which serves meals; and the E Kettletoft Hotel, Tel./Fax. 600217, which also serves meals and has a lively bar. Both are in Kettletoft, where the ferry used to dock. There's also a handful of B&Bs including E-F Quivals, Tel. 600467, run by Tina and Bernie Flett. Tina also runs the ferry bus service and Bernie runs a car and bike hire service, Tel. 600418. Bernie also runs full-day tours of the island, on Wed and Fri, from mid-May to early Sep, departing from Kirkwall pier at 1010 and returning at 1940 (around £30 per person, minimum of 4 people).