Remote and storm-battered, North Ronaldsay is the most northerly of the Orkney islands and a place where old Orcadian traditions remain.
It seems remarkable that anyone should live here at all in these extreme conditions, but 'North Ron'-as it is known locally-has been inhabited for many centuries and continues to be heavily farmed. The island's sheep are a hardy lot and live exclusively off the seaweed on a narrow strip of beach, outside a 13-mile stone dyke which surrounds the island. This gives their meat a unique, 'gamey' flavour.
Local Sights & Activities for North RonaldsaySightseeing
This small, flat island, only three miles long, has few real attractions, except to keen ornithologists who flock here to catch a glimpse of its rare migrants. From late March to early June and mid-August to early November there are huge numbers of migratory birds. The Bird Observatory, in the southwest corner of the island by the ferry pier, gives information on which species have been sighted, as well as providing accommodation. There are also colonies of grey seals and cormorants at Seal Skerry, on the northeast tip of the island.
North Ronaldsay Hotels & Accommodation
You can stay at the E North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory, Tel. 633200, Email North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory It offers wind-and solar-powered full-board accommodation in private rooms or dorms. Full-board accommodation is also available at D-E Garso House, Tel. 633244, Email Garso House about 3 miles from the ferry pier. They also have a self-catering cottage (up to 5 people) and can arrange car hire, taxis or minibus tours. The Burrian Inn and Restaurant is the island's pub, and also serves food. Camping is possible on the island, contact, Tel. 633222.
Travel Directions to North Ronaldsay
There are Loganair flights from Kirkwall twice daily Mon-Sat, Tel. 01856-872494. There's a car and passenger ferry which sails from Kirkwall (2 hrs 40 mins) once a week (usually Fri) and also on some Sun between May and Sep. Contact Orkney Ferries for details, Tel. 01856-872044.