Just under 500 people live on the Sanday, the third largest land mass in the Orkney Isles.
One of the most northerly of the Orkney Isles; Sanday is rich with archaeology, wildlife and geology making it a treasure trove for nature lovers and hikers alike.
With nearly 20 square miles of stunning landscape to enjoy, not to mention miles of pristine sand beaches (where the island get its name from), this ‘Jewel of the Isles’ is well worth a visit. Unfortunately, due to its isolated position, the significant cost of lugging heavy survey equipment out there (never mind heavy-duty construction vehicles!) makes erecting any new buildings extremely expensive; as a result there are only a handful of places to stay on Sanday.
If you’re planning on spending more than a couple of days exploring Sanday then you should book your accommodation well ahead of schedule:
This establishment has the dubious honour of being the only licensed hotel on the island and as such is gifted with customers pretty much all the year round. The hotel started life as a Fish’n’Chip shop but soon expanded to become a fully licensed pub, restaurant and hotel that has become a much-welcome meeting place for the island’s small community. Along with serving a regular menu of pub classics, the Kettletoft Hotel also puts on Poker Nights and shows international sporting events like the darts and FIFA World Cup!
Although it’s perfectly legal to ‘wild camp’ almost anywhere on the island, you’ll be significantly more comfortable staying with Jon and Maria, owners of Braeswick B&B. Just a short drive from the Loth ferry terminal, this is a perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a tidily furnished comfortable night’s stay with the option of a slap up Full Orcadian Breakfast or even a dinner. Despite being at what will feel like the end of the world, the prices are also surprisingly affordable at just £70 per night for two people (breakfast included).
Paul and Julie are the owners of Ayres Rock Hostel and Campsite where you have plenty of options in regards to accommodation. Their campsite (like the majority of Sanday) is peaceful, with all pitches offering generous beach views where you might even be able to spot an otter or a seal! A heated shower block, camper’s kitchen, lounge and Wi-Fi round out the campsite facilities. If you’d rather have a roof over your head then you can choose to stay in their 8-berth hostel, in one of three camping pods or in their self-contained cottage.
Newquoy Guest House & Writers’ Retreat
You don’t have to be an aspiring novelist to stay at Newquoy Guest House, although the stunning views and barren isolation has been known to greatly benefit creative types looking for a distraction free place to stay on Sanday. Newquoy used to be the home of the island’s first school, so don’t be surprised if you feel the urge to hit the books whilst you’re there. The hosts serve a healthy vegetarian menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner – so you’re probably likely to drop a few pounds whilst you’re there too!