South Ronaldsay South Ronaldsay

South Ronaldsay

After you cross the fourth and final Churchill Barrier, you'll arrive in the largest settlement outside Kirkwall in the east, the attractive harbour village of St Margaret’s Hope in South Ronaldsay.

The village itself has everything you need - Pentland Ferries runs its catamaran ferry service to Gill’s Bay near John o’ Groats from 'the Hope'. There is an art gallery and craft shop, hotels, an award-winning restaurant, a golf course and the William Hourston Smiddy Museum. Films and live drama are regularly put on in the Cromarty Hall. In August the traditional Boys’ Ploughing Match and Festival of the Horse is held. There are gentle sandy bays nearby at Sands o’ Wright and at Herston. At Hoxa Head you can explore the remains of World War One and Two gun batteries and look across Scapa Flow to the isle of Flotta - you might even see porpoises passing by.

South of the village, as far as you can go is Burwick Pier where you can take a foot ferry to John o’ Groats in the summer. You will also find the Tomb of the Eagles, a Neolithic chambered tomb which was uncovered on a farm. The family-owned visitor centre offers a welcoming talk when you can handle artefacts before making your way on a stunning coastal path to the tomb, where eagle talons were found amongst the burial. Also in the area is the recently opened Skerries Bistro restaurant, which is situated next to the Banks Chambered Tomb.

South Ronaldsay is one of the linked South Isles, which are connected to each other by the manmade causeways, the Churchill Barriers, built by Italian prisoners-of-war during World War Two. The linked isles are Glimps Holm, Burray and Lamb Holm - home of the famous Italian Chapel, a work of art created inside two Nissen huts. The barriers have helped create beautiful beaches, especially at the third and fourth barriers.

Inside Explore Orkney

Tankerness House Gardens at the Orkney Museum in Kirkwall

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