North Ronaldsay is Orkney's most isolated island, lying further north than the southern tip of Norway. Famed for its seaweed eating sheep, the island has retained its distinct culture and traditions and is loved by residents and visitors alike.
In North Ronaldsay, you could be in another world. It is on the flight path for thousands of migrating birds, while around its shores pods of passing killer and pilot whales, porpoises and dolphins have been spotted. There's evidence of Iron-Age settlements at sites including the Broch of Burrian and many other eye-catching landmarks and attractions including the tallest land-based lighthouse in Britain. Its smaller cousin the Old Beacon, built in the 1780s, was featured in the BBC's popular Restoration Village series, winning the Scottish heat and a place in the country's heart. Today, former lighthouse buildings have been converted into stylish accommodation, cafes, working mills and retail outlets.
Along the coastal walks you'll be sure to encounter the island's sheep. They're used to meeting visitors! This ancient and hardy breed feed almost exclusively on seaweed from the foreshore outside a 13-mile stone dyke that surrounds the island. The meat is highly prized by top chefs for its unique gamey flavour and can be tasted in Orkney's many excellent restaurants. There’s also an annual festival celebrating the breed, which also gives volunteers the opportunity to help repair the island’s traditionally built stone sheep dyke.
North Ronaldsay can be reached by a weekly car ferry from Kirkwall on Fridays and daily flights.