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  • The Vat of Kirbister, Stronsay

Stronsay

Experience the gentle pace of island life and some of Orkney’s most beautiful beaches.
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  • Stronsay is an island shaped by the sea.

    Orkney’s ‘star island’ is home to spectacular beaches and turquoise bays, with flat and fertile farmland rolling towards some beautiful stretches of coastline.

    Farmers and fishermen call the island home. There’s a community greenhouse so residents can reduce food miles, and plenty of social events and activities too. You’ll always get a friendly welcome here, it’s that kind of island.

    Stronsay is also a place where you’ll always find something to see and do. The peaceful village of Whitehall welcomes you off the ferry and is home to a hotel, the excellent Fish Mart Hostel & Café and a shop where bike hire is available. There’s also a small heritage centre where you can learn more about Stronsay’s history.

    A short distance outside the village brings you to the first of Stronsay’s many stunning stretches of sand. The Ayre of Myres is perfect for a picnic and a paddle. Explore further though and you’ll be captivated by the beaches at St Catherine’s Bay, Mill Bay and Rothiesholm, to name just a few. There are dunes to explore, shells to find and seals to watch at all these beaches, as well as stunning views across the surrounding islands.

    St Catherine's Bay

    The Stronsay coastline is full of surprises, with plenty of cliffs, caves and geos. It also features one of the finest natural attractions in Orkney. The Vat of Kirbister is a rock arch over a gloup, found on an excellent walking route around the coast. It’s a beautiful place - in the summer expect wildflowers and seabirds swooping under the arch. During the winter, the sea crashes in and out of the gloup, creating a cacophony of noise.

    The Vat of Kirbister

    Stronsay has an enterprising spirit too. There’s a healthy creative community, offering a craft trail experience that also substitutes as an ideal way to see much of the island. From jewellery and textiles to glass, weaving and even soap, there are plenty of makers who will open their workshops for visitors to browse their products and see them in action too. The Craftship Enterprise is the hub, offering workshops and much more.

    Find out more about Stronsay via the island’s official website.

  • Stronsay's ferry terminal is found in the heart of the village of Whitehall, meaning your trip here starts right at the hub of island life.

    The daily ro-ro service keeps Stronsay connected with Kirkwall, and there are daily flights to and from the island's small airfield too.