Last month my Mum and her partner Stephen finally made it to the island for her first visit! So I thought I’d do a post on the top 10 things to do as a visitor on the island and inspire some wanderlust for next year
1. Visit the lighthouse at night
The tallest land-based lighthouse in Britain. Although they were sceptical about going to see a lighthouse at night (isn’t it just dark?!) it is an amazing spectacle, well worth a visit whatever the weather.
2. Seal watch at the Broch of Burrian
When we went for a walk to the Broch to see the Iron Age settlement we joined a group of seals that were hauled out on the coast. Creeping slowly and quietly into the broch, we watched them sleeping and fidgeting for ages, their pretty mottled bodies glistening in the light.
* please be careful of disturbing seals on land by not getting too close, especially when they have pups with them (June & July, October & November).
3. Cuddle lambs at Westness
Our bottle fed lambs are at Westness and love to be made a fuss of! It’s a great opportunity for visitors to be able to get up close to the island’s famous seaweed-eating sheep.
4. Stroll along Nouster beach
There is something very special about the pale sands and turquoise waters of Nouster bay. The beach is very accessible and perfect for a stroll. This sandy beach is perfect for a paddle - or even a dip!
5. Visit the archive
The archive is housed in the New Kirk, full of history and photos from times gone by.
6. Walk along the wild West coast
The west coast is very different from the rest of the island and is a wild experience on a breezy day. Scattered with rock formations and pounded by waves from the Atlantic.
7. Star gaze
The skies above Orkney's most northerly island are among the darkest in Europe. Marvel at the milky way, and if you’re lucky, spot the Merry Dancers.
8. Go groatie buckie hunting
Sift through the shells to find a lucky groatie buckie and investigate the rock pools at Green Skerry.
* please be aware of the tide times and sea state if crossing to Green Skerry
9. Call upon the Stan Stane
The island’s standing stone is over 5000 years old. The stone is the focal point for a centuries-old North Ronaldsay New Year custom that has seen the island's inhabitants gathering around it and singing.
10. Take a tour of the wool mill
See the North Ronaldsay fleeces being processed into gorgeous yarn at the island’s mini mill.