Sanday and North Ronaldsay

Sanday and North Ronaldsay

Sanday is the third largest island in the Orkney archipelago - and its name gives a clue to its character, as Sanday is fringed by some of the finest sandy beaches amongst these isles. On a map Sanday appears to be almost entirely made up of peninsulas, meaning that the sea is never more than a mile away. There is plenty for the visitor to get out and discover here - from the mighty dunes of Cata Sand, to the magnificent chambered cairn of Quoy Ness whose remoteness gives ita very different atmosphere to the celebrated Maes Howe on mainland. To the east the island throws out a final, tidal islet to the striking striped lighthouse of Start Point.

Further north is North Ronaldsay - the most northerly of the Orkney isles (detailed coverage will be added in future). This far outpost has is renowned as a bird-observatory. The best known walk here is a challenging one, around the perimeter wall that keeps out the island's seaweed-munching sheep.


Walk Grade Length Time
Backaskaill Bay, Sanday grade5.5km 1.5 hours
Quoyness Cairn, Sanday grade8.25km 2 - 2.5 hours
Start Point Lighthouse, Sanday gradegrade3.75km 1.5 - 2 hours
Whitemill Bay circuit, Sanday gradegrade4.5km 1 hour
Cata Sand and Tres Ness, Sanday gradegrade9.5km 2 - 3 hours
North Ronaldsay circuit gradegradegrade19.25km 6.5 - 7.5 hours

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Walking can be dangerous and all walkers must take personal responsibility for their own safety. You should always carry a backup means of navigation and not rely on a single phone, app or map. Walkhighlands strives to provide accurate information but cannot accept responsibility for changes, errors or omissions.