Historically a visit to North
Ronaldsay has always been an adventure. It's remoteness gives it a
special charm and peace that we and others fell in love with at
first sight. To reach us by sea involves a two to three hour voyage,
has three flights daily on a small 8 seater
plane. £20 return from Kirkwall.
Remember that is is a small
island in the north Atlantic and leave a little slack in your travel
Shopping for supplies on North Ronaldsay.
It will come as no
surprise to anyone planning a self catering stay on a remote island,
with a tiny population, to find that shopping opportunities are
limited when compared with Mainland Orkney.
The island shop is open for one
or two hours most days of the week but it is wise to give an order
in advance for perishable goods.
However, guests at Howar Cottage and Nouster need
have no worries about food. June and Gerry maintain a good stock of
basic supplies provided at cost.
planning longer stays on the
wish to adopt the ways of the island and make their own arrangements. Several
stores, not including Tesco, will accept orders over the
phone and deliver them to Kirkwall pier from where Orkney
Ferries will ship them to North Ronaldsay for a small charge.
Weather permitting, Orkney Ferries delivers goods to the island
either by boat or plane on Tuesdays and Fridays.
that will deliver groceries to the pier include:
The Frozen Food Centre
Our preference is to do our Kirkwall shopping personally. We book
a Thursday return flight for £14 and take our purchases to
Kirkwall pier. The ferry is equipped with freezer and chiller boxes and
our goods are delivered to North Ronalday pier on Friday morning.
Advance warning to the establishments is
North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory has a restaurant offering all meals throughout the
year. 01857 633 200.
Mark at the lighthouse cafe offers meals
from 10 am to 5 pm. His North Ronaldsay mutton pies have been highly
acclaimed by islanders. Mark's mobile is 077 68 20 16 51.
The cafe also shares a landline phone with the visitor
centre 01857 633 297
Sandra's menu at the
post office includes an excellent roast ot seaweed
eating sheep, drop in at the post
office to arrange a meal in
Our recommended option is to fly north to
Kirkwall with Flybe from
one of the main Scottish airports, possibly combined with rail to
Early booking return, to Kirkwall, currently
from, Aberdeen £120, Edinburgh £150, Glasgow £150.
London Gatwick to Kirkwall it's currently £180 return in
By car we recommend Pentland Ferries from
Gills Bay. Return, car £60 adult £26
Foot passengers by the
Orkney bus from
Inverness. Return £49
you get to Orkney we have highly subsidised transport services.
A day return from North Ronaldsay by plane costs £14 return.
The air fare for flights starting from Kirkwall is £20 return
provided that you stay for at least one night. It's £34 return for a
timetable. The planes are 8 seater
and the baggage limit is 15kg. Booking is by phone 01856
872494, from outside the UK it's
872494. There are 3 flights a day and early booking is
The regular weekly ferry to
North Ronaldsay which takes about 2½ hours, is on a Friday, with an
extra Tuesday sailing in the summer. The fare for a one way sailing
from or to Kirkwall is £7.35, £17.40 for a car.
Orkney Ferries summer timetable
On Sundays in the summer there are
about two excursion sailings a month, which enable visitors to spend
around four hours on the island.
Transport on the island
Muir operates a tour and taxi service and has cars for hire at £37.20 per day incuding
fuel and VAT. Tel 01857 633 244
the bicycle franchise. He can be contacted at the lighthouse cafe. Bicycles are available for
hire at £8 per day. Tel: 01857 633 297
If you like walking the island is about 3 miles long and
about 13 miles round the shore.
We have an excellent Royal Mail service
that uses the daily Loganair planes. First class mail takes two to
three days and second class five to six days. Packages up to 20kg
take about 6 days. Both Post Office parcels and Parcelforce parcels
are handled by Sandra the post mistress and deliveries are made to
every dwelling on the island. Large items have to be shipped to us
by sea using other couriers.
Other couriers' services to
Orkney are very expensive and where available typically take two or
three weeks to reach us.
Almost every dwelling has a landline
telephone. Each outer island has a 3 figure code, North Ronaldsay's
is 633, followed by 3 figures for individual homes. When phoning
from outside the islands, or from a mobile, use the area code
We have a
0.5MB broadband service which is adequate for most internet activity
that doesn't involve video. Guests at Nouster and Howar can use the
wireless link at Howar for their laptops.
The O2 and
Vodaphone networks provide coverage for most of the island, though
the signal for other networks can be patchy.