Sanday | Colin Nutt

About

Often called 'the Jewel of the Isles' due to its rich archeology, this island of sweeping, white-sand beaches also hosts an abundance of birds, sea life and land-based wildlife. The thriving community has its own artists' studio trail and 9-hole golf course, and the island's more recent history can be uncovered with a visit to the remains of the WWII radar station at Whalehead.

Famous For

  • Sanday is one of the most archeologically rich islands in Orkney's Northern Isles, with around 5,000 years of human occupation represented. Quoyness chambered cairn dates from the Neolithic period, while other important finds include the Scar Viking boat burial.

  • The distinctive Start Point Lighthouse, with its vertical black and white stripes, was the first Scottish lighthouse to have a revolving light.

  • The island was home to Walter Traill Dennison, the 19th century folklorist who recorded tales in his native dialect, and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, composer and Master of the Queen’s Music.

Ask an Islander

  • The island's sweeping sandy bays, with their white sands and turquoise waters, might be the reason behind the island's name, but its coastline includes windswept dunes, secluded rockpool-filled shores, and rugged cliffs where seabirds and wildflowers abound.

  • The Bronze Age Meur Burnt Mound was moved from the beach at Meur in the north of the island as it was at risk from the sea, and reconstructed in the field next to the Heritage Centre.

  • The Hearsie Hoose, a small stone building in the north end of the island, houses the island’s horse-drawn hearse.

Accommodation

Check out the following accommodation listings to book your stay.

Visit Scotland accommodation

Isle of Sanday accommodation

Explore Orkney - Sanday accommodation

More Information

You can find some additional information about Sanday at the links below

Isle of Sanday

Explore Orkney - Sanday

COVID-19

Please check the latest rules on travelling to and around the Scottish islands on the Scottish Government website, including guidance on testing before you travel. Please note that advice may vary depending on the specific island you are visiting.

Getting here

Covid-19

Please check the latest rules on travelling to and around the Scottish islands on the Scottish Government website, including guidance on testing before you travel. Please note that advice may vary depending on the specific island you are visiting.


Orkney Ferries operates daily sailings to Sanday from Kirkwall on Mainland Orkney. Some sailings go via Eday.

Loganair operates regular flights between Sanday and Kirkwall on Mainland Orkney. Flights may go via Stronsay.

Find out more about getting to Mainland Orkney.

Get Your Passport

You can find lots more information about things to see and do on the island, see some amazing island photography and collect your island stamp by downloading our app.

Download the app

App in phone

Download the Scottish Island Passport app to collect your island stamps! The app also provides lots more information on each island including recommendations from locals about things to see and do, info on how to get around, more stunning photos and useful offline maps.

  • Unlock Stamps - Collect them all! Stamp your passport when you visit each island - with an individual stamp designed to represent a unique aspect of island heritage.
  • Experiences - Discover the best experiences each island has to offer – from local boat trips to exciting traditional festivals, there is something for everyone.
  • Maps - Navigate the islands with useful offline maps, handy for areas where internet connectivity is weak.
  • Travel Jounals - Create an in-location travel journal with pictures from your island adventures, to look back on your trip.
  • Favourites - keep track of your most loved islands with the favourites feature. Available to access from your account on both the app and web.