Interesting Info
St Margaret's Hope is named after a 7 year old Norwegian Princess, who died during a stormy boat journey to Scotland in 1290. Her marriage would have made her Queen of Scotland and England, but she was dead by the time her ship sought refuge in Orkney.
Useful Advice
Windwick bay is a superb place to see
seal pups - don't go too close though.
Essential sites to visit
St Margaret's Hope
The Tomb of The Eagles
St Mary's Church
Hoxa Head
Festival of the Horse

Pentland FerriesJoined to the mainland by the Churchill Barriers, South Ronaldsay is, for those who travel by the Pentland ferries (the one hour car ferry journey from Gills Bay in Caithness to St Margaret's Hope) or the John O' Groats Ferries (the passenger only ferry from John O' Groats to Burwick) the first sight of Orkney.

Here, you will find the Tomb of The Eagles, The Sands o' Righta Bronze Age House and 5,000 year old tomb (where eagle talons were found along with human remains).

St Margaret's Hope, the main town, looks remarkably similar to Stromness, with houses nestling gable end towards the waterfront, and has restaurants and shops well worth a look. On South Ronaldsay you will find an aquarium, cliffs and bays ideal for seal spotting, the Harborough seastack near Widewall; which is a rock stack with four feet, the lovely village of Herston and in August, unique events.

The Boys Ploughing Match has the young ploughmen test their skills with a hand drawn plough on the beach. Before this there is a parade at the Hope Community School, where the young girls of South Ronaldsay dress up as horses.

We went one afternoon to the modest summit of the Ward Hill in South Ronaldsay; the whole island, from the wreck of the Irene to the kirk that keeps the stone with St Magnus's footprints in it, lay under us.
Herston, on the south shore of Widewall Bay, is a lovely hamlet.
George Mackay Brown, Under Brinkies Brae

The Byre The Byre, Quoyeden,
St.Margaret's Hope,
South Ronaldsay,
Orkney KW17 2RL
Tel: 01934 842778
Mobile: 07717 852484
The Byre Self Catering

Beautifully converted barn. 1 Bed (+ sofa bed) Pets welcome, free WiFi, open fire, short walk to fantastic beach.

Gaira Driving PoniesGaira Driving Ponies
Suki Linnitt, Gaira,
South Ronaldsay, Orkney,
Tel: 01856 831523
Mobile: 07796 292507
Gaira Driving Ponies

We offer carriage driving trips, childrens sessions and lessons from South Ronaldsay and tours around Kirkwall.

St Margaret's Hope photo © Magnus Dixon, Horses at the Boys Ploughing Match photo © Fraser Dixon, Pentland Ferries photo © Magnus Dixon,
Sands o Right photo © Fraser Dixon. All text © Magnus Dixon. GMB extract © The Estate of George Mackay Brown.

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