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Sanday is in the Orkney Islands, north of Mainland. It's a thin low-lying strap, about 20 km (12 mi) long but seldom more than 1 km wide, flanked by sandy beaches. The main settlement is Kettletoft in the centre of the island.

Get in[edit]

By boat: Orkney Ferries sail twice a day between Kirkwall and 1 Loth on the south end of the island. The ferry is a small ro-ro for vehicles and foot passengers. It takes 90 min to 2 hours, also calling at Eday.

By plane: Loganair flights connect Sanday with Kirkwall, twice a day M-F and once Sa & Su. Residents have priority, and you can only book by phoning +44 (0) 1856 872494 or 873457 (lines open Su-F to 19:00, to 18:00 Sa); you can't book online. See also Orkney Islands#Get Around#By plane. 2 Sanday Airport - a grand name for a cottage by a field with a windsock - is in the middle of the island near Kettletoft.

Flights to Sanday also land at Stronsay. This five-minute hop may well be the world's second-shortest commercial flight, the very shortest being the two-minute hop between Westray and Papa Westray.

Get around[edit]

A minibus connects with the ferries. Hiring a bicycle is a good way to get around and see the island.

For a few months in 2006, Sanday boasted Britain's most northerly railway station, with a ridable miniature railway. It's unlikely to re-open.


Start Point lighthouse
  • 1 Quoyness chambered cairn. This is a well-preserved neolithic tomb dating to around 2900 BC, where bones of 10 adults and 5 children were found. You enter by crawling down a 9-m passageway into the tall chamber. Quoyness is almost an island on the south coast of Sanday, connected by a spit and track just south of the airport. Quoyness chambered cairn (Q7272906) on Wikidata Quoyness chambered cairn on Wikipedia
  • 2 Start Point Lighthouse. Lighthouse completed in 1806, rebuilt in 1870, and painted its distinctive candy-stripe in 1915. It was the first Scottish lighthouse to have a revolving light.






  • Ayre's Rock, Sanday KW17 2AY, +44 1857 600410. Hostel (sleeps 8) plus self-contained Stable Cottage, campsite and caravan pitches. Runs a chip shop on Saturday evenings. £50 per room, camping from £20.
  • 1 Backaskaill Farmhouse, Kettletoft KW17 2BJ, +44 1857 600305. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. B&B with one double and one twin room. Restaurant open to non-residents.

Go next[edit]

You can reach Eday, and from there Stronsay, without returning to Mainland. Anywhere else will be via Kirkwall.

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