We adored this site and could have stayed forever! It is beautifully situated above a bay, facing the setting sun.
The owner was exceptionally friendly and helpful, and gave us lots of suggestions for places to visit. Sanday is a very quiet island, so we spent most of our time on the many beautiful beaches, but there are a couple of pubs a few miles from the site and the owners do take-away food twice a week, and breakfast and evening meals. There's a well-equipped shop a short walk away, and a small gift shop on site.
Site facilities are separate for campers and hostellers. Campers' facilities are good, with a simple kitchen (due to be upgraded soon), a cosy sitting room, washing machine and a clean shower and loo. Hostellers' facilities are superb. There are some camping pods (small wooden chalets)available for hire which I used and found excellent.
The main Island seemed like a busy metropolis after spending a week here. The Island is tranquil and you can explore without seeing another soul. We had the beaches to ourselves and the isolation and solitude was positively medicinal. There are some chambered cairns and do visit the stripy lighthouse( low tide).
If you're coming here the best way to get to know the island is with the 'ranger tours' which run every couple of days. Each one reveals a different aspect of the island: we particularly enjoyed the rock pooling and the skerries boat trip.
Because of the size of the island, Ayres rock is a bit of a focal point. It has a small chippy which opens on Thursday and Saturday evening and sells local crafts. We made friends quickly with practically everyone there, it's that sort of place, and my son had lots of fun with the owners' lovely children. The site is right on the edge of a small bay where wildlife abounds (basking sharks and dolphins are common), and whilst the weather was kind whilst we we there, I imagine it can get very interesting. The facilities are basic and there is a campers' kitchen housed in an old caravan and a lounge in one of the outbuildings.
For supplies, you need to drive or cycle to Kettletoft about 5 miles away, which has a couple of shops selling basic supplies (order your bread to be on the safe side) and some fresh fruit and veg. There's also the hotel there which does fresh, tasty and simple bar meals.
You have to really want to come here, but if you make the effort I promise you won't want to leave.
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