South Ronaldsay, OrkneyRead reviews
The Orkney Isles are a unique and very special place and Herston Hall (listed in the Times in January 2013 as one of the 50 best rural retreats in Britain) is an equally unique and special place from which to explore their many delights.
A former chapel, it dates from 1885 and was built as a mission hall to accommodate parishioners who found it too difficult to get to the district parish church. Outwardly it looks exactly as it did then, but internally it has been painstakingly and lovingly converted by its new owners as their own holiday retreat, which they have now generously decided to share with other fortunate visitors.
It has a fabulous situation on Widewall Bay, a bird watcher's paradise on South Ronaldsay near the pretty village of St Margaret's Hope (shops, cafes and hotel), which is where you will land if coming by the car ferry from Gill's Bay. South Ronaldsay is linked to the mainland by the Churchill Barriers, so you are effectively on mainland Orkney, with the capital, Kirkwall, just half an hour's drive up the road.
The Hall stands in its own garden area surrounded by a low wall, with stupendous sea views and it has hard standing parking across the tiny road from the garden. On entering, you come first to the former vestry, now a delightful little flagstoned sitting area, with a multi-fuel stove which assists the underfloor electric heating in keeping the place toasty warm. Next is a superbly equipped modern kitchen with a shower room off the kitchen area.
The main 'body of the kirk', to use an old Scots phrase, is now the main living area with the high vaulted roof and lancet windows giving a wonderful feeling of light and space. There is sofa bed here (additional charge) and a child's inflatable bed for extra party members. There is also a tub full of children's toys and books for any youngsters to enjoy. From there, stairs lead to a double bedroom with bathroom.
While the Hall is not troubled by the disturbance of a TV, there is a projector with built-in DVD player for dark evenings when the spectacular seascape outside is no longer visible to keep you enthralled. A selection of board games, books and WiFi round out the entertainment options.
Those coming in the summer, however, will find that Orkney is sufficiently far north to enjoy 'white nights' when it scarcely gets dark and there are only a few hours of twilight. All the more time, then, to explore this wondrous place.
This part of Orkney has perhaps the greatest concentration of attractions of any part of the islands. You can scarcely go anywhere here without becoming aware of the island's ancient past, dating back to the first settlers thousands of years ago, and South Ronaldsay is a veritable treasure trove of archaeological interest.
You'll also be amazed at the many different ways there are of accessing an ancient barrow or buriall mound (several of these have been discovered in the most relaxed way by local farmers, sometimes when a cow disappeared and they went to investigate! The Tomb of the Eagles on South Ronaldsay is one of the most imaginative - you roll in lying flat on a kind of buggy - kids will just adore it! There, too, is the Howe of Hoxa, which is reputedly the home of the Viking Thorfinn Skullsplitter (they told it as it was in those days), the Wheems Broch and the Cloddyhall Stone.
There is wonderful walking around the high cliffs, but there are also three great beaches nearby at Sandwick Bay, Eastside and the Sands of Wright. The Italian Chapel, just to the north and built by Italian prisoners of war, should also not be missed.
Across the impressive Barriers, you have all the rest of the mainland to explore - the World Heritage Site at Skara Brae, more fascinating remains at Maes Howe and the Broch of Birsay, the Cathedral and Earl's Palace in Kirkwall, the picturesque little town of Stromness, the Yesnaby Stacks. All that is even before you begin to consider doing a bit of island hopping to some of the outlying isles, which all have regular ferry services.
So get out your guide book, read all about it and prepare yourself for a wonderful holiday, enjoyed from a memorable base at Herston Hall.
Please note: while we make every effort to be as accurate as possible, the actual position of the cottage indicated on the map above and the proximity of the amenities in the Local Info section cannot be guaranteed to be precise and should be used as a guide only.
Snug with multi fuel stove
Sitting/Dining room with sofa bed, DVD projector and mp3 player
Kitchen with electric cooker (induction hob), fridge-freezer and washing machine etc
Shower room with WC and wash basin
Bathroom with bath, WC and wash basin
- Linen (Double Bed)
- Towels (per person)
Bed linen and towels are INCLUDED. The first £20 of electricity INCLUDED with any additional usage payable by meter reading at the end of your stay. Heating is by underfloor electric heating and multi-fuel stove. WiFi is INCLUDED (subject to a fair usage policy). A maximum of 1 dog is welcome at an additional charge (1 large, 1 medium or 1 small). If you wish to bring any other pets please contact us and we will see what we can do. No smoking.
The weekly guide prices for this property are shown below. Use the availability & book sidebar on the right to select your holiday or calculate short break rates (where available).
Changeover Day: Sat
|Rental - Date Range||Sleeps 2||Sleeps 3||Sleeps 4|
|04 Jul 2015 - 28 Aug 2015||£495.00||£545.00||£595.00|
|29 Aug 2015 - 18 Sep 2015||£455.00||£505.00||£555.00|
|19 Sep 2015 - 16 Oct 2015||£395.00||£445.00||£495.00|
|17 Oct 2015 - 30 Oct 2015||£455.00||£505.00||£555.00|
|31 Oct 2015 - 18 Dec 2015||£350.00||£400.00||£450.00|
|19 Dec 2015 - 27 Dec 2015||£495.00||£545.00||£595.00|
|28 Dec 2015 - 05 Jan 2016||£495.00||£545.00||£595.00|
|06 Jan 2016 - 01 Jan 2017||POA||POA||POA|
Please note: Prices are calculated based on your party size at the time of booking. If your party size changes for any reason after booking please let us know so we can ensure the accommodation provided meets your exact requirements.
(Supplied Independently through Feefo)