The Observatory Guest House


North Ronaldsay, Orkney, KW17 2BE

    North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory offers comfortable and convenient accommodation for visitors to Orkney's most northerly island. A variety of accommodation options suit a range of budgets and catering preferences.

    The Observatory is also a functioning scientific field centre, with resident ornithologists present to study and record the island's diverse birdlife throughout the year. Guests are always welcome to accompany the staff of guided walks and bird ringing activities - a rare and exciting opportunity to see some amazing wildlife up close. Highlights include searching for gull and tern chicks among the colonies and ringing secretive Storm Petrels late on dark summer nights. Close encounters with seals and various interesting bird species are almost guaranteed, and there is always a possibility of Orcas on calm days.

    The following accommodation options are available: en suite guest house rooms, hostel accommodation and a small camping ground. Breakfast and evening meals are provided for half-board guests and lunches (eat-in or take-out) are available from the observatory cafe. Groceries are available for self-catering guests. The fully licensed bar overlooks the North Ronaldsay Firth, with views of several other islands on clear days.

    3 Guest House
    Taste Our Best
    Opening Times
    Open All Year
    2016 Opening Times
    1 Jan 2016 - 31 Dec 2016

    Room Information

    Number of Rooms / Units
    Room / Unit Type
    Room / Unit Tariff*
    Double En Suite
    £49.50 per person per night (dinner, bed & breakfast inc)
    Twin En Suite
    £49.50 per person per night (dinner, bed & breakfast inc)

    Discounts are available on guest house accommodation for children and for guests staying for 2 nights or more. Accommodation in the hostel is available from £14.50 per person per night. Camping space (with use of the hostel facilities) from £4.50 per person per night. Please see our website or contact us for further detail

    Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.


    • Bar Available
    • Breakfast Available
    • Cafe / Restaurant available on site
    • Dairy Free Advance notice required.
    • Evening Meal Available Evening meals are at a set time and have a set menu. Roast North Ronaldsay mutton is always available.
    • Full Alcohol Drinks License
    • Gluten Free Advance notice required.
    • Licensed Bar / Clubroom The bar is open every evening to residents and non-residents.
    • Lunch Available Lunches are available in the Observatory cafe or take-out sandwiches etc can be provided on request.
    • Nut Free Meals
    • Patio/Beer Garden
    • Shop within 2 Miles / Mobile Shop Groceries for self-catering hostel guests and campers can be bought on-site.
    • Vegan Meals Available Advance notice required.
    • Vegetarian
    • Vegetarian Food Available


    • Drying Facilities A laundry room is available for drying wet clothes. A boot room is provided for wet and muddy outdoor clothing.
    • Hairdryer Available
    • Lounge The TV lounge contains a selection DVDs, books and boardgames.
    • Payphones Available
    • Shower Ensuite for guest house visitors. Shared showers in the hostel are also available to campers.
    • WC EnSuite

    Languages Spoken

    • French Speaking


    • Coastal Location
    • Island Location
    • Property On Farm
    • Remote Location

    Special Requirements

    • Disabled Citizens A ground-floor bedroom is suitable for disabled access.
    • Groups Welcome


    • Children Welcome
    • Cot Available
    • Highchair Available


    • Internet Access Free Wi-fi in the bar area.
    • No Smoking Permitted

    Leisure Facilities

    • WiFi

    Payment Methods

    • Cash
    • Cheque
    • Debit Card
    • Mastercard
    • VISA Card


    • Free Parking On-Site

    Public Transport Directions

    From the nearest information centre:- From Kirkwall T.I.C. go out on to Junction Road, then right at the roundabout. Follow signs for North Isles ferries. From Stromness T.I.C., turn right on to Ferry Road (A965) and follow signs for Kirkwall. Arriving in Kirkwall follow signs for North Isles ferries. From North Ronaldsay Pier, follow road for about 150 yards to the cattle grid. Take the track to the left leading to the Bird Observatory. For ferry times check

    Getting there by railway:- Scotrail from all Scottish departures to either Thurso or Wick or Aberdeen.

    Getting there by aeroplane:- British Airways (UK) either from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Wick or Sumburgh (Shetland) to Kirkwall (Orkney). From Kirkwall twice daily flights, Monday to Saturday, operated by Loganair (01856 872494) Flights are subsidised, costing just £10 return, if you are staying on the island and take 15 minutes in an 8 seater islander aircraft.

    Getting there by ferry:- NorthLink Ferries from Aberdeen or Lerwick to Kirkwall. NorthLink Ferries from Scrabster to Stromness. Pentland Ferries from Gills Bay to St Margaret's Hope. John o' Groats ferries from John o' Groats to Burwick (May - September)
    A weekly ferry service operated by Orkney Ferries, on Fridays in Summer, Saturdays in Winter. Crossing time is 2.30 hours. There are also some additional Sunday sailings

    Transport within Scotland

    For public transport information to visit here from within Scotland, enter your postcode and visit date below.

    Journey Planner

    What's Nearby

    Recently Viewed