South Ronaldsay is the nearest parish to Mainland Scotland, being just 6.5 miles across the Pentland Firth from John O'Groats.
The main town on South Ronaldsay is St. Margaret's Hope. The various habitats on South Ronaldsay - such as heathland, beaches, lochs, cliffs and rocks - give rise to a wide variety of birds. Common and Grey Seals can also often be seen as you walk along the coast. The more elusive otter can be seen occasionally at dusk or dawn off the four barriers - footprints in the sand giving a clue as to their locations.
Scapa Flow, to the north west of South Ronaldsay is arguably one of the best diving locations in Europe. Divers can explore the remnants of the scuttled German fleet as well as the sunken 'blockships'. The clean pollution free water allows for clear vision under water enabling divers good views of the wrecks as well as varied marine life. Visitors can also enjoy fishing off the barriers and local boats are available for hire.