Mingro is a unique beachside cottage that serves as a retreat from modern life. You'll go for a week and wish you had booked for two. A traditional stone cottage located on Rothiesholm Beach on the Orcadian island of Stronsay
Mingro is a traditional stone cottage located on Rothiesholm Beach on the island of Stronsay in the Northern Orkney Isles.
The beach is pretty much your own, and at high tide the sea is just a stones throw away from the back door. There isn't a more deserving property for our sea view and coastal collections.
Mingro is a retreat from modern life with no WiFi or TV. It's a refreshing and revitalising place to stay at for a week or two. You can completely switch off and get back to nature. Take long walks along the beach and coastline, chill out and devour those books on your reading list, and ponder why life can't always be like this.
You may have to travel a little further to reach Mingro which is situated on the Island of Stronsay - seven miles long by four miles wide. You catch two ferries to reach the cottage one from the Scottish mainland to Orkney and then the second from Kirkwall to Stronsay. Alternatively you can fly from Kirkwall to Stronsay, which only takes a few minutes. You can make your way the five miles from the airport to the cottage via bicycle (there's a free scheme to borrow a bike in the village), on foot or by local taxi (booked in advance). Your adventure starts when you take the first ferry and you won't regret it.
Stronsay is known as the Island of Bays due to it's miles of empty sandy beaches. The three most spectacular bays are Rothiesholm Beach which Mingro sits beside, St Catherine's Bay an excellent place to dig for 'spoots' (razor clams), and Mill Bay which is a favourite haunt for collecting sea glass and home of Stronsay Bird Reserve.
Beyond the bays and beaches there's miles of outstanding coastline to explore, including arguably Orkney's most impressive sea arch, the Vat of Kirbister. There's a brilliant walk from Odiness Bay to the arch that takes in sea stacks, hermitage sites, caves, natural swimming pools and an iron age fort as well. Certainly a must-do when visiting the island, especially as along the way you will see a huge array of sea birds, including the cherished puffins at certain times of the year.
Beyond the inspirational natural surroundings there's a wealth of history to explore. Stronsay has five Iron Age brochs, Bronze Age dykes and evidence of Neolithic tombs, at least 3000 years old. There's also Norse history with evidence at Dane's Pier, an old Viking harbour. More recent history can be seen in Whitehall village, the islands capital, which was a centre of the herring fishing industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. The population now is under 400 people, but during the herring years there were over 5000 people employed curing fish and also collecting kelp. The heritage centre in Whitehall makes for a fascinating visit.
Returning to Mingro after exploring every corner of this fantastic island you have a wee haven to relax within and enjoy. Upon entering the property the hallway has a helpful boot and coat rack. Straight ahead of you is the bathroom. To the left, the hub of the home, the kitchen/dining room complete with multi-fuel stove, large table, modern appliances and views out of the patio doors to Rothiesholm Beach and the Bay of Holland and out of the window to the front of the property across the reed beds to The Bu (Loch). It's a beautiful, double-aspect space which is engrossing to spend time in and cook hearty island fare.
Back to the hallway the bedroom and living room are at the other side of the house. The bedroom is stylish and comfortable, and the cosy living room has another multi-fuel stove to enjoy while you read or listen to the radio.