Things To DoExplore

Many coming to Stronsay for the first time find the best way to become familiar with the island is to cycle, exploring by themselves.

Arriving on Stronsay, you’ll be struck by the quiet peacefulness of Whitehall village.

Whitehall’s hotel and row of seafront houses is bordered by two piers, a link to the village’s foundation as a herring fishing station in the 19th century. You can discover more about the island’s fishing heritage from the fascinating display at the Fishmart Café and Hostel.

Whitehall overlooks the separate island of Papa Stronsay, across the blue waters of Papa Sound. A prominent feature of the smaller island is the monastery complex of the Transalpine Redemptorist monks who live there.

A short walk on past Whitehall Village takes in the popular beach picnic and seal observation spot of the Ayre of the Myres. Those looking to stretch their legs more can carry on to St Catherine’s Bay (3.7 miles), a wide, round bay, with shallow waters and an easily accessible beach (there is car park here for those who would prefer not to walk).

Contact the Stronsay Ranger for much, much more information.


A walk around the wildlife haven of Holland Farm (1.3 miles) leads to a choice of bird and seal hides. For the more adventurous, try the cliff walk through dramatic coastal scenery (6.5 miles) from Odiness Bay to Lamb Head that includes some of Stronsay’s most famous landmarks including the Vat of Kirbister and Burgh Head.

If you prefer pedal power to get around the island, you’ll be blessed with traffic free roads through flat lush farmland with virtually uninterrupted views of the sea. Visitors without wheels of their own can borrow bikes, free of charge, from Ebenezer Stores in Whitehall. Head north from Whitehall to St John’s Hill, one of the lowest-lying hills in Scotland with a stunning 360° view of the North Isles and Stronsay. Or cycle across the centre of the island for the view of the interlocking bays by the school and Community Centre.