Stronsay, Orkney

Stronsay is a busy farming island, with acres of farmland, lovely beaches and low cliffs, including the impressive natural arch, the Vat of Kirbuster.

Whitehall pier in Stronsay, Orkney

The main town of Whitehall was a centre for Herring fishing for 200 years until the early 20th Century. Kelp making (to manufacture soap and glass) was also a major industry in Stronsay during the 18th Century.

These days, monks are a familiar sight in Stronsay – the Golgotha monastery was established in the 1990s on Papa Stronsay.

Vat of Kirbister, Stronsay, Orkney

Sites worth a visit include:

  1. The Vat of Kirbuster – in the South East side of Stronsay is the Vat of Kirbuster, a collapsed sea cave which has formed a natural arch. There are several other sea cavses nearby and the walk to the Vat of Kirbuster is particularly recommended.
  2. Rothiesholm – the only moorland in Stronsay, Rothiesholm is home to teaming wildlife and new wind turbines
  3. Whitehall Village – a once busy harbour town during the Herring Boom, Whitehall resembles fishing villages found in the North East of Scotland. Now the harbour is home to creel boats. Restaurants, cafes, bars and shops can be found in Whitehall.
Whitehall, Stronsay, Orkney

Top tips

  • Do not attempt to walk on the rocks spanning the top of the Vat of Kirbister – the stone is loose and could fall.
  • The Ayre of Myres is a beach at the back of Whitehall Village – it has a lovely area for picnics!
Stronsay in Orkney from the air