Sanday Ferry - Kirkwall to Loth

We arrive early, the post at the ferry terminal for Sanday isn't there yet.  In the usual Orcadian style, they aren't ready yet, come back in a bit!

We circle the harbour, eventually finding a spot to watch the comings and goings of the ferries to the Northern Isles.  Shapinsay finally leaves and we know that there will be space to queue for the ferry to Sanday.

Loading is efficient, cars and trucks loaded in order.  Sizes assessed by the crew, spaces used to the maximum.

From the small outside deck we watch as Kirkwall becomes a distant memory.  Its town-like bustle something to be forgotten for a few days.  Passing the gun emplacements at Salt Ness on Shapinsay the storm clouds on the horizon are visible. 

From sunshine to rain as is the norm on Orkney can be seen in the distance.  Eday with the wind turbines of Sanday beyond taking the full brunt of a summer down pour. 

The ferry passes Ness of Ork on Shapinsay before heading between Eday and Stronsay.  The rain hitting as we hit the open water between the three islands.

As the sunshine emerges the ferry approaches Loth.  The wind turbines on the hill above the jetty welcoming us to the tranquility of Sanday.

Eday and Sanday in a rain shower from the ferry

A little iphone picture from the ferry!

How to Get to Sanday in the Orkney Islands

Sanday is a 90-minute ferry ride from Kirkwall on Orkney Mainland.  Travel is possible as a foot passenger, with a car or bike and dogs can travel as well.

A direct ferry runs daily unless the weather is really bad.  You do need to book but payment is not taken until you are on board.

When you arrive in Kirkwall, follow the signs to the North Isles Ferry.  Follow behind the buildings until you see a row of signs.  Park the car by the island you are travelling to.

The crew will load the cars and other vehicles in the best order for them.  Do not get frustrated if the loading is random and you are last on despite being there first.  There is a reason to the order.

Park your car where instructed and head up onto the deck.  Just remember to put your handbreak on!

During the crossing someone will come round and take payment for cars and foot passengers.

It is a lovely crossing passing Shapinsay, Eday and Stronsay.  Getting outside and enjoying the scenery is worthwhile even if it means wrapping up well.

You can also fly from Kirkwall airport to Sanday.  The flight is just a short hop and if you don't want to take your car over it is a quick alternative.  It is also a great adventure if you want a day trip to the island.  Just remember to organise some transport for when you arrive on Sanday as it is a fair walk to anywhere on the island from the airport.

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