St. Margaret’s Hope is a small village on South Ronaldsay, Orkney Islands off the north-east coast of Scotland. It sits in a sheltered bay on the north coast of South Ronaldsay and is known locally as The Hope. The Pentland Ferry which runs daily from Gills Bay, Thurso on the Scottish mainland lands at the harbour at St. Margaret’s Hope so for many visitors this is the first place they see when they arrive in Orkney. The island of South Ronaldsay is connected to the mainland of Orkney by the A961 road across the Churchill Barriers which are a set of 4 causeways in Orkney linking the mainland to a number of smaller islands.
The Pentland Ferry is a custom built catamaran and provides an excellent daily link between Orkney and the mainland for cars, commercial vehicles and passengers.
The village has a primary school, a post office, a small blacksmith’s museum, a number of shops and restaurants and two small hotels. The village has only a few roads, Front Road, Back Road, Pier Road, School Road and Church Road – so very simple and navigate and you can walk round the village in a very short while.
We stayed at the wonderful B&B called The Creel on Front Road – the owners stayed next door in the old Bank of Scotland building.
A short walk from Front Road you can find the delightful community garden which even has a palm tree!
On Church Road you can find Robertsons Coffeehoose and Bar which serves a great coffee, snacks, full meals and local beers – great place to stop for breakfast, a morning coffee or an evening refreshment. This used to be the local grocery store and still retains the old wooden counter and shelves.
There is an excellent craft and gift shop on Front Road called The Workshop selling local arts and crafts, woolens and gifts. Outside this shop were two wonderful old vintage cars.
From the village ther are a number of pleasant walks along the coast with views over the bay.
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