The sweeping sandy dunes of Tresness in Sanday give you impression of being in another world. The wide expanse of white sand leads you down to the crystal clear water during the summer and takes you miles away from the nearest house or road.

Sanday isn’t just famous for its beaches, it’s also rich in archaeological sites. Two years ago the remains of a Bronze Age settlement were discovered emerging from the sand at Tresness. In all it’s thought around fourteen structures are present over a kilometre of beach.

To the untrained eye the settlement can be hard to identify, with thousands of stones spread across the area, but it has been hailed as an important find in Orkney. It is under severe threat from coastal erosion though, as the sea continues its advances.

How to get there

There are daily Orkney Ferries sailings to Sanday. You can also fly to the island with Loganair.

In the area

Sanday Ranger – join the Sanday Ranger for special walks, talks and events throughout the summer months, all aimed at highlighting the beautiful natural attractions of this special island.

Start Point Lighthouse – take a walk to the tidal island of Start Point and climb the distinctive lighthouse for stunning views. It was built in 1870 and tours of the site are held by the Sanday Ranger during the summer.

Sanday Heritage Centre – the island’s Heritage Centre is a real treasure-trove of artefacts from Sanday history. Next door is an interpretation of a traditional island croft house too.

Quoyness Chambered Cairn – crawl through the nine-metre long entrance passage into the 5,000 years old tomb at Quoyness, first excavated around one hundred and fifty years ago.

Find out more

Visit our dedicated Sanday page for more information on the island. You can also search for accommodation in Sanday.

Visit the official island website for more advice on things to see and do.