I stayed at The Byre, Heddle, for a week in July 2008.
The one double bedroomed, luxury bathroom (loved the "drench shower" - although the water did go everywhere and had to be curtailed with the supplied lovely monogrammed towels) including wonderful locally produced shampoo, shower gel and hand wash. We liked it so much that we bought more in the main town for friends back home when we left.
The croft is quite small, but more than adequate for two, and the lighting was wonderful. It also has free wireless internet connection (which was great as I brought my laptop to play with!) and also sky/digital TV.
It has a dishwater (you'd have to be pretty lazy to use that with only 2 of you staying here, but I guess if you are on holiday...) and a complete range of kitchen stuff that you would never ordinarily see in a Self-Catered accomodation. It would probably be easier for you to check out their own website as listed.
I particularly liked the wireless internet conection for my laptop to my amusement and downloading my pics etc and the iPod docking station (HUGE!) for my music whilst around the house.
The place is extremely central, so if you want to "do" Orkney for all the historic etc bits then this is a great bit of luxory although I suppose you pay for what you get. We paid £450 (High Season) for the week, but that was for two of us and included all bills etc. The owner was onsite to help if you needed and was vey accomodating with advice etc. His mother was even more interesting with her stories when we knocked on their door, she's a fabulous lady, but I guess she doesn't count as part of the tour, though she's led an amazing life nonetheless!
All in all, the place was lovely, and Orkney has enormous appeal for anyone who likes standing stones and history in general.
Bathroom was more of a wet room, very nice!
Living area had wireless internet connection (included in the price) and a nice quality iPod docking station (good quality).
Property is "green" in that the roof is grass and the rubbish is filtered etc.
New for this year, Shirley and Gerry welcome you to their home. House overlooks Kirkwall bay and harbour from back of hill.
Very comfortable, clean rooms decorated to a high standard. They have a website you can check them out, just Google Hildeval, Orkney and you will find a link. Breakfast is superb and served in the upstairs dining room which has fantastic views from the large picture window.
They even have two very well behaved dogs which are available for walks if you fancy that.
Friendly hosts, great food, quiet surroundings
Not brilliant for price. very dated rooms though cleanish. Not to my taste. Not to sure about the hygiene of having a carpet in the toilet.
Put off when local lads drinking in the ajoining pub vomited outside.
Main plus was the location to my place of work. Null and void if you are a tourist though.
A great hotel. Orkney is pricey but I moved here after a 2 nights at a horrible hotel.
food is good with local fresh seafood. Lobster can be ordered with 24 hours notice.
I would definately go back
The Barn is the first place you pass on the way into Pierowall (Westray's main town) - the first buildings in the sweep of properties hugging Pierowall Bay, with the spectacular backdrop of the high western side of the island - hills from which, on a very clear day, you can see Shetland.
I've stayed at the Barn twice: in 2002, in a tent, and in 2004 in one of the caravans for rent. (Both times I was part of the Quoygrew archaeological excavation team run by the University of York).
I can't stress enough how accomodating and friendly the Harcus family was. These are terrific people, and very approachable if you have any special requests. Even though Westray people were all terrifically friendly to me (and as an archaeologist, I might have expected them to be a bit prickly), the Harcus family were uniquely hospitable.
The Barn operates both as a camp-site (tents and caravans) and as a hostel, and inside the cosy main building there are 5 bedrooms for sharing. There are showers, clothes-washing facilities and a well-equipped kitchen to use in the mornings (you supply the food). If you want to rent one of the two caravans out back, they're very basic but also very cheap.
This is not a big place, and booking ahead is definitely recommended as beds fill up quickly in the summer. It's also quite cosy: if you're travelling independently and choosing a place indoors you may end up sharing with others.
The location and view are both terrific. The centre of Pierowall is a ten-minute walk away - that's where the nearest pub is. A little further, maybe a 20 minute walk, are the two main shops of the island, Randall's and Tullock's, both selling everything under the sun and both virtually facing each other (defiantly).
The Pierowall minibus service is available for jaunts around the island, and runs back and forth taking people to and from the ferry terminal at the south of Westray. However, Westray isn't big, and you can get around a fair portion of it with walking boots or, a little quicker, on a bike hired from the Harcuses.
If you want slightly different watering hole, you can head eastwards out of the Barn towards Cleaton House: follow the line of the bay out and around the island, enjoying/avoiding the rocks, and you'll find it maybe an hour later.
On a hot summer's day, Pierowall Bay almost feels tropical.
This is a very homely, friendly B&B with lovely owners who are very friendly and willing to help. Mrs M Rendall (owner) was extremely nice and even gave me some of her home made dessert! (Lovely apple and rhubarb crumble with ice cream). Excellent breakfast, lovely room and planty of brochures etc available to help you plan your trip.
I have no hesitation in recommending this B&B to anyone.
I booked a spot at the Kirkwall Peedie Hostel but ended up in a bedroom in the adjacent house! I was surprised and lucky. For the price of 10 pounds per night, this was an unbeatable deal. I was allowed to use the house as if it were my own - use the kitchen, bathroom etc. I also had someone interesting to talk to (the lady who lives in the house), and on occasion someone else would stay there as well.
The location can't get any better. The Kirkwall bay and pier is right in front of you. The Peerie Sea is beautiful and is right next to you. The town centre is a 5-7 minute walk away, and there are neighbouring hotels that offer nice meals and bars.
The NorthLink ferry bus drops you off right at the door of the hostel! The normal bus station is only a 10 minute walk, maximum, up the street. The grocery store is only 10-15 mintues away as well, by foot. There is an Internet Cafe and Library where you can access the Internet, only 10 minutes by foot.
One of the best places to stay on Orkney.
A very spiritual place.
A converted mill, it retains much of the working parts inside - must be a nightmare to keep dust free - but it is very clean.
Good standards, worth the money, compared with other places.
Has real character!
Quite an amazing place - worth the effort to get out there. Stunning views of the wave smashed cliffs reward you for travelling to the west of this westerly island. Nothing but ocean between here and America, so lots of fresh air.
Bis Geos is a labour of love - and getting busy because it is so unique, so special.
Book ahead as it can be full.
Attention to detail, with a nautical theme. Hessian sacks instead of doors, ships lights in place of lamps. Lots of rope, netting and wooden boxes. A delight!
Very clean and lovingly maintained. All mod cons too.
Also has adjacent self catering apartments, similarly unique and worth staying, a great conservatory and a brilliant landcaped rock garden - you will be amazed.
Nicely decorated en-suite bedroom with all the required amenities,
The farm is set on beautiful Hoy.
The welcome we received was extremely warm and friendly.
Louise made us a lovely breakfast the next morning.
Food was 1st class and we really enjoyed the tranquility on the farm and the warm welcome.
A great place to stay on the mainland of Scotland before catching the ferry across to Orkney.
Note: This Hostel is not on Orkney Islands.
Well run, quiet tidy and clean ... good kitchen and small rooms (ours had 3 bunks sleeping 6 people but no one else in it).
Very peaceful location.
Ideal for early morning ferry from Gills Bay (6am).
Well established, compact and well run. A bit worn by heavy use but still fine.
A good meeting place and ideally situated by the ferry of Stromness.
Note the SYHA Hostel in Stromness is closed (2004) so this is your only budget choice, besides camping or bargain B&B.
Small rooms with door locks!
The Queen's Hotel is on Shore Street, Kirkwall, directly opposite the harbour and a few minutes' walk from the city centre, cathedral etc. It offers good value en-suite accommodation, ample breakfasts and has a choice of eating places for evening meals. Most importantly (on my visit, anyway) it has warm rooms with extra blankets if you feel the need!
Hostelling International Hostel.
One of the nicest and cleanest hostels I ever stayed in. The building used to host a radio station in WWII. We were here in late September and there were no other travelers around then so we could use the kitchen on our own to make wonderful dinners for the whole group!
The mill was built around 1861 by the Balfour estate, but a mill had been on the site since the 1500's. The balfour's were landownders and the mill was for their tenant famers. The mill was used for just over a century. It housed and employed four millers in that time. The main crop milled was bere which is a primitive form of barley. the mill fell into disrepair in the 1960"s. It was bought by the Heddle family and they restored it. The present owners bought the mill in 1995 and they again did more restoration.
It really is a beautifully converted water mill with fantastically friendly owners.
Sorry I cannot remember the price but I do know we thought it reasonable..
A beautifully converted water mill with fantastically friendly owners. We had the top studio and it was gorgeous. I had not booked this in advance and saw it quite by chance while driving along looking for somewhere to stay
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