Observatory Hostel, NRBO, North Ronaldsay, Orkney Islands, KW17 2BE

Call Duty Warden on 01857 633200

Self catering hostel and bird observatory on North Ronaldsay

The North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory is situated at the south west corner of the island with outstanding views and an adjacent shell sand beach. Seals and the unique seaweed-eating sheep are abundant along the coast which skirts the 34 acres of croft managed by the observatory. The observatory sees spectacular bird migration through the island in spring and autumn. It offers a special attraction for those interested in wildlife, but welcomes all visitors. The Observatory Hostel consists of three dormitories and a self-catering kitchen in a converted barn and byre of the croft. The Byre sleeps four in two bunks and has en-suite washing, shower and toilet facilities, great for family use. The Barn also sleeps four and shares facilities with the Bøl which has a single bunk sleeping two. Adjacent is the Observatory Guest House (3 star) which has a lounge bar and meals which are available to hostellers. Camping (electric hook-up) and grocery shop on-site.

This accommodation is featured on our map of Orkney and Shetland and here is its own website.


Available    Unavailable


  • Beds & Rooms:

    10: 2x4,1x2 + Guest house.
  • Open:

    All year. All day. No curfews.
  • Price per night:

    Hostel: £22, half board from £49. Guest house: private rooms £66 - £90 half board.
  • Booking:

    Advance booking essential.
  • Directions:

    Situated at the south west corner of the island.
  • Public Transport :

    Loganair flights from Kirkwall (Orkney) leave daily. Ferry from Kirkwall on Fridays and between May-Sept also on Tuesdays (subject to tides and weather). Small boats may be chartered. Orkney can be reached by vehicle ferries from Aberdeen, Thurso (Scrabster) and Gill's Bay, and a passenger summer service from John O'Groats.
  • Walks :

    Long Distance Walkers AssociationLong Distance Walks
This accommodation is featured on the following pages
By the Sea Close to a Pub Individuals welcome Camping Small Hostels En suite rooms Breakfast Evening Meals

This accommodation is available at the following peak times

Available Easter 2024 Available May Day Bank Holiday 2024 Available Spring Bank Holiday or Half Term 2024 Available August Bank Holiday 2023 Available October Half Term 2024


aMixed dormitories
bSingle sex dormitories
cPrivate rooms
&Family rooms
dBedding provided
gFully heated
mMeals available (with notice)
nBreakfast available (with notice)
kSelf catering facilities
iDrying room
pClothes washing facilities


Map showing the location of Observatory Hostel View Nearby Hostels

News & Offers from Observatory Hostel

If you’re a bird lover you have to stay at the Observatory Hostel

April 19th 2022

On the Island of North Ronaldsay in the Orekneys you will have nothing but uninterrupted peace on the rugged island as you can see some wonderful wildlife in the air, on the land and even in the sea.

The sea-weed munching sheep will welcome you to the remote island 5km away from the nearest island and you will find a haven for those with wings or legs who enjoy the wilds of this windswept island. The observatory hostel provides a great base to explore the island and the remoteness means when the sun goes down the stars come out, whether permitting of course, and there are few better places to see the constellations than here.

Latest News

Observatory Hostel on the Isle of North Ronaldsay is still open this winter

November 25th 2020

This absolute gem of a hostel in the Orkney Islands is open in line with the latest Covid restrictions. Bookings are limited so that groups of guests are not sharing facilites.

We request that visitors follow good hand hygiene practice and social distancing, and not to travel to Orkney if unwell.

Latest News

Contact Observatory Hostel

Contact Observatory Hostel - Call Duty Warden on 01857 633200

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