Sometimes, when writing these natters, a hostel comes up which makes me go, “Wow!” and sit back in my chair.
The Observatory Hostel on North Ronaldsay just did that to me.
Knowing nothing about it, I assumed the ‘observatory’ part of its name meant a telescope-type observatory: gazing at the stars through the no-doubt-crystal-clear Orcadian nights. I was wrong. The full title is “North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory”. It is part of a complex around a scientific bird-monitoring facility on the most far northern Orkney Isle.
There are 3 hostel buildings available to groups or individuals: The Byre sleeps four in two rooms with en suite facilities; The Barn and the Bøl sleeps four and two respectively and shares facilities. The adjacent Observatory Guest House is available for meals if you don’t fancy self-catering.
Glancing through the amazing Social media picture gallery you get some sense of why the observatory is there. They’ve just tweeted that the Autumn migration is beginning and they’re expecting a deluge of birdlife to pass through. What a fabulous experience that must be. Scrolling further though their observations, you get a sense of the range of wild, almost arctic life to see including seals, humpbacked whales and orcas.
What a treat for anyone into wildlife!Find out more about Observatory Hostel