We're very happy to have as guest writers Paul and Julie Allan from the beautiful Orkney island of Sanday, where they play host to campers and other interesting folk from all over the world. Thank you, Paul and Julie!
P&J: Hello, we are Paul and Julie Allan - owners and directors of Ayres Rock Hostel and Campsite.
P&J: We moved to Orkney in 2007, with our two children. We always idealised the idea of one day owning a campsite and hostel. However, we did not come to Sanday with the intention of buying.
We originally came here on holiday in our motorhome and fell in love with the beaches and freedom of island life. Which was opposite of our rat race life styles in Bristol, where family time was scarce.
The fact we could move up and
own our own business was the cherry on top.
P&J: Without being biased, our favourite place has to be a beautiful beach in Sanday called Saville Bay.
With white sands and blue clear seas it could be mistaken for the Bahamas (if the weather held up its end lol).
P&J: Favourite time of year would have to be spring. It tends to be when the sun shines the most and you have all the lambs and calves as well as the start of spring flowers and plants.
P&J: The Soulka events which are held in Sanday are great family weekends planned by locals.
These show off the island's history, skills, community, agriculture, artists and businesses through hosting events for all to partake in - always lots of fun and interesting.
P&J: Favourite Orcadian phrase has to be “hellibouys” the word for hailstones.
P&J: We have had a guest who managed to travel from Petticoat Lane all the way to us by hitchhiking. She was in her 80s and wore a top hat!
Inspirational really but also an opportunity for a laugh. It’s amazing the lengths folk will go to get here.
P&J: Visit the islands! They are steeped in history, nature and just indescribable beautiful scenery.
In the outer islands you gain the strong sense of community. Although small in size, you would have enough walking, nature watching and sightseeing to last days.
P&J: Doun Helzie south east walk on Sanday has high cliffs with access to little sandy bays with crystal clear water. It's ideal for braving a quick dip in the sea and exploring archeological faults and caves.
P&J: We run self catering accommodation in the form of a hostel, campsite, camping pods, caravan and self catering cottage.
We serve locals and guests from afar who would like a trip away to visit our beautiful island. People from all over the world come to stay with us and love our unique location, being situated right on a bay with stunning views of the ocean.
Our guests have plenty of opportunities to see nature such as birds, otters and seals to name a few.
We have run the business for 14 years and maintained a 4 star Scottish tourism rating throughout, which we are proud of.
All our accommodation is family friendly and hosts comfy rooms. The great thing about having such a variety on site is that there is something to suit everyone.
P&J: Getting to interact with visitors and share our island with them has to be what we enjoy most about it.
It’s great to hear others' stories and interests and in turn share our knowledge of the island, advising places which may suit their interests where they could visit during their stay.
We pride ourselves on customer service and providing people with a pleasurable stay, and we take enjoyment in doing so.
P&J: Logan Air islander planes are under-used. Once on an outer island you can fly to Kirkwall and some other islands for £19 return.