Lonely Planet Writer

A remote Scottish island wants people to visit – and maybe stay forever

A Scottish island in the northernmost part of the UK is hoping for travellers to take notice and come for a visit – and maybe even start a new life there.

Cow enjoying the sun on Stronsay, Orkney Islands, Scotland, UK. Image by Joeri Coppens/Getty Images

Stronsay, an island in the northern Scottish region of Orkney, has launched its own tourism site, VisitStronsay.com, encouraging people to consider a trip. Billed as a quiet spot away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the island has only about 300 residents. However, it’s a “tight-knit community with a rich social and cultural life underpinned by a sense of place, freedom and self-sufficiency that many city-dwellers frustrated with the frenetic pace of modern life can only dream about”.

A post shared by Stronsay (@visitstronsay) on

It’s that community that residents are hoping will make others want to join them. The case for moving there is made in a testimonial by the Whiteman family, in which Shirley Whiteman explains her decision to move with her family to the island after applying for a job to be a community nurse. They’ve now been on the island for five years and say they have no regrets about choosing to call it home.

A post shared by Stronsay (@visitstronsay) on

The website explains that locals tend to have multiple jobs – like a teacher also serving as a lifeguard – so it may also provide an opportunity to learn some new skills. The island is quite flat, meaning it’s great to explore by bicycle, which could get you out exploring and exercising on its traffic-free roads. If it seems too soon to commit to a whole new life, you could just consider making a trip to see what all the fuss it about.

Heading to Stornsay – and the islands in the archipelago of Orkney – are likely an appealing spot to get further away from the masses as tourism grows in Scotland. While Stornsay is eager for new visitors, other regions have suffered under the number of travellers looking to explore Scotland’s islands. In particular, the incredible beauty of the Isle of Skye has brought in so many eager explorers that in the summer local police issued a warning for travellers to make sure they have accommodation before heading to the island if they plan to stay overnight.