The Creel B&B
The Creel Bed and Breakfast
at St Margaret's Hope, Orkney
The Creel has changed hands. But its superb location remains the same! The Creel is now a bed and breakfast on the waterfront of the bay. The sea view rooms have windows opening on the magnificent panorama of ever-changing water, fields and wide-open Orkney sky. The comfortable rooms all have en-suite facilities. Also available is a self-catering flat (double bedroom, plus a sofa bed in its sitting room), in the owner’s property, Bank of Scotland House, next door.
The Creel is a less-than-three minutes' drive from the berthing pier of the Pentland Ferry, the easiest, quickest and smoothest crossing to Orkney, a little over 6 miles from Gills Bay (near John O’Groats) across the Pentland Firth. Park on the waterfront right outside the door. Settle in, then come down again to enjoy a drink in the sitting room while taking in the panoramic view of the bay through the wide window.
St Margaret's Hope is a lovely place to use as a base for exploring Orkney. The main town of South Ronaldsay island (pop. 550), it is Orkney's third largest settlement after Kirkwall and Stromness. It's a picturesque and unspoilt village, and, quite rightly, a conservation zone. There’s a nice description here. This website site opens on a view of the bay and The Creel is centre-picture.
St Margaret's Hope can make a good base for any visit to Orkney. The island of South Ronaldsay is connected to the mainland by the Churchill Barriers and so is in easy reach, by scenic roads, of all the main tourists sites and points of interest.
With its landscapes of heathland, beaches, lochs, cliffs and rocks, there is plenty to enjoy – birds of many kinds, seals, and otters.
The water to the east is Scapa Flow the second largest natural harbour in the world. Former home of the Imperial Fleet, it is also the resting place of the German Fleet scuppered there after the end of WWI. Many come to dive in its clear, clean waters or to fish or go boating.
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After a working life spent abroad as an expat businessman, I saw The Creel and the owner's house next door, and, like in the old Remington advertisement, liked them so much I decided to buy them. Fortunately for me, they were on the market so I didn't have to make an offer that couldn't be refused.
I've stayed in a hotel or two in my time and decided to make this one the kind of place I would have like to find myself in but rarely did.
And what, you may ask, might that kind of hotel be? In my view, it's a simple matter of a real welcome, home comforts, rooms with a view that are also large enough to swing a cat in, and the added bonus of being somewhere new and beautiful.
So do come and stay with me.