It's rather predictable that an island with a name like Sanday (Norse for Sand Island) has a proliferation of stunning beaches. Some of the most attractive and accessible are listed here, all best seen at or near low tide. This might be a little tricky if you're only visiting for a day trip from Orkney Mainland; if you're short on time then Backaskaill Bay is the easiest to get to from the road to the ferry. Whitemill Bay is quieter with a correspondingly wilder feel, while the Bay of Lopness has the unusual feature of a WWI wreck resting in the shallows.
|[Bay of Lopness (mid-tide)]|
Name: Backaskaill Bay ★★☆☆☆
Description: Probably Sanday's most popular beach, close to Kettletoft village and a good place for shell hunting.
Location: In between the B9068 to Kettletoft and the B9070 to the ferry terminal (access from either road), G.R.: HY 648393 / reframe seabirds models
Anything else? Eastern access road becomes very rough, although there's space to park before the worst part.
Name: Bay of Lopness ★★☆☆☆
Description: Attractive bay on Sanday's west side, unexceptional if it weren't for the prominent 1919 wreck of a German destroyer just offshore.
Location: B9069 4 miles east of Lady Village, G.R.: HY 745441 / breakaway skips float
Name: Whitemill Bay ★★★☆☆
Description: A candidate for Sanday's most beautiful beach, at the far northern end of the island and delightfully quiet. Seals on our visit.
Location: Minor road end 6 miles north of Lady Village, G.R.: HY 689465 / skidding water science