Frequently Asked Questions

How can we travel to Orkney and then find Annie's Place?

Guests ask advice on the best way  to travel to Orkney and how to find Annie's Place once they arrive.  So if you are wondering the same thing, here is a quick guide to both questions.

Travel to Orkney

Most people come by ferry but you can fly with Loganair to Kirkwall Airport via Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen or Inverness airports. It is possible to ‘do’ Orkney without a car, but if you’re flying you’ll probably want to hire a car. As Orkney is becoming more popular as a holiday destination, it is advisable to pre-book your hire car for collection at the airport.

There are three possible ferry routes. Two are run by Northlink-Serco; The Hamnavoe from Scrabster (near Thurso on the north coast) to Stromness, which is the closest destination for Annie’s Place, and The Hjatland from Aberdeen to Kirkwall. The third route is from Gills Bay, near Wick to St Margarets Hope and is operated by Pentland Ferries.

Both Northlink-Serco ferries provide a comfortable crossing with a range of services and activities provided on board, including comfortable seating, a restaurant with a wide menu, a small shop selling Orkney gifts, magazines, sweets etc and a bar selling drinks and snacks. There are also cabins available for the overnight crossing to Aberdeen or for sleeping overnight on the Hamnavoe if you are booked on an early morning sailing. Sailing times vary throughout the year with more ferries available during holiday periods.

The Aberdeen/Kirkwall route leaves at 17.00 and arrives in Kirkwall at 23.00 pm. The return journey involves overnight travel with various sleeping arrangement options, leaving Kirkwall at 23.00 and arriving at 07.00 in Aberdeen. These crossings are not every day and are on the Aberdeen to Shetland route..

For further information about the times and cost for both ferries contact Northlink ferries, see details below. If you have friends or family on Orkney then you may be able to arrange for a discount on the ferry crossings.
http://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/

The Pentland ferry is a catamaran with basic catering and seating arrangements. The company have recently purchased a larger and more modern boat. This ferry journey is a slightly shorter crossing to Orkney than the ferry to Stromness, but as its passengers disembark at St Margaret's Hope, about 20 minutes south of Kirkwall, there is a longer travel time and distance from there to Annie's Place. Off season this ferry service runs more frequently than the Hamnavoe. For timetable and costs contact :
http://www.pentlandferries.co.uk/

I hope this information and the links assist your decision making on how to travel to Orkney, but I’m always happy to give further advice if required.

Instructions for driving to Annie's Place;

From Kirkwall you take A965 (main road to Stromness)  and travel along it, beyond Finstown, when shortly after the A986 turns off on right. Turn into A986 and continue on this road through Dounby (with local Coop, butcher and fuel). A few miles on the A967 (going to Stromness) turns into the A986 but you just keep going straight ahead through Twatt. For the final directions to Annie's Place from here, you should pick up on the relevant directions I have given below for travellers coming from Stromness.

From Stromness you take the A967 until it reaches the crossroads with A986 just before Twatt. You turn left onto the A986 and follow that road through Twatt with Loch of  Boardhouse on your right handside.

You finally come to a final crossroad and turn left there, driving a short distance down towards the sea until you have reached the ruined Earl's Palace on your left. Then turn left into the road which takes you along the side of the Palace; take care as this road into the village turns left round the end of the Palace on a sharp narrow bend, and there may be a car coming in the opposite direction towards you.  A few more metres driving takes you past the entrance to St Magnus Church on the right, and the entrance to Parking Area on the left. You will then be in centre of Palace Village. Palace Stores (now sadly closed) is on your right hand side. The lane leading up the right hand side of the shop is the lane for Annie's Place leading to the sea shore.  You will see a blue door (and nameplate on the yellow lime - washed building) which is the entrance to Annie's Place. 

Annies P front door

How do we book the apartment?

You can make a reservation with us by using the Check Availability & Book Online Button which is on each page of the website, at the top of each page. Put in the dates you are considering and follow through on the instructions as they appear. You need to click on the "Select Units" option and select the option "1" (which means our one property of Annie's Place: the menu is designed for owners with more than one property). It is then important to indicate, on the drop down menu "Adults", how many adult and (if appropriate) children will be in your party.

You can also make a reservation by using the Contact Us sheet which is on the Contact page of this website. When you contact us and confirm your details I can make the booking for you.

Our contact details are at the bottom of each website page. If we do not answer your phone call then please  leave a message or send a text to the mobile number. The landline phone number is 01856 721491. The mobile number is : 44 07503522089

As our business is very small we are not registered for credit card payments: payment is by BAC or cheque. Once you have made the reservation, an email is immediately sent to us and we will email you as soon as possible (normally within the hour) with the details of how to make your deposit. Please note that the deposit is non-refundable. We ask that you make the deposit within the week, thereby securing your booking. We will subsequently contact you one month before your holiday regarding payment of the balance and with other information, including directions for finding Annie's Place. 

What are our Booking Terms and Conditions?

If the booking is made 4 weeks or more before the holiday starts, a deposit of £100 per week is payable immediately to secure the booking. On receipt of this deposit the booking will be confirmed in writing (normally by email). If this deposit has not been received within 7 days of the booking enquiry then the provisional booking may lapse. The balance of the rent is due 4 weeks before the start date of the holiday. An email will be sent as a reminder.

If the booking is made less than 4 weeks before the start date, then the full rent is payable within 7 days of the booking enquiry. If the balance payment is not received by the due date, then the guest may lose the booking and the deposit will be forfeited.

What are our Cancellation Terms and Conditions?

A booking should be confirmed within one week by deposit of £100 for each week booked. This deposit is non-refundable.

In the event of cancellation by the guest within the 4 week period before a holiday begins, the whole rent will be retained. If we succeed in re-letting then the rent shall be returned, less the deposit which will be retained as a handling fee.

With more than 4 week’s notice of cancellation, the rent shall be returned less the deposit amount. 

Cancellation Insurance – It is recommended that guests take out insurance (even for this UK holiday) to cover any monies lost to them due to above cancellation policy.

Will we need to bring our own food and provisions?

You will find tea, coffee and sugar in the kitchen when you arrive. There will also be Orkney milk and butter in the fridge. In addition to these basics, our complimentary breakfast hamper will be awaiting your arrival. If you have any special dietary requirements, we suggest you bring supplies with you at least to tide you over for the first couple of days.  There are a number of privately owned shops including butchers and bakers throughout Orkney which we would recommend you consider buying from.. Our village shop, Palace Stores, in particular provides basic necessities, and their own home baking. If you need to buy from supermarkets then there are ones in Kirkwall, Stromness or Dounby. Fuel and electric charging points are available in these main towns. The nearest are in Dounby, about seven minutes drive away.

Are there places to eat, or takeaways if we do not fancy cooking for ourselves?

There are plenty of very good places to eat out in Orkney. Orkney is famous for its quality meat and fish; most finds its way to top London restaurants but can be bought in local shops in Kirkwall and Stromness for cooking in Annie's Place.  If, however, you walk up to The Barony Hotel, you can enjoy a full a la carte menu, though it advisable to check ahead that they can accommodate you.   Further afield, the restaurants are good to excellent: you will find information about many of them in the flat on your arrival.

Are children welcome?

Yes, children are always welcome and will find plenty of things to entertain them in the area. Our own grandchildren live just two miles away, and the school bus leaves the village every morning of the week. The sailor’s chest is full of surprises for our young guests..  

Can we bring our pets?

Generally we are willing to accommodate a pet dog (no St Bernards etc.) but will ask you to forward an additional deposit of £25 to cover possible extra cleaning costs.  We may agree to 2 small dogs at an additional total charge of £30. Please note this must be pre-arranged. We have owned a number of pets in the past, including dogs!

Where can we fuel our car?

There are some petrol pumps available throughout Orkney Mainland and in the towns of Kirkwall and Stromness.The nearest pumps to Annie's Place are in Dounby or Quoyloo. Prices on Orkney now benefit from an island tariff reduction of 5p per litre. There are also electricity charging points throughout the island and the nearest is close by in Dounby. It is just off the main road through Dounby, in the parking area behind the Primary school. 

Is smoking permitted in the apartment?

There is a no smoking policy within Annie’s Place, so that guests arriving can be sure it is a smoke free apartment. 

Double Bedroom
Garden Of Old Manse
Sitting Room Facing South
View Of Annies Place Within Old Manse