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.

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 :

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. Type 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 how many adults and (if appropriate) children will be in your party; you do this by clicking on the drop down menu "Adults",

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. In order to do this, I will need your name, home and email addresses, mobile phone number, and the names of those in your party, including ages of any children.

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 which is the phone I use most often!.  The mobile number is : 44 07503522089. The landline phone number is 01856 721491.

As our business is very small we are not registered for credit card payments: payment is by BAC or cheque; once you have made your reservation, an email isautomatically 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, in order to secure 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. 

NB Should Covid 19 government restrictions prevent guests coming to Orkney, then the deposit and any balance paid will be refunded but only if these restrictions prevent accommodation being available to guests, not due to guest's illness or some other reason that they cannot come when their booking is avaiable.

What are our Booking Terms and Conditions?

If the booking is made 4 weeks or more before the holiday starts, a deposit of £150 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 the deposit has not been received within 7 days of the booking enquiry then the provisional booking may lapse. We would contact you by email to check with you about the deposit and the booking. 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.

Specific Terms and Conditions relating to Covid19 :

We are taking all precautions required  and update our procedures, cleaning protocols and visitor information/advice regularly following OK and Scottish Governement guidance and that of NHS Orkney, orkney Island Council and the Association of Scottish Self Caters....our most recent Covid Care Plan was updated on 25th June 2021.

Normally if a booking is cancelled by guests in advance of a holiday and this is not caused by Covid 19 restrictions, the deposit is non returnable as detailed above. However, during 2021, in the exceptional circumstances where Government Covid-19 restrictions prevent guests or Annie's Place hosts fulfilling a booking, then the deposit/balance paid for the booking will either be carried forward to a future booking or will be refunded. 

Should guests test positive during their booking at Annie's Place then a Destination Orkney Fact Sheet is provided within the Annie's Place Welcome Folder which outlines the actions they should take.

We will immediately follow the Government Guidelines in these circumstances. This may invovle us asking you to leave immediately or to self isolate here. Should you have to self isolate with us, the guidance states that all costs incurred for an extended stay would be your responsibility to settle - please do ensure you have relevant cover in your holiday insurance policy.

Should we have guests self-isolating with us, when you are due to arrive, we will alert you immediately and discuss the situation with you. We will refund your advance payment but we cannot be held responsible or liable for any additiona costs involved pertaining to Covid 19.



What are our Cancellation Terms and Conditions?

Guest are asked to confirm their booking within one week by making a deposit of £150 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 balance of the rent shall be returned, but not the deposit which will be retained as a handling fee. However, should a guest make another booking then we will carry the original deposit forward to that new booking.

With more than 4 week’s notice of cancellation, the rent shall be returned but less the deposit amount which is non-refundable. 

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 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, including home made pies and sausage rolls. 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 ten minutes drive away.

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

There are a range of places for eating out while on holiday in Orkney and information about these can be found in the Tourist Information Centre in Kirkwall and on the website . Orkney is famous for its quality meat and fish; most finds its way to top London restaurants but also can be bought in local shops in Kirkwall and Stromness for cooking in Annie's Place. You can order fish and chips in advance at the week-end from The Barony Hotel a few minutes drive up the road. Further afield, the restaurants are good to excellent. Guests comment very positively on the pizzas that can be ordered as take-aways at Eviedale Bakery in Evie about 15 minutes drive from Annie's Place. The Birsay Bay tearoom is a few minutes walk up the road and provides great lunches with baking and afternoon high teas until approximately 16.00hrs. Since Covid19 safety requirements came into place, the tearoom began taking bookings using the link on their Facebook page. Finally, you can link through to our village store, Palace Stores, to check out Ellis's homemade pies and sausage rolls as well as her range of home baking, milkshakes and ice creams. There are also ready made meals in the shop's freezer for last minute meal planning! 

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 love coming to the shoreline to search for shells, crabs and all the other wonders that the sea can provide. The sailor’s chest is full of games 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 £30 to cover extra cleaning costs.  We may agree to 2 small/medium dogs at an additional total charge of £45. 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. Please note that although there is a pertol pump in front of the Palace village shop, petrol is no longer available from there.

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. We also have mains electric smoke and heat alarm system fitted for guests' safety which woud immediately detect cigarette smoke!

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