Wheems Organic Farm

UK Scotland Scottish Isles Orkney

  • Contactless check in
  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Laundry
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
Philosophically spot-on organic eco-camping with a warm welcome

Not for nothing did the poet and novelist George Mackay Brown say that the Orkney imagination was haunted by time. There’s something otherworldly about the Orkney Islands. There’s been a human presence here for thousands of years; the living in places like Skara Brae and the dead in the Neolithic burial chamber of Maes Howe, whose entry shaft is perfectly aligned with the setting sun on the winter solstice.

The land’s been smoothed over by the prevailing winds, and the resulting views are of rolling hills and water, water everywhere between the 70 islands that make up the archipelago. The dun hills are are like the patternless tweed of a geography teacher’s jacket and the sky can do everything from broody to menthol-clear.

Many visitors arrive on the short ferry hop from Gills Bay, between Thurso and John O'Groats on the family-run Pentalina ferry, to the charming little port village of St Margaret's Hope. From here it's a couple of miles over the hill to Wheems Organic Farm. Owned by Mike Roberts, though now largely run by his daughter Islay, the campsite has a simple and fitting ethos; to keep things small, simple and eco friendly but, most of all, to share the beauty of this ethereal setting with all who choose to visit.

For those seeking creature comforts, Mike has constructed four solid wooden bothies, insulated with sheeps’ fleece and with long double-glazed doors that open onto a deck overlooking the bay. Islay, meanwhile, has poured her efforts into two bell tents and a Mongolian-style yurt with beautiful latticework walls, each with a toasty log-burning stove for cooler weather. Between them they bridge the various gaps in the world of camping accommodation, leaving something for every visitor. Campers and caravanners can pitch in the meadows, visitors travelling light can bunk in the wooden bothies, while those pipping for the full comforts of a double bed and furnishings can head straight for the yurt – and the entire site is powered by wind energy. Everyone is welcome.

Facilities-wise, there are toilets, showers and a communal kitchen housed alongside the farm buildings and, if the hens are playing ball, fresh eggs are available along with other homegrown produce (when in season). BBQs and small campfires are permitted, though do check the wind direction for the possibility of spark damage to neighbouring tents. Dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on leads.

On your way back south, try if you can to stop at the small Italian chapel on Lamb Holm, built by and for the POWs while they were here and skilfully preserved. Like most things in the Orkneys, it’s a simple and unassuming place, but beautifully done.



BBQs and small campfires allowed. There are 4 showers and 4 toilets in a wooden building by The Loft, a simple modern rustic style self catering apartment above the barn. The campers' kitchen has 2 small electric cookers and a kettle with lovely wooden surfaces, including tables, chairs and a little lawn with a stone bench, there is also roofed glass 'sit ooterie' to 'sit oot in' built using old conservatory windows. They also have a washing machine, large fridge, freezer and a hairdryer, plus books and games for the kids. Each bothy is provided with bedding, a heater, small kettle, water container, rechargeable lamp and hot water bottles. The yurt is more lavishly furnished, with a custom made wooden floor, beds, bedding, blankets, towels, candles, lamps, a log fire and firewood for your stay. The bell tents are simply furnished also with wooden floors and stoves. Islay can provide yurt dwellers with a camping stove if you would rather this than using the shared kitchen.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, dogs (on leads), small caravans, big groups, young groups – yes. Large caravans – no.


Make a pilgrimage to the tiny chapel, built by Italian POWs held here during the Second World War. They also built the causeways that link South Ronaldsay with the ‘mainland’. The interior of the chapel is just as striking as anything you’d find in Rome. An even shorter walk away, you'll find a pristine sandy beach, which is also the starting point of a fabulous 10-mile circular hike. Alternatively hop in the car and drive 20 minutes to Kirkwall, where you can wander around the labyrinth of stone-paved streets, or visit the gallery and co-operative craft and gift shop, in St Margaret’s Hope (01856 831587).

Food & Drink

Wheems’ own organic fruit, veg and eggs are on sale in their shop. For fresh seafood with a sea view, try Skerries Bistro (01856 831605) on the very southern tip of the island. In St Margaret’s Hope, Robertsons (01856 831889) serves delicious local beers, while those that visit The Italian Chapel (see above) will be a short hop from The Orkney Wine Company (01856 781736), where you can take a tour and sample their entire range of fruit wines and liqueurs (as well as J. Gow Rum from next door).


Wooden bothies and camping pitches are available all year round. Bell tents and yurt May–September.

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The Owner Says

Wheems Organic Farm is an ecological and organic 6 hectare horticulture and animal smallholding, producing organic food for a local market. Wheems farm buildings are 200 years old and have been renovated using local, traditional and sustainable materials. Wheems farmland has been sensitively landscaped with areas set aside for conservation, areas carved out with stone dyke walling, and areas of tree planting.

Social Distancing Measures

Updated Sat 16th May. At the moment we are closed until further notice and will review this at the end of June unless stated. If travel restrictions are lifted and we are permitted to accept guests in 2020 we will do the following to maintain social distancing as a top priority :-

  • The 4 Pods, Yurt and both Bell tents will be closed as there are no individual loos. This will not be reviewed this year
  • The kitchen and toilet facilities on the campsite are closed
  • Camping in tents is closed.
If travel restrictions are lifted:-
  • We hope to accept motorhomes with own facilities and guests in the loft and the cottage with their own private facilities, deep cleaned between bookings.  I will be contacting all booked in guests in advance with their options.


4 bothies, 1 yurt, 2 bell tents.


Camping Bunkhouse Sleeps 3
Our small renovated traditional cottage, overlooking bays and cliffs. Walk out onto your own patio and terrace with great views of the sea. Help yourself to herbs and salad leaves that we have planted for you, if the plants look thirsty please feel free to water them!


Apartment Sleeps 4
Book our simple rustic loft with two rooms and a small bathroom. It is kitted out with a kitchen and a dining room with wood-burning stove, dormer window snug and one double bedroom.

Grass pitch with electricity

Grass pitch with electricity Sleeps 6 12 Available
The campsite looks south and east towards the sea; beaches and cliffs can be reached on foot in 5 minutes and by car in 2 minutes. The camping fields are sculpted into level terraces and planted with shrubs.

Campervan Pitch with electricity

Grass pitch with electricity Sleeps 6 7 Available
Under 6m Hard Standings with or without electric. The campsite at Wheems looks south towards the sea; beaches and cliffs can be reached on foot in 5 minutes. The campsite is on an organic farm and camp area is planted with shrubs.

Arctic Tern

Pod Sleeps 3 4 Available
The pods can sleep up to 4 people and are designed and built on the farm. Futons for double or single bed options. Looking out to sea through fully glazed double doors with outdoor deck. Provided with bedding (optional), a heater, water container, rechargeable lamp and hot water bottles etc.

Buttercup Bell Tent

Bell tent Sleeps 3 2 Available
The Wheems Bell Tents are 4m (13.1ft) diameter; they have a wood stove and firewood, a small coffee table, 1 double futon and 1 single futon, bedding and towels available by request, lamps, no electricity. The Campsite at Wheems looks south and east towards the sea; beaches and cliffs can be reached on foot in 5 minutes and by car in 2 minutes.


Yurt or Ger Sleeps 4
The Wheems Kyrgyzstani style yurt is a 4.27m (14ft) diameter yurt with a custom made wooden floor and double bed. looking south and east towards the sea; beaches and cliffs can be reached on foot in 5 minutes and by car in 2 minutes. The camping fields are sculpted into level terraces and planted with shrubs.

Check Availability


Contact Wheems Organic Farm, Wheems, Eastside, South Ronaldsay, Orkney KW17 2TJ

Show Map

Getting There

The easiest route from the mainland is the passenger ferry from John o’Groats to Burwick or the car ferry from Gills Bay, to St Margaret’s Hope. Follow the road from the Gills Ferry up through the village to the top of the hill and the main road to Kirkwall. Turn right then left (at the soldier’s statue). Follow this road for a mile or so until the crossroads (where there’s a postbox). Go straight over and the farm is down the hill on the left.

There’s a reasonably frequent bus service in the summer months from Kirkwall to St Margaret’s Hope (plus there’s the ferry) but then it’s a 2-mile walk from the village.


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 18 reviews


Wonderful place, wonderful experience……

This site is all that you would want or need in a total getaway! It is so lovely in its gentle but wild setting. The owners are extremely friendly, but totally non-intrusive. The views are to die for, and the walking and cycling from the site are just wonderful. We are still in the Orkneys and are still having a fantastic time, but this site will forever haunt us, and ranks up there with Fidden Farm on Mull, before it became too popular, and the old campsite at Achiltibuie, in Wester Ross, before it closed in 2008! Campsites like this are sadly a dying, or oversubscribed breed, so enjoy this one whilst you can, and please don’t tell the masses about it! Let it be our secret, and let’s preserve it for those that will appreciate it and not ruin it? It is perfect as it is, and doesn’t need improving from any other perspective! So glad that we stopped here, and still missing the atmosphere and views, even though we’re currently only about an hour up the road!


A lovely place to stay. Exactly what you'd expect and want from an organic farm campsite on Orkney. Welcoming, friendly staff, amazing views, fantastic curry on a Wednesday evening. Can't recommend it enough.
Aug 7, 2021 by Dom Giles Verified Review

Response from Wheems Organic Farm

Thanks for your lovely review!


Picturesque and rustic vibes

Wheems is a beautiful campsite full of lovely people. The chilled and inclusive atmosphere was a total joy. I can't sing the praises of our hosts enough and it was the perfect place to explore orkney and retreat back to this beautiful setting. If you're a respectful and communal camper then this is the place for you.
Jul 20, 2021 by Amy Davidson Verified Review

Excellent, relaxed bohemian vibe

Wheems Farm is a fantastic place to stay - if I’d known how good it was, I would have booked to stay longer. The views are breathtaking, and as the cars are parked at a distance, it’s easy to forget you aren’t truly wild camping. The staff are friendly and helpful and genuinely care that we have the best stay possible. I loved the glass outside “conservatory”… perfect for enjoying the sun whilst being protected from the wind. Most of the buildings are built with reclaimed materials, and all facilities are clean and tidy and ordered (especially the kitchen). I would love to return one day. Thanks S and G xx
Jul 18, 2021 by Julie Naylor Verified Review

Best campsite we've stayed in

This is the perfect place for campers who like a sustainable ethos but appreciate spotlessly clean facilities! We had a wonderful five day stay in a bell tent with absolutely everything we could possibly need onsite including the lovely people there. There's good shared space for if the weather isn't great (let's face it that's what you have to expect in Scotland!) where you can chat with fellow campers and relax if you like. The surroundings are stunning and we would go back in a heartbeat.

Quirky farm campsite.

Quirky farm/ campsite. Thought it all abit ‘messy’ at first but the place grew on me as it’s truly organic and peaceful. The views are to die for. Lovely walks and had a fabulous stroll along the beach - beautiful and very relaxing. Owner/staff very friendly and helpful. Thanks for a lovely stay x

This is how camping should be!

The situation is stunning, with beautiful views whichever direction you look. The relaxed atmosphere and low key presence of the owners enables guests to relax immediately and feel at home. We soon found our way around and what we couldnt find there was always a friendly person at hand to help. the facilites are definitely basic and simple but this is what charms you in the end. It is like another world, having only what we need in a spirit of sharing and kindness. We loved it and will hopefully be back next year. Thankyou so much!

Very friendly and helpful, with thoughtful, very clean facilities.

Sophie looked after us extremely well. A lot of thought has gone into how the site is set up and operates.

Beautiful site, lovely facilities, warm welcome, stunning views and good value!

We really enjoyed our stay here at the end of July and early August. Such a laid back atmosphere, lovely facilities. Nothing too much trouble and the fresh vegetables in the honesty shop were brilliant. We'll definitely be back!

Beautiful and charming place for a holiday

This was actually the second time I've stayed at Wheems, myself and those in my my group have used the grass pitch for a tent, a camper van pitch, an eco cabin and the yurt. I would give 5 stars to all. The pitches are designed so that as little of the view is obscured as possible and even when it's busy you can't lose the magic of the sea view and the atmospheric pink skies at sundown. The beach is a short walk or drive away, very accessible, and beautifully sandy, clean and always relatively quiet. Nothing on Orkney is far away but South Ronaldsay is home to woods, beaches, tombs, cliffs, wartime batteries and Skerries restaurant (which is a must visit if you like seafood). At the site the toilets and showers are always clean, the kitchen and dining area is very useful and a great way to chat to other holiday makers who might have hints and tips of where to visit. The honesty shop provides essentials and you can even order fresh eggs and baked bread from the farm. I love it at Wheems, the people are friendly and down to earth and the facilities are environmentally conscious and clean. I will no doubt return every year and look forward to bringing my children here in future.
Aug 17, 2020 by Bryony Good Verified Review


We stayed on Wheems for a week and really felt like we got to know the place! The views out to sea were absolutely beautiful. The kitchen/dining area are all open to the elements which makes for a rustic, cosy but wild camp feel to the holiday. Toilets and showers were basic but clean and hot - a cupboard with a hairdryer and general bathroom products was really handy! Everything was kept very clean and tidy and other campers respected that too. There were plenty of pots and pans etc to use for cooking. The owner and Sophie (who worked there) were so friendly and thoughtful. We had a terrible storm and gale force winds and they opened the farm house with a log burning fire to guests to keep warm as well as providing alternative emergency accommodation on site for those who’s tents were damaged! A lovely small site, it definitely has a rather bohemian feel to it and would be a perfect retreat for artists or those wanting to get away from it all! The site is on a hill and catches the wind so bring extra guide ropes and chocks if you’re in a Campervan. The slope is something to keep in mind whilst getting to and from the showers etc as the ground is uneven and a little steep. Plots were a little on the small side and we had to reposition our awning to the back of the pitch as there was very little room for our VW and drive away awning when side to side. I would definitely recommend Wheems and would love to go back again. Beautiful and bohemian site, fantastic views, good rustic facilities and beautiful location on South Ronaldsay Island. Fabulous for getting away from it all and for getting a feel for all Orkney has to offer. Absolutely worth a stay there!
Jul 30, 2020 by Helen Collins

A welcoming well-organised campsite in a stunning location.

I loved the relaxed, generous ethos of the campsite - the cooking facilities and ‘honesty’ shop were so useful when our gas ran out. The location is beautiful with great views. I would definitely visit again and recommend to others.


An exceptionally warm and friendly welcome by the delightful owner of Wheems was followed by two nights on this superb campsite. The facilities were quite adequate but I hardly noticed as it was difficult to take my eyes away from the superb view. Excellent value for money too; I'd just paid £23 at Thurso for one night and not very clean facilities so at £15 per night in high season this site is a gem.
Jun 16, 2019 by Brenda

Lovely pitch with hook up and great views. Owners pleasant and helpful.

Location, wildlife, walks and cycle rides

Relaxed site

This is quite a relaxed site overlooking a bay on the east coast of South Ronaldsay and very convenient for the fast ferry to the mainland. It is a little exposed to the weather as you might expect but then most places on the Orkneys probaly are.  Facilities are basic but perfectly servicable, the communal cooking area is useful especially the electric kettle great in the morning if you prefer the short walk to fiddling arouns with the camping stove first thing. This area also provided a social focus if you are so inclinded.

You probably need a car to explore the full bueaty of the islands in comfort but there is also good regular bus service from St Margrets to the main towns on the island, we used it to visit the ring of Brodgar, it took a little over an hour each way, plus a twenty minute walk from the cmapsite.

Apr 2, 2016 by leofric64

The beauty of Wheems

I've visited Wheems campsite three times now and I've loved every single visit. Placed in outstanding beauty with the most spectacular views of the sea, Wheems is quirky and eco-friendly - completely in sync with the surrounding environment. If you are looking for something remote and peaceful then this is definitely the place. Orkney as a whole is a great place for creative inspiration and Wheems has something extra special about it. And yes, the strawberries are totally delicious, as are the fresh eggs and bread! 

Feb 16, 2016 by Bex

Not very welcoming

Petty rules enforced by sanctimonious owner and their friends. Couldn't enjoy our stay as we were told to keep dog on leash at every opportunity. Even when we were in an enclosed field by the site with no campers in it. The welcome was not particularly warm and indeed the only contact we had with him was to ask for the money and to keep our dog on a leash. No strawberries , just a run down old farm with exceptionally basic facilities. The only saviour is the location. 

Jul 30, 2013 by Cuilean

Response from Wheems Organic Farm

It is a shame you did not enjoy your stay at the campsite. Wheems is an organic farm so there are sheep, chickens, ducks and bio-diverse meadow close to the campsite to encourage wild birds, that is why we detail on our website that dogs are permitted but only if kept on a lead. I've not met a guest before who has made any negative comment about the facilities, the hot showers and basic cooking equipment seem to be adequate for most of our guests.  As for the organic strawberries and raspberries if you come in the right season they are delicious and bountiful! 


Wheems Organic Farm

A Gem of a site with a warm welcome. Basic facilties but perfect. Spent 2 nights enjoying the peace and quiet of the site and Orkney. Useful lean too near toilet factilities had kettle which is a godsend for a camper used to waiting ages for a caming gaz stove to semi heat water for morning coffee. Fridge and Washing machine on site too, but not used. Organic produce availble from "farm shop". The Strawberries were to die for with a bottle of Orkney Ale.
May 29, 2012 by calum123

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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