The Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum

The main exhibition illustrates the importance of Scapa Flow as a base for the British fleet throughout history, concentrating on its role during two world wars. It includes photographs, text, artefacts, films and an audio exhibition, plus a collection of large military vehiclesand dockyard equipment.  Key collections relate to the loss of HMS Hampshire and death of Lord Kitchener, the German High Seas Fleet and the loss of HMS Royal Oak. The Pumphouse is an important exhibit in its own right, housing three Lancashire boilers, built by Wilson’s of Glasgow, and six steam-powered triple-expansion duplex Worthington pumps.


One of the tanks that once held 12,000 tons of fuel oil for the fleet is now an exhibition space, whilst an audio-visual display running inside the tank gives an overview of Scapa Flow’s history and contains archive film footage of some of the key events. More large exhibits can be found in the Romney Hut, including a steam pinnace believed to have belonged to the German Admiral von Reuter, the Otter Bank, which once served as a floating bank for the north isles of Orkney and a collection of traditional Orkney boats.


Admission to the museum is free

Facilities include toilets, a café, gift shop, children’s games and activities and pleasant picnic areas around the site.

Free guided walks around the former Lyness Royal naval base start from the museum at 11.00 every Tuesday throughout the season.


1st MARCH – 30th APRIL Mon – Sat 10:00 – 16:00
1st MAY – 30th SEPTEMBER Mon – Sun 10:00 – 16:30
OCTOBER Mon – Sat 10:00 – 16:00


The Pumphouse Café is open Easter – October


Battle of Jutland National Commemoration

On behalf of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Orkney hosted the national commemoration of the Battle of Jutland, the most pivotal naval engagement of the First World War. A service was held in St Magnus Cathedral on the morning of 31 May 2016 and at the Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery that afternoon in conjunction with the service being held at sea at the Jutland Bank.

Further details about the commemorative programme can be accessed here


Consultation Questionnaire Scapa Flow Visitor Centre & Museum refurb

Please tell us what you think of our concept proposals for Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum.

We are proposing a major refurbishment of the museum during 2017-2019, with the aim of restoring the current Pumphouse, Oil Tank and Romney Hut buildings, improving access and constructing a new extension to the Pumphouse to house the most fragile exhibits. This will allow us to display many items from the reserve collection which cannot be housed in the current buildings. The new build extension will also house improved visitor facilities. We welcome your views on the proposed project.

Download Consultation Questionnaire



facebook    Check out the Orkney Arts, Museums and Heritage facebook page


3 thoughts on “The Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum

  1. Have you got a copy of this sale notice for some of the huts etc on Hoy, gives a good idea of sizes and numbers.

    From the British Newspaper Archive

    Aberdeen Press and Journal – Wednesday 07 April 1920
    Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

  2. Hi, I am interested in the book in your display called “On Wings through Wonderland” by Dad, as I would like to write a little bit about if for our Orkney Norway Friendship Association newsletter. Who was “Dad” and can you tell me any more about it please?
    Ishbel Borland

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.