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 vehicle sand 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.

2019 – 2020 OPENING HOURS

for Temporary Exhibition

1 November to 29 February

Limited opening hours. Please get in touch ahead of your visit to check times as these will vary depending on staff availability.

Telephone: 01856791300.

Email: Jude Callister.


facilities are available in the Lyness Ferry Waiting Room


BUS: A community bus service meets some ferries and can stop at the Hoy Hotel – please see here for the current timetable.

Please note that a day’s notice is required for the carriage of non-collapsible wheelchairs.

CAR: Follow the B9048 to the T-junction; the Hoy Hotel is opposite, on the right. To access the car park, turn right and then first left. The exhibition entrance is at the rear of the building.

ON FOOT/BY BIKE: The Hoy Hotel is ca. 1 mile from the ferry terminal. Follow the B9048 to the T-junction; the Hoy Hotel is opposite, on the right. The exhibition entrance is at the rear of the building.

Collect a copy of the Lyness Wartime Trail leaflet from the ferry waiting room to see what this area looked like during WW2.


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6 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

  3. I have an original letter written at the time the ships were scuttled. It was written to my Grandfather from a friend who was living and working there at the time. It has some information about what he experienced during that time and how he was recruited to work there. I would like to find a good home for it – is this something you would be interested in? If so please email me to discuss donating it. Thank you.

  4. My grandfather Jesse Bradley was lost on the SS Giralda in 1940. any information for our family history please?

  5. Hi,

    We are due to visit Hoy on Wednesday 9th June 2021. I appreciate the Museum is closed for refurbishment but wonder if there is anything else of interest to see if we were tpo visit the site?

    Kind regards,
    Tom Martin

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