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Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: | Lyness, KW16 3NT, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 1856 791300
09:00 - 16:30
Closed now
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Mon - Sat 09:00 - 16:30

FREE ADMISSION - CLOSED 1 NOV 2015 -29 FEB 2016 This museum is centred...

FREE ADMISSION - CLOSED 1 NOV 2015 -29 FEB 2016 This museum is centred around the former fuel oil pumping station at Lyness Naval Base, (HMS Proserpine). The fascinating 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 vehicles, cranes and artillery. Large exhibits and an audio visual display are housed in one of the tanks that once held 15,000 tons of fuel oil for the fleet. The pump house itself contains three Lancashire boilers, built by Wilson's of Glasgow, and six steam powered triple-expansion duplex Worthington pumps. There are plenty of children's activities as well as a gift shop and café. It is not essential to take a car, as the Museum is a two minute walk from the pier. The museum is open March - October (Sunday opening during the period May-September)and admission is free. The popular Pumphouse Café is open from Easter - October.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 124 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 72
  • 40
    Very good
  • 8
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Interesting collection of Naval artifacts

A great place to learn about the local naval history. Very helpful staff and a great little cafe too.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
Peter H
Fox Glacier, New Zealand
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124 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 120: English reviews
Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

A great place to learn about the local naval history. Very helpful staff and a great little cafe too.

Thank Peter H
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 November 2016

Like most have already mentioned this is not a quick visit. From the outside you will feel its just a quick walk round and out again whilst waiting for the ferry... This i can assure is not the case. You most definitely need 2 to 3 hours possibly longer to be able to take in all the information, displays, video... More 

Thank DizzieLizzie2016
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 November 2016

Although it's a small and somewhat dreary looking museum it's packed with information and we found out lots of interesting facts about the military history of the Orkney isles and the importance of Hoy during both world wars. Although it could perhaps do with a refurbishment it's definitely worth going early to when catching the ferry (it's right beside the... More 

Thank HenryHound46
Woodhall Spa, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2016

This museum is conveniently located next to where you board the ferry. It's FREE and very interesting. The cafe is superb (we went there twice!!)

Thank Martin P
Hanover, Canada
Level Contributor
245 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2016

The Scapa Flow museum was a place aI wanted to visit for years being a military buff. The place is hard to reach as you have to get a bus then a ferry from Kirkwall to get here and times were limited in September. The staff very very resourceful, the museum is a place that is "hands on" and there... More 

Thank Zappafan5797
Level Contributor
68 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2016

A must see if you have an interest or background in military service or history. Simple displays with lots of information and factoids. The oil tank is an incredible extension of the museum. Weather and years have certainly degraded the outside displays but not the history they represent. Allow at least 90 minutes to 2 hours. Small coffee shop and... More 

Thank Stephen L
Level Contributor
218 reviews
109 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2016

Thought an hour or so would be long enough, but it wasnt. Nice sunny day so that helped, but walking around the site was interesting. The museum itself was also interesting. We visited the cemetry and enjoyed the scenery. An added bonus was crossing to Hoy on the ferry

Thank deukerens
Issaquah, Washington
Level Contributor
102 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2016

We visited Hoy from the Mainland to hike to the Old Man (great hike!). We got back to the ferry dock early and my husband, who has read references to Scapa Flow since he was a teenager, was interested in seeing the museum. He thought it was well worth the time. We didn't get there until about an hour before... More 

Thank Sand_Dollars_11
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2016

Unfortunately we did not leave ourselves anywhere near enough time to look round the Scapa Flow Museum during our day trip to Hoy from the Mainland. We had a wonderful time walking on Rackwick beach and then to the Old Man of Hoy, but only had about 20 mins to spend at the museum before catching the ferry back. We... More 

1 Thank Sapsorrel
Greater London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
76 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2016

Don't be put off by slightly downbeat nature of outside / entrance. This is an incredibly informative, evocative and emotional visitor centre (warning: can provoke tears). The historical element is superb. The cinema viewing screen actually INSIDE a giant oil storage tank is a one-off. Hoy also offers a lot more for a small island (Eagles, Rackwick, Old Man of... More 

2 Thank Fargo2016

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?