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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 131 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 78
  • 41
    Very good
  • 8
  • 0
  • 0
well worth visiting

Located just minutes from the ferry terminal in Hoy. Extensive memorabilia, artefacts from both World Wars. Amazing and very extensive information on the Naval History of Scapa... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
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131 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 127: English reviews
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Located just minutes from the ferry terminal in Hoy. Extensive memorabilia, artefacts from both World Wars. Amazing and very extensive information on the Naval History of Scapa Flow. Needs at minimum of 2 hours to do justice to all the displays. Interactive displays for children too.Very worthwhile.

Christchurch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
201 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

On Our first visit here two years ago we only allowed half an hour which is insultingly little. So this time we catered for 2 hours. The museum has a lot of information and apparently even more items in storage. I concentrated on the naval exchanges in ww1 and ww2, in particular the plight of the hms Hampshire in ww1... More 

Thank davetlg
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Lots of poignant stories told within an enlightening and engaging exhibition. It even has a toroedo ! The tea & cake was lovely too.

Thank bigsmileygirl
Kirkwall, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

It's a few years since I last visited and many things have been added to the museum. It's worthy of note that the former Bank boat 'Otter Bank' is now on display, having been carefully and lovingly restored. If you are interested in military history, make sure that you leave time to look around and absorb what is on display.... More 

Thank kenneth351
Gillingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2017

For anyone with an interest in 20th Century military history this is a must if in Orkney. Only a fraction of the base remains but the very informative leaflet allows a self guided tour which shows how much was there 70 years ago. The staff could not be more helpful. An easy 5 stars, even before mentioning the Pump House... More 

Thank David T
Kirkwall, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
111 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2017

Fascinating insights into the naval history of Scapa Flow, the strategic importance of Orkney in maritime history & the impact of Two World Wars in particular on the Orcadian Social History because of the influx of personnel & equipment. There is a blissfully peaceful pond area surrounded by bunds. I sincerely hope that the planned extension doesn't intrude upon this... More 

Thank MrsJosephineJones
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 March 2017

We visited the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre today and although it was not fully open to the public it was still an interesting visit. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable about the site as well what the future plans were regarding improvements to the museum to allow some of the more delicate artefacts to be displayed when it is built.... More 

Thank JPIN16
Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2017

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
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
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

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