Scapa Flow Tour

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Scapa Flow is a natural deep anchorage surrounded by islands, used and named by the Vikings (Skalpieid Floi) then through the Napoleonic war, the first and second world wars. 

Heading out of Kirkwall we pass one of the four WW2 military airfields, through the rolling green countryside until you get your first view of Scapa Flow and the Churchill Barriers, built to defend the naval fleet.

Aerial photo of the Barriers - photo by Charles Tait

Before heading across the first barrier we will visit an example of a WW2 coastal defence battery.

We continue our journey to The Italian Chapel a most wonderfully atmospheric legacy to faith and hope created by Italian Prisoners of War during the austere years of 1942 and 1945.  Hear how the ‘Miracle of Camp 60’ was built using the ingenuity of the prisoners and how they were able to brighten their cheerless environment.

Italian Chapel - photo by Charles Tait

There are four Churchill Barriers and we will cross all four of them with an opportunity to stop in order to take a closer look at the remains of the WW1 block ships used as defence prior to the barrier construction. 

During both world wars the Orkney shorelines were strategically placed with coastal defence batteries, many of the buildings can still be seen from your car but we are going to get up close to a former twin 6-pounder battery installed after the Royal Oak sinking.

Graemeshall Coastal Defence Battery - photo by Charles Tait

Heading back to Kirkwall will see us pass the former RAF Netherbutton Radar Station the most northerly of the ‘Chain Home’ radar stations built in the late 1930s stretching from Land’s End to Orkney. 

Arriving in Kirkwall we will visit the St Magnus Cathedral where the planning and building was started by a Norse Earl back in 1137.  While you will hear about the Viking period and the 17th century lairds you will also visit the WW2 Royal Oak Memorial.

St Rognvald's Chapel - photo by Charles Tait

Leaving Kirkwall we will head to Scapa Beach where you will visit Royal Oak Memorial garden before following the coastline of Scapa Flow out towards Orphir.  When you will hear more about the Grand and Home fleets based in Scapa Flow during both world wars including the surrendered WW1 German fleet.

Sinking of the German Fleet in Scapa FlowThe Reginald at the Churchill Barriers - photo by Charles Tait

Visit Stromness allowing time to visit the Stromness Museum and the Pier Arts Centre.

Heading back to Kirkwall via a Neolithic Henge Monument where you can get up close and personal to Standing Stones dating back to 3100BC

Warebeth - photo by Charles Tait

  • Orkney World Heritage Tour

  • Orkney Pre-History Tour

  • The Orkney Tour

  • Tasting Orkney Tour

Happy Visitors

  • “So glad we got Lizzie as our tour guide, she was really enthusiastic about Orkney and this certainly rubbed off on us as we were taken to amazing places. We can see why Lizzie loves her home. Thanks for making our visit to Orkney so enjoyable and memorable.”

    — Jack and Audrey, Melbourne, Australia – 2017

  • “We only had a peedie visit to Orkney but had a great time with Lizzie as our guide. She even taught us some Orcadian words!”

    — Peter & Jack

  • “We want to come back! Had a great day with Lizzie, she certainly made sure we had a fantastic tour, love Orkney.”

    — Paula and Donna, New York – Aug 17

  • “Lizzie’s wonderful accent, her engaging personality and local knowledge has resulted in a great Orkney experience, thank you so much.”

    — Colin and Linda, Cornwall – July 2017

  • “Spending the morning visiting and learning about Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar was wonderful and made even more special with Lizzie whose warm personality shone through.”

    — J & G Buckland, Dorset – June 2017

  • “Thanks Lizzie I had a brilliant day, being my first time on a tour I now want to do more.“

    — Anne Bryan, Hampshire – June 2017

  • “Our tour with Lizzie was a wonderful and magical experience. We have learnt so much and will be back for sure!”

    — Maggie from Dublin