Scapa Flow Tour
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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