Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum

Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum.

The 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. A new World War 1 exhibition has been installed for 2016.

Large exhibits and an audio visual display are housed in one of the tanks that once held 12,000 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 cafe. It is not essential to take a car as the Museum is a two minute walk from the pier. A free 2 hour guided walk around the remains of the former Lyness Naval Base leaves from the museum at 11:00 each Tuesday from 5 April onwards.
The museum is open March – October (Sunday opening during the period May-September) and admission is free.

The popular Pumphouse Cafe is usually open from Easter – October.

Battle of Jutland

On behalf of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Orkney will be hosting the national commemoration of the Battle of Jutland, the most pivotal naval engagement of the First World War. A service will be held in St Magnus Cathedral on the morning of 31 May 2016 and at the Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery that afternoon, which will run in conjunction with the service being held at sea at the Jutland Bank.

Further details about the commemorative programme can be accessed from the ‘Related Links’ section of this page.

Contact Details


Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum, Lyness, Hoy, Orkney, KW16 3NU.



Opening Times

1 March 2016 - 30 April 2016

Monday – Saturday, from 10:00 to 16:30.

1 May 2016 - 30 September 2016

Sunday – Saturday, from 10:00 to 16:30.

1 October 2016 - 31 October 2016

Monday – Saturday, from 10:00 to 16:30.

1 November 2016 - 28 February 2017



Admission is free of charge.

No dogs, except for assistance dogs, are allowed in museum buildings.

Disabled Access

Full details of disabled access to the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre is available in PDF format from the ‘Related Downloads’ section of this page.


Travel information, including ferry timetables to Hoy and bus timetables for Hoy and Walls, is available from the ‘Related Sites’ section.

Further Information

More information about the wartime history of Scapa Flow is available from the ‘Related Sites’ section of this page.

To keep up to date with the museums in Orkney, please visit our Facebook and Twitter pages available from the ‘Related Sites’ section of this page.

Scotiish Tourist Board logo.

Related Links

Related Sites

Related Downloads