Perhaps best known for its oil terminal, Flotta was a vital military base during both World Wars and is a popular destination for visitors attracted by the island's beauty and the spectacular panoramic views across Scapa Flow.
Orkney has a close association with both World Wars and much of this can be attributed to Flotta. It was the centre of the Royal Naval anchorage during the wars when thousands swamped this tiny island. There's no shortage of wartime stories. During World War One an incredible 10,000 troops watched a boxing match in Flotta, while, on a more sombre note, battleship HMS Vanguard accidently exploded with the loss of more than 1,000 lives a mile from its shores in July 1917. King George V visited the island in 1915 and his son George VI joined others to watch a film in the local wartime cinema. Much of this history is recorded in the Peerie Museum which has a fascinating collection of wartime artefacts.
Flotta's oil terminal became operational in 1976 and the 223-foot flare stack is an unmistakeable landmark. This does not detract from the island's natural beauty. Follow the Flotta Trail to discover this for yourself and no visit would be complete without experiencing the 360-degree panorama views from the Witter - don't forget your camera!
Flotta can be reached by ferry from Houton and Lyness in Hoy.
Flotta was once a hub for Royal Navy vessels, but even though things are quieter here now, there are still regular links between the island and the Orkney mainland.
Flotta's ferry service links it with neighbouring Hoy too, so island-hopping is very much an option.