• The Scar plaque, on display at the Orkney Museum


As you might expect in a community with such a rich history, Orkney has some truly brilliant museums where you can delve deeper into every aspect of our islands’ story.

Our museums all have a common goal – to inform, engage and entertain, while protecting a heritage spanning thousands of years.

The Orkney Museum and the Stromness Museum are full of artefacts, information and collectables from generations of Orcadian history – spanning the Neolithic right through the Viking era to wartime Orkney and the present day.

You can also explore farming history in the islands thanks to the fascinating Kirbuster and Corrigall Museums, found in the heart of the West Mainland. Other locations, including the Barony Mill, the Longhope Lifeboat Museum, and the Smiddy Museum offer a glimpse into the past of some of our smaller communities. Visits to the Orkney Fossil & Heritage Centre and Skaill House should be on every itinerary too, and the Orkney Wireless Museum is a tiny hidden gem to be found near the harbourfront in Kirkwall.

The newly refurbished Scapa Flow Museum in Hoy showcases Orkney's role in two World Wars.

Many of our other islands also have their own heritage centres – they’re perfect places for those tracking down family connections to Orkney, or for anyone keen to experience island life in days gone by.

It’s not all about static displays either. Orkney’s museums are living, breathing assets for local people and visitors alike, with a continually evolving programme of events and exhibitions that keep our proud history alive.