We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Book In Advance
Why Book on TripAdvisor?
  • Tour highlights & full itinerary
  • Easy online booking
  • Lowest price guaranteed
More Information
All photos (139)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent65%
  • Very good28%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“natural harbour”(14 reviews)
“high seas”(8 reviews)
This treacherous pass made ship navigation difficult, resulting in over 10 sunken ship wrecks, providing an excellent dive site.
Kirkwall, Scotland
Improve This Listing
Recommended experiences in and around Kirkwall
from US$94.72
More Info
from US$81.19
More Info
from US$47.36
More Info
from US$189.45
More Info
Reviews (326)
Filter reviews
293 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews churchill barriers natural harbour high seas world war british naval history royal oak italian chapel square miles stunning scenery u boat low tide south ronaldsay st margaret's hope great history italian pows resting place well worth a visit
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 293 reviews
Reviewed 30 December 2018

We stopped off here whilst driving to our accommodation. Was limited areas to park and very limited information about the site , but maybe we weren't in the right place. We actually said to ourselves is this Scarpa flow? I knew the history of the...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Redkitewatcher64
Reviewed 18 November 2018

If you are a WWII buff, this place is well worth the visit. Driving by and seeing these hulking ships lurking in the water is fascinating if you know the history behind it. Even if you're not a WWII buff, it's worth it just to...More

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank BL_adventure
Reviewed 1 November 2018

I knew what this was before I visited and there are some interesting overlooks with information shields, but there is really little to see. It is mostly empty of ships, some rusting hulks and concrete barriers. Still, an interesting place.

Date of experience: August 2018
1  Thank Ken L
Reviewed 31 October 2018

This vast deep water harbour has to be see to be appreciated. A favourite for scjba divers who can inspect scuttled battleships!

Date of experience: October 2018
1  Thank Wisest-old-man
Reviewed 23 October 2018

An important pat of the history, do a little research before your trip or go on one of the tours to get the background to these wrecks.

Date of experience: October 2018
1  Thank Rittmr
Reviewed 21 October 2018 via mobile

Scapa Flow was such an important site during the two world wars. Not only that, but it is really quite beautiful. We had an Orkney walks book which to be honest is the only reason we found the walk we did. It took you along...More

Date of experience: June 2018
2  Thank bethmaryclayton
Reviewed 12 October 2018

This is an amazing WW2 construction project. There are three Churchill Barriers connecting Mainland Orkney to the southern islands, Lambholm, Glimpsholm and South Ronaldsay. If you're interested in war history this is a place you'll want to see. Indeed Orkney is a fascinating destination for...More

Date of experience: October 2018
2  Thank David A
Reviewed 2 October 2018

I saw the wrecks from a view from the Churchill barriers. I gather if you are a diver you can get a much better look. that would be interesting.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Doreen J
Reviewed 19 September 2018 via mobile

Orkney in general, and Scarpa Flow specifically played major roles for both the German & British navies during both of last century’s world wars. Ships were scuttled, ships were sunk. Some strategically, some in protest and some by enemy action. Fascinating history and our guide...More

Date of experience: September 2018
2  Thank pakabay
Reviewed 19 September 2018

We went on a tour bus from the town and were taken across the "Churchill Barriers" . It was amazing to see this achievement.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank HawaiiSeaDog
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 16 nearby hotels
Merkister Hotel
370 reviews
4.13 miles away
Smithfield Hotel
126 reviews
4.15 miles away
Stromness Hotel
251 reviews
6.11 miles away
Orca Hotel
62 reviews
6.14 miles away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 68 nearby restaurants
Smithfield Hotel Restaurant
96 reviews
4.15 miles away
Birsay Bay Tearoom
427 reviews
5.41 miles away
Gerri's Ice Cream Parlour
68 reviews
5.97 miles away
219 reviews
6.23 miles away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 110 nearby attractions
Skara Brae
1,803 reviews
.21 miles away
Yesnaby Cliffs
277 reviews
2.04 miles away
Orkney Brewery
190 reviews
1.83 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
16 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Josephine J | Reviewed this property |
Cruise liner passengers can book coach trips via their Shore Excursion company. If you want a private tour then check out ideas in the "Notes" [see LH column] of Facebook page for Personalised Orkney Tours.
3 February 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from BretW_12 | Reviewed this property |
Hi, As Scapa Flow is a popular spot for divers I would have thought during the summer there would be plenty of opportunities to hire someone to take you out on a boat. There is a good tourist information office in... More
Elaine W
14 May 2016|
Response from GrumpyandtheOldLady | Reviewed this property |
Our tour, "Orkney's Neolithic Heartland," began at 1:45 p.m. and ended at 5:15 p.m.. We passed Scapa Flow en-route. Our tour guide was a local and was a wealth of information. He explained the history of this body of... More