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.

Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre

Is this your business?
Viewforth | Orkney, Burray Village KW17 2SY, Scotland
+44 1856 731255
Website
Save
Review Highlights
So much to see

A fascinating way to spend a couple of hours. The Churchill Barriers display, the fossil gallery... read more

Reviewed 6 August 2017
AnnieB2116
,
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Don't miss this

Stopped on the way to Tomb of the Eagles and spent much longer here than planned. Well displayed... read more

Reviewed 26 July 2017
Topsy11
,
Aberdeen
Read all 141 reviews
Get 10% off your next tour or activity booking.Valid for new TripAdvisor sign-ups only.
Join TripAdvisor
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Overview
More
A recent visitor described the Orkney Fossil & Heritage Centre as a "hidden gem". Housed in converted farm buildings on the island of Burray, the Centre has an intriguing collection of fossils from Orkney and around the world, including some rare and beautifully preserved specimens. There are also local heritage displays, including a fascinating exhibition about the construction of the Churchill Barriers. The collections were donated to the people of Orkney by local builder Leslie Firth who, with his father Ernest, developed an interest after finding fossils at their quarry in Sandwick, West Mainland. Recently updated exhibitions downstairs showcase the extensive fossil and rock collection, with detailed information and illustrations of 380 million year old fish! Ernest firth was also a great collector of heritage objects. His interest was not in fine antiques or valuable rarities, but in the objects used in everyday life by Orcadians. His extensive hoard includes furniture, household china, cameras and tools, providing an intimate portrait of life in Orkney in the last century. The heritage galleries have been upgraded over the winter of 2015-16, with new information about boatbuilding in Burray and exhibits about life in Orkney during the First and Second World Wars, including a feature about the other 'Italian Chapel' built at POW Camp 34 on Burray. Heritage Tearoom New for 2016, the Heritage Tearoom is still run by the local community, but has taken on a new look! We have adopted a heritage theme, with decor including some of the Museum's heritage exhibits and old fashioned uniforms to match. The Heritage Tearoom serves good home-made food, a range of hearty soups, local produce and delicious home-bakes in a warm and friendly environment with lovely views. Larger groups are best booking in advance, and we are happy to cater for special diets - we provide a range of gluten-free options on our menu, as well as special Orkney dishes. Well-stocked gift shop selling books, toys, fossils, jewellery, Orkney music CDs and a wide range of locally made crafts. Free wi-fi available
  • Excellent74%
  • Very good24%
  • Average1%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 10:00 - 17:00
LOCATION
Viewforth | Orkney, Burray Village KW17 2SY, Scotland
CONTACT
Website
+44 1856 731255
Write a ReviewReviews (141)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
All reviews
"churchill barriers"
in 42 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 16 reviews
"local history"
in 13 reviews
"gift shop"
in 10 reviews
"scapa flow"
in 9 reviews
"heritage centre"
in 9 reviews
"italian chapel"
in 9 reviews
"on display"
in 6 reviews
"fossil collection"
in 5 reviews
"lovely cafe"
in 5 reviews
"cake"
in 5 reviews
"plenty of parking"
in 4 reviews
"great exhibition"
in 3 reviews
"great visit"
in 3 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 3 reviews
"rainy day"
in 3 reviews
"fast service"
in 2 reviews
Filter

11 - 20 of 139 reviews

Reviewed 6 August 2017

A fascinating way to spend a couple of hours. The Churchill Barriers display, the fossil gallery and the local history/ WW2 section are all most interesting and informative. Good for adults and children alike. And the volunteer-staffed tearoom is excellent. We had lunch before heading...More

Thank AnnieB2116
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OFHC, Manager at Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 10 December 2017

Thank you for leaving us a review and apologies for the delay in posting a response. We are delighted that you enjoyed your visit and hopefully will see you again next season?!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2017

Stopped on the way to Tomb of the Eagles and spent much longer here than planned. Well displayed exhibits with great information and a good collection of fossils. There is also a lovely exhibit regarding the Churchill barriers and I particularly liked the stories from...More

Thank Topsy11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OFHC, Manager at Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2017

Thank you for your comments. It is amazing how time can pass if you get engrossed reading the various newspapers and books we have in our Archive Room.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2017

A lovely museum, filled with beautiful fossils and other interesting exhibits. We also enjoyed a coffee and cake in the cafe. I imagine it would be a nice place for lunch.

Thank lounewc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OFHC, Manager at Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2017

Nice to hear you enjoyed your visit and the coffee & cake. For lunch we offer home-made soups, sandwiches and platters using local fish and cheese.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 22 July 2017

We cannot praise this volunteer run Cafe enough. The home baker who conjures up the delicacies should receive a gold medal. We had the fruit scone with home made rhubarb jam and it was to die for. On a previous visit we had the gingerbread...More

Thank jgrant9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OFHC, Manager at Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2017

On behalf of our bakers, thank you.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2017 via mobile

Visit if you're heading down to the Tomb of the Eagles. It's on the way. Expected this museum to be a couple of dusty, fusty rooms in someone's house. Couldn't have been more wrong. Beautifully displayed exhibits and fascinating explanation of local geology and fossil...More

Thank Matt_and_Wils_Mum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OFHC, Manager at Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2017

Thank you for your comments. We would be the first to admit the building does not look very promising from the roadside but in this case looks certainly are deceptive.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2017

A really interesting museum with exhibitions about fossils and also really interesting displays about the Churchill barriers.

Thank Fi_S1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OFHC, Manager at Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2017

Thank you for your comments.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2017

WE almost drove by without noticing this gem of a place. As well as an excellent exhibition of fossils collecting over many years by the owner, the heritage museum is most interesting and the tea room is special, being staffed by local volunteers. This was...More

Thank 321terry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OFHC, Manager at Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2017

Thank you for your comments. For anyone not familiar with the area watch out for our signs on the main road through Burray.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2017

This is a gem of a museum the fossil collection is wonderful and well displayed as is the display showing the building of the Churchill Barriers. The tea room is a treat with a great selection of mouth watering home made cakes. Visit essential

Thank kevin d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OFHC, Manager at Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2017

Thank you. Your comments and rating are much appreciated.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2017

We had a lovely lunch here; had a look around at the displays in the rooms but the big delight is that this is a collective run by artists/craftsmen/artisans and there are no middle men. I paid a reasonable price for a wonderful array of...More

Thank traveltwotoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OFHC, Manager at Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2017

Thank you for your lovely comments. We are supported by a wide variety of artists and craftsmen ranging from those that just make a few pieces as a hobby to the professionals. Orkney has so many talented crafts people!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2017

Came across this little gem of a place and enjoyed morning coffee and cake, on return from a bracing walk at The Tomb of the Eagles we stopped by again for a lovely lunch. I would recommend highly to everyone

Thank fifer2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OFHC, Manager at Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2017

Thank you for recommending us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nearby
Nearby HotelsSee all Burray Hotels
The Sands Hotel
192 reviews
1.00 miles away
The Creel B&B
51 reviews
2.77 miles away
The Foveran
129 reviews
7.58 miles away
Lynnfield Hotel
284 reviews
7.80 miles away
Nearby Restaurants
The Sands Hotel
92 reviews
1.01 miles away
The Commodore Bar Restaurant
53 reviews
2.67 miles away
The Sands Hotel
19 reviews
2.82 miles away
Hoxa Tearooms
128 reviews
4.80 miles away
Nearby Attractions
Great Orkney Tours
76 reviews
.86 miles away
Orkney Wine Company
26 reviews
2.29 miles away
The Italian Chapel
810 reviews
2.32 miles away
Questions & Answers
Get quick answers from Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre staff and past visitors.
Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page.
Posting guidelines
Submit