Fossil & Heritage Centre

Top choice in Orkney

This eclectic museum is a great visit, combining some excellent 360-million-year-old Devonian fish fossils found locally with a well-designed exhibition on the World Wars and Churchill Barriers. Upstairs is a selection of household and farming implements. There's a good little gift shop and an enjoyable coffee shop. Coming from Kirkwall it's on the left half a mile after crossing onto Burray.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Orkney attractions

1. Italian Chapel

2.34 MILES

The Italian Chapel is all that remains of a POW camp that housed the Italian soldiers who worked on the Churchill Barriers. They built the chapel in their…

2. Mine Howe

5.96 MILES

On a farm at Tankerness, the mysterious Iron Age site of Mine Howe is an eerie underground chamber, about 1.5m in diameter and 4m high. Its function is…

3. Scapa

7.77 MILES

Two miles south of Kirkwall's centre, on the shores of Scapa Flow, this is one of two Orcadian whisky distilleries and, though less famous than Highland…

4. Highland Park Distillery


This distillery, South of Kirkwall's centre, is great to visit. Despite a dodgy Viking rebrand, it's a serious distillery that malts its own barley; see…

5. Flotta

7.83 MILES

The most distinctive feature of this small, flat island – in fact, the name comes from the Norse for 'flat island' – is the 68m-tall flare stack rising…

6. Deerness

8.02 MILES

A narrow spit joins this peninsula to the eastern edge of Mainland. You reach the end of the road at Mull Head. A short walk from the car park brings you…

7. Tomb of the Eagles

8.28 MILES

Two significant archaeological sites were found here by a farmer on his land. The first is a Bronze Age stone building with a firepit, indoor well and…

8. Waulkmill Bay

8.28 MILES

If it’s sunny and you’re thinking about a picnic, head to Waulkmill Bay, between Kirkwall and Orphir. The huge sandy beach is perfect for strolling and…