Guided visits only
Contact to book
Paid Admission

To view scheduled tours or organise a tour, see below:

Welcome to Ness Battery

On the outskirts of Stromness, just a short walk from the town, stands Ness Battery. This important relic of Orkney’s wartime heritage once defended Scapa Flow against enemy attack, and after being closed for many years it is now open for guided tours.

One of our expert guides will meet you at Ness Battery for a guided tour lasting just over an hour. On the tour we will share with you the history of the Battery and what life was like for the men who manned the guns. Your tour will take you inside one of the gun emplacements, and finish in the Mess Hall, which features the famous painted mural.

What to see


The Observation Post

This imposing concrete building was the nerve centre for defending Hoy Sound. From here the fire of all six gun batteries covering the entrance was co-ordinated. Signallers from the top floor communicated with incoming vessels to check their identity. If vessels did not stop when told to, they could expected a six-inch shell across the bows! On the tour you’ll hear much more about how the system worked and some of the incidents that ensued, including the day in 1940 when the ferry had to be stopped in its tracks.



Barracks and Painted Mural

Ness Battery is believed to be the only gun battery in Britain to have retained its wooden huts. Although at the peak there were many more than we see today, the earliest and most important ones remain. Within one, the Mess Hall, a beautiful painted mural has survived, depicting rural England. Only recently has the artist been identified and we now know his story, and even have some watercolours he painted of Orkney scenes.

gun battery

Gun Emplacements

Your guide will show you inside one of the gun emplacements. Much larger than they appear from the front, these shelters are where nine-man crews would man each six-inch gun. With the help of the personnel manning the Observation Post nearby, fire was guided on to target and zeroed in within a few shots. Deep below ground, magazines held hundreds of shells for the guns to fire. Gunners had to be in good shape – each shell weighed 100lb (45kg) and were carried to the gun by hand

Plan your visit

Ness Battery




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Adults -£8
Under 18s -£5
Family Ticket (2 adults & up to 4 U-18s) -£22
Under 5s -Free
Groups of 10 or more paying together – 10% discount.

Opening Times

Easter- September- Regular Tours

Out of season- Tours by arrangement

Ness Battery is just a short walk or drive from the Point of Ness campsite but instructions on how to get to us can be viewed below.

A map on how to find us can be viewed here.

A comprehensive guide on how to get here can be found on the Ness Battery Website here.

There are no facilities on site but there are public toilets at the Pier Head in Stromness or at Point of Ness campsite.

Most of the site is accessible for all, with care, but there are some parts of the site with which some visitors may have difficulty. Please contact us if you have any queries about accessibility.

Most of the tour takes place outdoors and the site is very exposed to the elements, so please bear this in mind – even it seems calm and warm in Stromness, just around the corner at Ness Battery it can be very different!.

We only allow assistance dogs within our site.

We always welcome schools at Ness Battery but please do phone ahead on 07759857298 to work out arrangements.

Alternatively, email

From Easter to mid September, there are regular scheduled tours. There is no need to book, you can just turn up at these times. The latest tour times can be found on the website or by calling 07759 857298 where the times will be on an answer message.

Out of season, tours are still available, but by arrangement only. Please email to enquire:

Groups of ten or over receive a 10% discount. 

To organise a group tour then please contact us via email  or by calling 07759 857298

Please email or phone 07759 857298 to discuss any potential venue hire.

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