The Orkney Museum

It doesn’t have to be raining to give you an excuse to visit this beautiful museum right in the heart of Kirkwall; it just so happens that when we visited last Saturday the heavens had opened.

Right from the start as you pass under the archway into the museum forecourt you can tell you are in for something very special.

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Whether your interests are The Ba, Archaeology, Orkney chairs, or the 19th century there is much to fascinate you, including activities for the wee ones to keep them amused.

20663296_10208054460679599_688113053_oI love going down the iron spiral staircase which takes you into the section titled the 19th and 20th centuries.

In the 19th century section you will find two ladies adorning appropriate attire for the period although the blank expressions on their faces leads me to believe they could have been the inspiration behind certain characters in Dr Who.

In the 20th Century section there is much to entertain adults and youngsters alike with hands on implements to educate through visual and participatory means.

I do not want to go into too much description, as I would hate to spoil this beautiful jewel in Orkney’s crown, one of a great many wonderful visitor attractions that Orkney has to offer, but for me the wee room up the stairs around the back overlooking Tankerness House gardens is a room to be savoured, for in here lie many wonderful photograph albums which have the ability to transport you right back in time.


It is also a lovely place to sit and reflect whilst looking over the gardens enjoying a tranquil moment or two to yourself.

The museum itself used to be a private residence in which the Baikie family of Tankerness resided for 3 centuries and upstairs there is a room which will perhaps give you an idea of how the family lived.

The room is called The Baikie Library.



You can find the Kirkwall Museum across from the Cathedral on Broad Street with disabled access being made from Tankerness House Gardens to the rear of the Museum.

Photos by Helen and Kenny Armet.


The Orkney MuseumTankerness House, Broad Street, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1DH.


01856873535 (extension 2523) or 01856873191.

Opening Times

Summer Opening – 1 May to 30 September

Monday – Saturday, from 10.30 – 17.00.

Winter Opening – 1 October – 30 April

Monday – Saturday, from 10.30 – 12.30 and 13.30 – 17.00.

Museum is closed for lunch – 12.30 – 13.30.


Facility is free of charge.

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