Orkney’s Wartime Airfields

Come on a journey with Orkney Uncovered and discover the airfields and aircraft that once protected Orkney and the British Grand and Home Fleet based at Scapa Flow during the World Wars. Learn about the life of the personnel on the air bases and the civilians who traded all manner of goods and interacted daily with the RAF and RNAS personnel.

  • RAF Grimsetter WWII
    Overview of RAF Grimsetter during WWII. Learn about the Spitfire MKI Squadrons based here. Now home to Kirkwall airport see the runways and the surrounding defensive Anti-Invasion line positions.
  • RAF Netherbutton
    See the remains of RAF Netherbutton, Britain’s most northerly Radar station in WWII.
  • Scapa Seaplane Station WWI
    During WWI Scapa Beach was home to a Seaplane Station. Overview of types of seaplanes based there and the many problems they station encountered due to the fierce Orkney weather.
  • Caldale Airship Station WWI
    See where Sea Scout Airships were based; learn about the role these airships played in protecting Scapa Flow from submarine attack. See the remains of the camp that housed 200 personnel.
  • HMS Sparrowhawk WWII
    Short drive around RNAS Hatston to show areas of interest during WWII such as runways, hangers, blast shelters and housing. See unique WWII aerial reconnaissance from RAF and the German Luftwaffe. Many aircraft including the Fairey Swordfish, Blackburn Skua’s and Grumman Avengers flew from this aerodrome.
  • RAF Skeabrae WWII
    Here you will see the remnants RAF Skeabrae a very important airfield built in the summer of 1940. There were a number of squadrons to fly here including the 611 Squadron who flew the Supermarine Spitfire MKIV. Learn about runway camouflaging.
  • HMS Tern WWII
    This airfield was first commissioned as a Royal Naval Station on 1st April 1941. RNAS Twatt was considered to be one of the largest airbases in Orkney with 1872 personnel including 432 Wrens. See the remaining sites and structures of this impressive air base including the Control Tower, runways and air raid shelters. The legendary Hawker Hurricane flew from this aerodrome.
  • Loch Stenness Seaplane Station WWI
    Overview of the Stenness WWI Seaplane Station, the accommodation camp and the Fleet Air Arms HQ. Learn about the difficulty this Seaplane base had with the seaplanes taking off from Stenness Loch.
  • First Civilian Killed in WWII from Luftwaffe Bombing Raid
    Overview of bombing raid and first British civilian killed in WWII by Luftwaffe bombing raid. See unique aerial reconnaissance and learn about the main targets of that fateful bombing raid the 16th March 1940.

Tour Notes:

  1. Prices on request.
  2. Orkney uncovered include bottled water and snacks.
  3. Places to eat: Standing Stones Hotel, Birsay Tearoom.
  4. Our transport accommodates up to 7 guests.
  5. Visual aids, commentary and aerial cartography, where appropriate, accompany this tour.
  6. Walking – moderate.
  7. Toilet and refreshment stops en route.
  8. Recommend warm and waterproof clothing and comfortable walking shoes.
  9. Tour may be subject to change due to adverse weather conditions.

If you would like more information or to enquire about this tour send an enquiry directly from this website.