Skaill House

Historic Buildings & Homes

Breckness Estate, Sandwick, Orkney, KW16 3LR

    Orkney's finest 17th Century mansion, and home of the man who discovered Skara Brae. Covering thousands of years of Orkney history, a visit to Skaill House gives a valuable insight into Orkney's diverse and exciting past.

    Skaill House is the finest 17th Century mansion in Orkney. Home of the man who unearthed Skara Brae in 1850, and covering thousands of years of Orkney history, a visit to Skaill House will give a valuable insight into Orkney's diverse and exciting past.

    Overlooking the spectacular Bay of Skaill, the house was originally built in 1620 by Bishop Graham and has been added to by successive Lairds over the centuries. Just a short distance from the house lies the neolithic village of Skara Brae, and the Southern Wing of Skaill House stands on a Pre-Norse burial ground.

    The house was opened to the public in 1997 after careful restoration work, and is very much the family home as it was in the 1950s. Captain Cook's dinner service, neolithic and iron age finds, Stanley Cursiter paintings, the Bishop's original bed, and many other items of interest collected by the twelve Lairds of Skaill can be seen around the house.

    Children are very much welcome at Skaill House and can join in our much loved Viking hunt as they explore the rooms of the house. You can complete your experience with a browse around our gift shop, well stocked with quality local crafts, books and produce. You can also enjoy a hot or cold drink or ice cream while you sit in our sunny and sheltered courtyard, or take in the wonderful grounds surrounding the house.

    4 Visitor Attraction
    Opening Times
    2016 Opening Times
    1 Apr 2016 - 31 Oct 2016

    Entrance Via joint ticket with Skara Brae. 1st April- 30th September 9:30-5:30 (last entry 5:15). 1st October-31st October 10-4 (last entry 3:45).


    • The main entrance has level access


    • Baby Changing Facilities Available
    • Children Welcome


    • ASVA Member
    • Picnic Area Benches provided around the grounds of the house and in our sheltered courtyard


    • Coastal Location
    • Remote Location
    • Rural Location

    Special Requirements

    • Children Welcome
    • Coach Parties Welcome
    • Families
    • Groups Welcome
    • School Groups Welcome

    Wedding Services

    • Accommodation Available
    • Can use own suppliers
    • Civil Ceremony
    • In-house Co-ordinator
    • Religious Ceremony
    • Romantic Location


    • Shop Well stocked exclusive shop specialising in local food, drink, arts and crafts.
    • Tea & Coffee Available Hot drinks available to take away


    • Public Toilet Facilities

    Leisure Facilities

    • Garden
    • Gift Shop

    Payment Methods

    • Cash
    • Debit Card
    • Mastercard
    • VISA Card


    • Accessible Parking or Drop Off Point
    • Bike Storage Available
    • Coach Parking On-site
    • Free Parking On-Site Parking is provided in Skara Brae Visitor Centre car park
    • On Public Transport Route

    Road Directions

    From Stromness. Take the A965 to Kirkwall. After 1 mile turn left to Birsay and Skara Brae (A966), after 3 miles turn left to Skaill Bay and Skara Brae (B9056). Skaill house is first left at far end of Skaill loch.

    From Kirkwall. Follow signs out of Kirkwall for the A965 to Stromness. Go through Finstown. Aprox 4 miles outside Finstown turn right onto the B9005 signposted to Skaill Bay and Skara Brae. Follow signs to Skara Brae going straight over a staggered crossroads and then turn right at a 'T' junction at the head of Skaill Loch. Follow the road along the east side of the loch. Skaill is the first turning on your left at the end of the loch.

    Transport within Scotland

    For public transport information to visit here from within Scotland, enter your postcode and visit date below.

    Journey Planner

    Access to Public Areas (Displays, exhibits, rides etc)

    • Level access (i.e. no steps or thresholds) or access by a ramp or lift to :
      • a public toilet
      • a public toilet suitable for visitors who use a wheelchair
      • the gift shop
      • the information point
      • the ticket issuing point


    • There is an audible alarm system
    • Seating available throughout the attraction at appropriate intervals, for visitors with limited mobility
    • Routes / pathways throughout the attraction suitable for visitors with limited mobility
      • some routes
    • Good colour / tonal contrast used throughout the attraction e.g. doors contrast strongly with floors/walls
    • Clear signage throughout the attraction (e.g. colour contrasted, large lettering, use of pictograms etc.)
    • Lighting effective throughout the attraction for visually impaired visitors e.g. pools of light and dark areas are avoided

    Ticket / Information / Gift Shop [where applicable]

    • Information available in alternative formats
      • Large print (at least 14 point)
      • Other, please specify various languages

    Attraction Entrance

    • There is a ramp to the main entrance
    • There are steps to the main entrance
      • Number of steps 10


    • Parking provided for visitors
      • With designated parking for visitors with disabilities
      • Within about 50 metres of the attraction

    This information is self-assessed; therefore we accept no liability for its accuracy. Please contact the venue for further information.

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