We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Earl's Bu

Orphir KW17 2RD, Scotland
Review Highlights
Interesting information centre

This is just one of many interesting archeological sites on the Orkneys. While the site is... read more

Reviewed 13 September 2017
John M
via mobile
Nice standing apse in modern graveyard

Dropped by here late in the day for a short look around. Story boards and parking on street then... read more

Reviewed 3 September 2017
Seattle, Washington
Read all 59 reviews
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Located eight miles west south west of Kirkwall at Orphir, the Earl's Bu comprises the foundations of ancient buildings which have been identified as the remains of the early 12th-century seat of Haakon Paulsson Earl of Orkney.
  • Excellent33%
  • Very good44%
  • Average22%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“short visit” (3 reviews)
“round church” (10 reviews)
Orphir KW17 2RD, Scotland
Orphir KW17 2RD, Scotland
Write a Review
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (59)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

1 - 10 of 57 reviews

Reviewed 13 September 2017 via mobile

This is just one of many interesting archeological sites on the Orkneys. While the site is dramatic, the special feature of this site is the information centre with display boards and professional video. It is free, as well.

Thank John M
Reviewed 3 September 2017

Dropped by here late in the day for a short look around. Story boards and parking on street then you walk to the gated graveyard that also has this ruin in it. Very nicely kept and marked. You can really see how the Romanesque windows...More

Thank PBTravelstheWorld
Reviewed 23 August 2017

Part of a 4 mile coastal walk. Lovely views over Scapa Flow. Interesting remnants of Viking culture. Well worth a visit.

Thank lesleypink29
Reviewed 19 August 2017

A little bit of Viking Saga History and one of only two round Churches in Scotland. Set in a lovely area. Only a short visit

Thank Snorri1
Reviewed 14 August 2017 via mobile

Not much to see but worth a visit if nearby or passing. Remains of a round church in cemetery was interesting to see. The remains of the earls palace just next to it was fascinating to see also.

Thank JillAdventures
Reviewed 30 July 2017

Not a log to see, but possibly the site of a drinking hall mentioned in sagas from the 12th century, and the remains of a circular church. Worth a few minutes, but don't make a special journey.

Thank L3K
Reviewed 24 July 2017

Orkney in general is just one great big Neolithic playground for the visitor. Just about everywhere you turn there is something to see, a lot of it from over 5000 years ago. If you are into history and how people lived ages ago, you should...More

Thank RC30319
Reviewed 21 July 2017 via mobile

We stopped here as part of our day in Kirkwall. We had no historical background in any of these ruins and found it all to be fascinating. There's not a lot more to say than what others have already said, except that it's easy to...More

Reviewed 27 June 2017

Lovely circular walk along the cliffs and up through a woodland, starting and ending at the car park here

Thank Buddy32
Reviewed 24 January 2017

My absolute favorite. There is not much to the Bu or manor house of and ancient earl. The really exciting thing is the round church a thing in Scotland only two are left and this one is the most complete. Makes you just want to...More

Thank tiredandtravelled
Nearby HotelsSee all 16 hotels in Mainland
Standing Stones Hotel
183 reviews
7.96 km away
Stromness Hotel
218 reviews
9.29 km away
Orca Hotel
60 reviews
9.31 km away
The Foveran
127 reviews
9.33 km away
Nearby Restaurants
Gerri's Ice Cream Parlour
54 reviews
8.16 km away
Julia's Cafe
375 reviews
9.30 km away
The Foveran Restaurant
467 reviews
9.33 km away
Beneth'ill Cafe
115 reviews
9.36 km away
Nearby Attractions
541 reviews
8.45 km away
Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum
157 reviews
10.07 km away
Standing Stones of Stenness
344 reviews
8.52 km away
Questions & Answers
Get quick answers from Earl's Bu staff and past visitors.
Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page.
Posting guidelines