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Following the Scottish Government's announcement that restrictions are expected to relax, some of our staffed sites will reopen on Friday 30 April. Tickets available now.




On-street parking is available about 350m away, on Thomas Street.

Approach to site

Entry to the Bishop’s Palace is direct from the street through an iron gate and down some wooden steps.

Both routes to the Earl’s Palace involve steps:

1. The path from Palace Road has 2 steps up and 1 step down, followed by 1 step into the monument.
2. From Watergate there are 3 steps up, a short path and 2 steps down, followed by 1 step into the monument.

Visitor centre

Once within the grounds of the Earl’s Palace, there is step-free access to the visitor centre.


The ground floor of the Bishop’s Palace is mainly on the level and surfaced with gravel.

Access to the first floor of the tower is up wooden steps followed by narrow stone steps (with rope handrail).

The ground floor of the Earl’s Palace includes the kitchen and an interpretive display. These are reached by 2 wide stone steps.

The first floor includes the great hall and bedchambers and is reached by a wide stone staircase (without handrail).

Access to the second floor is via a narrow stone spiral staircase.


Nearest adapted toilet is at the Kirkwall and St Ola Community Centre, Broad Street, about 120m away.


Assistance dogs are permitted at all our sites and within roofed areas.  

Visitors' dogs are allowed at Bishop's and Earl's Palace, but are not permitted in roofed areas. 

Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and not left unattended at any time. Owners must pick up after their dogs.

Access Guide

For information on accessibility at more than 80 of our sites download our Access Guide

Historic Scotland

Opening times

The Bishop's Palace is closed until Spring 2021, but you can still visit the exterior of the Earl's Palace.

We’re working hard to gradually reopen the places you love while making sure the experience is safe for everyone.


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