Historic Scotland
Buy Tickets

Opening times

1 Apr to 30 Sept:
Daily, 9.30am to 5.30pm
Last entry 5pm

1 Oct to 31 Mar:





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. A no fouling rule applies at all our sites.

Access Guide

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

Buy Tickets

Download our visitor app

Discover more on the go – the Historic Scotland app lets you find out about Scotland’s most iconic places wherever you are.

Save with an Explorer Pass

Get free entry to Scotland’s top visitor attractions with an Explorer Pass valid for 3 days or 7 days.

Become a member

Join Historic Scotland to visit our properties free of charge for a full year and support our work at the same time.

Hire a site for filming

Use one of our fantastic locations on your next shoot for an awe-inspiring backdrop to your work.

View learning activities

Our 300+ historic places serve as creative inspiration for all sorts of learning activities – and for learners of all ages.

Search our events

See the past brought to life by the imaginative year-round programme of events at our properties.