Guided tours

Guided tours are available – tour times listed below – no need to book, just meet me there.  (see map)

Although the site is open to the public, we recommend taking a guided tour – not just to get the whole story and exclusive access to the Control Tower, but also for your safety. You should not enter any of the buildings unaccompanied – many are unsafe and there are dangerous drops, holes in the ground etc.

One of our expert guides will meet you at the Bryameadow Road entrance (see map) for a guided tour lasting just over an hour. On the tour we will share with you the history of the airfield and what life was like for the men and women who served there.

Your guide will take you inside the Control Tower, only accessible during a guided a tour.



Tour times

Sun 7th  11am
Tue 9th  11am
Sun 14th  3pm
Wed 17th  11am

18th – 31st tbc


See for directions.
Birsay Heritage Trust encourage you to take the guided tour, but you are welcome you to look around this historic site without a guide… at your own risk.Please take care and do not enter or climb on any of the buildings.
Beware of sudden drops and stay on the main track!

Tour prices

Adult £6
Concession (Seniors, students etc.) £5
Child (5-15) £4
Child under 5 Free
Family Ticket (2 adults & up to 4 U-16s) £16

Groups of 10 or more paying together – 10% discount.

Payment is by cash or cheque only.

The tour lasts just over an hour.

This means you should allow about 90 minutes altogether, including time taken to get back to the car parking area by the Bryameadow Road entrance.

Please note: there are no toilet facilities at HMS Tern. (Well.. not yet, but soon!)


Most of the site is open to the public BUT some buildings are dangerous and should not be entered. Please do not attempt to explore the surrounding farmland without the permission of the landowners – there will be livestock and crops for most of the year so please respect this and stick to the main area between the Bryameadow Road entrance and the Control Tower – do not climb over any fences!

Most of the site is accessible but there are some parts of the site with which some visitors with mobility problems may have difficulty. Please contact us if you have any queries about accessibilty.
Most of the tour takes place outdoors and the site is very exposed to the elements, so please bear this in mind in less clement weather!