Skara Brae

The Bronze Age village at Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland
The Bronze Age village at Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland


LOCATION The site lies near Stromness on the west coast of the main island in Orkney, Scotland



Jan: 43°F (6°C); Apr: 48°F (9°C); Jul: 59°F (15°C); Oct: 52°F (11°C)

In a beautifully windswept location on the west coast of Orkney lies Skara Brae, Europe’s most complete Neolithic village. The site comprises a group of ten dwellings that were occupied from 3100 to 2500 BC and remained undiscovered until 1850, when a violent storm tore away the mound of grass and soil that had grown over them.

The houses, which were originally sunk into the ground and covered with turf, remain excellently preserved, and even retain some of their original “furniture” – beds, shelves, boxes, and seats made out of stone slabs. The village even had its own elaborate drainage system, complete with primitive stone toilets in every dwelling, which can still be seen today.

Practical Information

Getting There Fly from the Scottish mainland to Kirkwall or catch a ferry to Stromness. The site is only a short trip from either of these towns by car, taxi or bicycle.

When to Go May or September. The weather is likely to be just as good as in the summer, but with far fewer visitors around.

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