Orkney and Shetland Islands

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Orkney and Shetland Islands - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Jarlshof

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    In 1897 a huge storm blew away 4,000 years of sand to expose the multilayered remains of Bronze Age, Iron Age, Pictish, and Viking buildings...Read More

  • 2. Mousa Broch

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    Sandsayre Pier in Sandwick is the departure point for the passenger ferry to the tiny isle of Mousa, where you can see Mousa Broch, a fortified...Read More

  • 3. Ring of Brodgar

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    About 5 miles northeast of Stromness, the Ring of Brodgar is a magnificent circle of 36 Neolithic standing stones (originally 60) surrounded...Read More

  • 4. Skara Brae and Skaill House

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    After a fierce storm in 1850, the laird of Breckness, William Graham Watt, discovered this cluster of Neolithic houses at the bottom of his...Read More

  • 5. Broch of Gurness (Aikerness Broch)

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    An Iron Age tower built between 500 BC and 200 BC, the Broch of Gurness stands more than 10 feet high and is surrounded by stone huts, indicating...Read More

  • 6. Brough of Birsay

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    A Romanesque church can be seen at the Brough of Birsay, a tidal island with the remains of an early Pictish and then Norse settlement. ( Brough...Read More

  • 7. Maeshowe

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    The huge burial mound of Maeshowe, circa 2500 BC, measures 115 feet in diameter and contains an enormous burial chamber. It was raided by Vikings...Read More

  • 8. Muness Castle


    Scotland's northernmost castle was built in 1598 by Laurence Bruce of Cultmalindie, uncle of "cruel" Patrick Stewart. Despite being a ruin it...Read More

  • 9. Old Scatness

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    This ongoing excavation of an Iron Age village is a worthwhile stop. Enthusiastic and entertaining guides, most in costume, tell stories that...Read More

  • 10. Tomb of the Eagles

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    In 1958, while looking for stones for diking, local farmer Ronnie Simison found and excavated this chambered cairn, packed with 340 human skulls...Read More

  • 11. Unstan Chambered Tomb

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    This intriguing burial chamber lies within a 5,000-year-old cairn. Excavations here uncovered a collection of similarly designed pottery bowls...Read More

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