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

    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

    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

    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

    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)

    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

    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

    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

    Castle/Palace

    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

    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

    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

    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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