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Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement

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Address: Sumburgh ZE3 9JN, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 1950 460112
Website
Description:

Wander around a site where people lived for more than 4,000 years. There...

Wander around a site where people lived for more than 4,000 years. There are remains of Bronze Age oval houses, an Iron Age broch and wheelhouses, Viking longhouses, a medieval farmstead and a laird's house built around 1600. This enduring site is without parallel in Scotland and helped inspire Sir Walter Scott's novel The Pirate. After touring the visitor centre, look out towards Fair Isle and perhaps spot puffins nesting nearby.

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US$ 38.25*
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Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 213 reviews
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  • 149
    Excellent
  • 45
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Well worth the visit

Went there on an organized tour and had about 90 minutes to explore the site. This extremely well preserved and excavated site spans from the early bronze age through the early... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Josiah H
,
Norfolk VA
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213 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 201: English reviews
Norfolk VA
Level Contributor
121 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Went there on an organized tour and had about 90 minutes to explore the site. This extremely well preserved and excavated site spans from the early bronze age through the early 18th century. Each section has signs explaining the significance of the ruins.

Helpful?
Thank Josiah H
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Good historical site but not ideal for anyone on crutches or in a wheelchair as the ground is grassy.

Helpful?
Thank Georgina1959
West Kilbride, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
357 reviews
216 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is a fantastic place to visit. You get a real sense of history as you wander in and out of the remains of various buildings that cover quite a long time span. In addition, you have the ruined castle perched on the hill overlooking the sea and the munch earlier buildings. Several information points give you an indication what... More 

Helpful?
Thank ladybrr
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
211 reviews
126 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

It is an interesting walk through the settlement with all the wheel houses and hiding places. There is also the old house, where you can climb up sort of a staircase to get a better view. There are also remnants of the Vikings, a longhouse.

Helpful?
Thank Cruiser_D_R
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2017 via mobile

We arrived just after the site had closed, so we couldn't have audio guides, but we have studied quite a lot of ancient domestic history and the boards were really informative too. If you visit Shetland and you like ancient history, this site is not to be missed.

Helpful?
1 Thank Sophie M
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 December 2016

Much of this site was originally underground, and has been excavated to expose a large number of ancient stone structures. Some of it apparently dates back thousands of years, but a lot is Norse, ranging from 9th to 14th century. It's close to the sea, and is mostly outdoors, and since it's Shetland, it can be cold and windy. You... More 

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3 Thank Simon T
Welwyn, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
137 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2016

Settlements going back thousands of years are brought to life by the best audio guide I have ever used (included in the price of admission). The location and the remains of buildings are both awesome. You certainly need time to take in the magnitude of the place and the meaning it had for so many generations before us.

Helpful?
1 Thank Matsudana
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2016

fantastic site, with plenty of different rooms, corridors and a broch. Amazing location next to the cliffs and coast, the airport. will visit again. Brilliant views from the site. Good signage explaining the different buildings from wheelhouses, longhouses, Broch and medieval palace.

Helpful?
2 Thank scott1barden
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2016

What an amazing place. So many levels of history in one place. We took the audio guide which really helped us to find our way around and understand the place. It was quite strange going into some of the round houses and realising how long they had stood so close to the sea. A lovely clam place and a good... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Gayle B
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2016

If you want to walk back into prehistory, and see it at different stages of development, then this is the place to visit. Well thought out, and laid out to take you on your time travel through Shetland's past.

Helpful?
Thank John S

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