Orkney Pre-History Tour

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An archaeologist once stated that if you scratch the surface of Orkney it bleeds archaeology, wherever you are signs of people living in Orkney from over 5000 years ago can be seen and found.  During this tour we will visit Stone Age to Iron Age sites:

Starting in the Iron Age by visiting a subterranean earth house or souterrain.  Situated in the middle of the farmyard of Rennibister it originally would have been the cellar of an Iron Age Round House. 

The Cuween Cairn is a 5000 year old chambered tomb situated just outside the village of Finstown.  Learn about how special dogs must have been to the people who lived in the nearby Neolithic settlement, excavated in 1999.

Cuween Cairn -  photo by Charles Tait

Staying with the Stone Age we will visit a henge monument, the 3100BC Standing Stones. Originally consisting of 12 monoliths there are now three 4 to 5 metre stones still standing.  

Standing Stones of Stenness -  photo by Charles Tait

Between the Standing Stones of Stenness and the next henge monument, the Ring of Brodgar, we will pass the Ness of Brodgar where, during July and August, you will be able to see archeologists busy at work revealing more of the 12 structures.  These were first discovered back in 2003 after a geophysical study of the area.  This fascinating site can be visited during July and August when some of our questions will be answered.  However many questions remain!

Ring of Brodgay in winter -  photo by Charles Tait

Skara Brae is a remarkably well preserved Neolithic village which was only revealed following a fierce storm back in 1850 when the sand dune that covered it was partially washed away.  Subsequent archeological studies have identified that this settlement was occupied for 600 years and possibly even longer.  Hear about the 2 distinct architectural features that have luckily been preserved by being very sensitively treated during the archeological studies and digs.   There will be the opportunity to visit one of Orkney’s finest manor houses, Skaill House, situated next door to Skara Brae.  Hear about William Watt’s part in the discovery of Skara Brae and how he used his home as a museum displaying his many Stone Age finds of jewelry, tools and earthenware.

Skaill Loch -  photo by Charles Tait

We will then journey to an amazing Iron Age site and on the way hear about Rousay an island named the ‘Eygpt of the North’ because of the number of pre- history sites there.  Arriving at the Broch of Gurness you will hear about how this site was not only important in the Iron Age (200BC) but then went on to be used by the Picts and then the Vikings (900AD).

Broch of Gurness

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Happy Visitors

  • “So glad we got Lizzie as our tour guide, she was really enthusiastic about Orkney and this certainly rubbed off on us as we were taken to amazing places. We can see why Lizzie loves her home. Thanks for making our visit to Orkney so enjoyable and memorable.”

    — Jack and Audrey, Melbourne, Australia – 2017

  • “We only had a peedie visit to Orkney but had a great time with Lizzie as our guide. She even taught us some Orcadian words!”

    — Peter & Jack

  • “We want to come back! Had a great day with Lizzie, she certainly made sure we had a fantastic tour, love Orkney.”

    — Paula and Donna, New York – Aug 17

  • “Lizzie’s wonderful accent, her engaging personality and local knowledge has resulted in a great Orkney experience, thank you so much.”

    — Colin and Linda, Cornwall – July 2017

  • “Spending the morning visiting and learning about Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar was wonderful and made even more special with Lizzie whose warm personality shone through.”

    — J & G Buckland, Dorset – June 2017

  • “Thanks Lizzie I had a brilliant day, being my first time on a tour I now want to do more.“

    — Anne Bryan, Hampshire – June 2017

  • “Our tour with Lizzie was a wonderful and magical experience. We have learnt so much and will be back for sure!”

    — Maggie from Dublin