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Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement

Sumburgh ZE3 9JN, Scotland
+44 1950 460112
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USD 41.64*
and up
Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
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The Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse settlements in Shetland are one of the most important and inspirational archaeological sites in Scotland. Jarlsholf is located at Sumburgh Head near the southern tip of Mainland Shetland. This extraordinary site has a complex of ancient settlements which cover more than 4,000 years of human history. You will be amazed to find such a range of archaeological treasures in one place, including late Neolithic houses, a Bronze Age village, an Iron Age broch and wheelhouses, a Norse longhouse, a medieval farmstead and a 16th century laird’s house. The fascinating interpretation centre houses a hands-on display of local materials traditionally used on site including wool, stone, slate and bone. Visitors can also learn all about prehistoric life and the history of the site.
  • Excellent74%
  • Very good23%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“audio guide” (34 reviews)
“bronze age” (18 reviews)
“sumburgh hotel” (30 reviews)
Sumburgh ZE3 9JN, Scotland
+44 1950 460112
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Reviews (257)
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1 - 10 of 239 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago

Highly recommended! Nice, relaxing, educational tour through the town of Lerwick, along the coast, through a little village, and then to the archaeological site. Very interesting, and our guide, Willis, was great. There is a museum and gift shop. Plenty of time to explore on...More

Thank gab131vic
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Jarlshof is 5000 years of history all in one site. Mesmerizing. Getting is there is part of the experience. No trees, windswept hills. Wide open spaces. The Shetland islands are far away from everything. Or at right at the very center of things - part...More

Thank Tanja S
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This was a beautiful site to visit and we very much enjoyed finding out the history. Stunning views out to the sea and of the lighthouse. Also close to the airport and right next to the Sumburgh hotel.

Thank staceyadelle
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Layers of settlements evolved on the foundations of each generations needs and configurations. Our tour guide took our excusion group into the various dwellings and up to the still-remaining multi-story remnants of the "laird's house (lord's house). There is a staircase to climb up the...More

Thank on_the_go_98765
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Close to the airport and in the Grounds of the Sumburgh Hotel. A great place and enjoyed the opportunity to dress up in Viking clothes. Audio tour is included and it's amazing to see the layers of history over lapping the various buildings. It was...More

Thank edwmagee
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Fascinating insight into the lives of the ancient inhabitants of the Sumburgh area. A little expensive but for a true history buff it's worth the price

Thank old8
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

It is amazing to have before one at least 4,000 years of history - from 2,000 BC to the 1800 AD. One can have an excellent audio guide.

Thank gwynethBristol
Reviewed 5 September 2017

When we arrived in rainy weather we were the only ones there. This undoubtedly added to the enjoyment. The archeology of the site is simply stunning - layers upon layers of occupation from round houses through to a medieval manor. The explanatory signs gave sufficient...More

Thank ActRegular_traveller
Reviewed 15 August 2017

This was a great place, however, having spent longer than anticipated at Sumburgh Head we were rushing a bit here. Leave more than an hour! I was glad I had the guide book as it mapped everything we were seeing. There were information boards around...More

1  Thank Mrs D
Reviewed 11 August 2017 via mobile

Like old shetland? You will love it here, different settlements marked out and a small information point too. Visiting shetland then you must go here!

Thank Fraser C
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Questions & Answers
Callum S
14 December 2016|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from ByHistoricScotland | Property representative |
Good Afternoon, Jarlshof has restricted hours over the winter. Please call Skara Brae (01856 841815) for further details. Kind Regards
25 August 2016|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from pawbrown | Reviewed this property |
If you only have one day hiring a car (most UK hire cars have stick shifts so need to specify auto if you prefer) would give you maximum independence to explore Shetland. We used Bolts. The roads are good and there is... More
29 June 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Bruce M | Reviewed this property |
We had bought Historic Scotland memberships for our month in Scotland. I think the fee was small, however, in the range of £5. Ask about a "concession" rate if you are a student or a senior (60+). As for hours, the web... More