While visiting Mainland Orkney, do not miss the world-famous archeological site of Skara Brae Orkney. This Neolithic settlement was found well preserved under a sand dune. So it is a unique opportunity to see how people lived 5000 years ago. Have a look:
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INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Skara Brae Orkney
Skara Brae Village Visitor Center
The Skara Brae Orkney site is composed of the Visitor Center (1), the replica of a Skara Brae House (2) as it was 5000 years ago, the site of Skara Brae village (3) and the Skaill House (4)
Below is a map of Skara Brae Orkney:
In the visitor center, your first go through an exhibition before getting access to the site. There you will learn more about:
- how the site was discovered in 1850 when a windstorm revealed it under a sand dune
- how people used to live 5000 years ago
- see artifacts and tools found on the site
Skara Brae on Orkney - Replica House
After the exhibition, you walk outside and you can first enter the replica of one of the Skara Brae Houses. The site being 5000 years old, it is very fragile. This is why you cannot walk inside the houses but just look at them from above.
So, to allow the visitor to better understand the living set up and conditions during the neolithic, the site has made a replica of House 7 and placed tools and 'furniture' inside. House 7 is the best preserved of the Skara Brae houses providing much information about the living conditions in the settlement.
Skara Brae Orkney Timeline
After exiting the replica house, a well maintain path takes you towards the sea (at the Skaill Bay) and the Sakra Brae on Okrney site.
It is very well done as they have set up stones along the way to create a timeline with significant events in order for the visitor to realize how old the site is.
The Skara Brae houses date back to 3100 BC. Older than Stonehenge (2100BC) and older than the pyramid of Giza (2500 BC)!!!!!
Skara Brae Facts
Many signs provide information along your visit. Here are a few facts about Skara Brae on Orkney:
- It was discovered in 1850 when a windstorm revealed 4 houses and a rich collection of objects
- Skara Brae was built in 2 phases. Not much is know about the oldest one as it would require to dig under the latest houses
- The furniture was made from local flagstones which were easy to shape
- Each house has a stone or wooden slab to serve as a door and could be blocked from the inside
- The Skara Brae Houses typical plan was: rectangular, dresser facing the entrance with prized objects, hearth in the center and box beds on the side
- Skara Brae is part of the Unesco Site 'Heart of Neolithic Orkney' with Maeshowe Chambered Cairn, the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness.
Here is a map of the Skara Brae Village:
Skara Brae Houses
Now let me share some Skara Brae pictures of the houses right next to the beach:
This location, along with many other beautiful places, is included in my eBook: The Road Trip Guide - Scotland.
It is a practical tool to plan your trip with maps, photos, planning tips, GPS coordinates...
With your ticket you can also visit the Skaill house, considered one of the finest mansions in Orkney. It has been set up as a museum and you can see how people use to live in the 1950s.
Want to see more of SCOTLAND?
Discover more things to do & places to see in my Travel Scotland Destination Guide.
Can you believe it is older than the pyramids?
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