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Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement

Sumburgh ZE3 9JN, Scotland
+44 1950 460112
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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%
Travelers talk about
“audio guide” (31 reviews)
“bronze age” (18 reviews)
Sumburgh ZE3 9JN, Scotland
+44 1950 460112
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Reviews (253)
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1 - 10 of 235 reviews

Reviewed yesterday 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 yesterday 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 days 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 3 weeks ago

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 August 14, 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 August 11, 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
Reviewed August 10, 2017 via mobile

All praise to Historic Scotland for the way they manage and interpret this site. We were here at opening time and had the site to ourselves for an hour and a half before the cruise ship tour bus arrived. The audio tourusing the headsets is...More

1  Thank Rebecca M
Reviewed August 8, 2017

It was Sir Walter Scott who termed the phrase Jarlshof , what is interesting about this site is the many different styles of dwellings built over generations , the bronze age , iron age , the Norse settlements & medieval farm.The 4 wheelhouses are the...More

1  Thank Peter L
Reviewed August 7, 2017 via mobile

Whoopee, old stones! Lots of them, a chronicle of the past. Plenty of space and examples to see. If you are into history this is a must. The views are stunning and the anoraks amongst us can watch the aeroplanes and helicopters take off and...More

1  Thank Validreview
Reviewed August 3, 2017

I found it expensive, for what is basically piles of stones. Yes, with the audio guide, which I think is essential, and a lot of imagination you van visualise things, but it's all a bit samey after a few minutes - maybe it's just me....More

1  Thank Frankiesymes
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Questions & Answers
Callum S
December 13, 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
August 24, 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
June 28, 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