This stunning archaeological site on the shores of the bay of Skaill is reputed to be the best preserved Stone Age village in Europe. It is one of Orkney's most popular attractions. Prepare to be amazed!
Sitting proudly within the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site, Skara Brae is accorded the same status as the pyramids in Egypt. However, the village is in fact much older, dating from 3200BC compared to 2700BC when the building of the pyramids began.
The story of Skara Brae makes fascinating reading. It is one of the earliest prehistoric sites in Scotland and was preserved through four millennia beneath the sand dunes. The settlement was discovered in 1850 when a great storm battered the bay and blew away the sand to reveal a glimpse of what lay beneath the ground. The site was excavated by Laird William Watt of Skaill who unearthed a stunning find - the preserved ruins of a prehistoric stone village, intact with the furnishings of the day and linked by a communal covered passage.
Today's visitors can enjoy a rare insight to the life and times of these ancient people on a guided tour of this magical site. Historic Scotland runs a visitor centre, with a shop, cafe and interactive exhibition. In the summer months, the cost of entry to Skara Brae includes a visit to nearby Skaill House, built in 1620 by Bishop George Graham on the site of a Norse farmstead.
Find out how to visit Skara Brae during your visit to Orkney.