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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.
  • Excellent75%
  • Very good22%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“audio guide” (29 reviews)
“bronze age” (16 reviews)
Sumburgh ZE3 9JN, Scotland
+44 1950 460112
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Reviews (226)
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1 - 10 of 214 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

A great site easy to walk round & got lots of hidden nooks & crannies to explore. Very helpful signage gives interesting background to the features. We missed the visitor centre as they'd closed up this meant we missed out on the headphones etc. A...More

Thank IanVezy
Reviewed 6 days ago

This is just a fascinating place that can be visited in an hour. The site was home to various people over 4 thousand years. You can see how the dwellings evolved over time, ending with a now ruined castle built in the middle ages. It...More

Thank cgtorrey
Reviewed 1 week ago

An interesting attraction but the shop and ticket system is very inefficient and needs work. We are HES members but had to queue for around 10-15 minutes in the tiny shop to get our tickets. The line moved very slowly and there is only one...More

Thank Andrew D
Reviewed 1 week ago

We arrived on the bus from Lerwick and approached in the mist. It is an amazing place to visit and we enjoyed it

Thank NeilBWB
Reviewed 1 week ago

Visited this ancient site and found it to be most interesting in that it covered different civilisations from the stone and bronze ages to the time of the Vikings.

Thank phoenix021
Reviewed 16 May 2017

Substantial remains of 4000 years of continuous history in a remarkable site. In the car of historic Scotland so free entry to EH and HS members. A very good audio guide is included which optionally can go into a lot of detail. Its in a...More

1  Thank GandC_UK
Reviewed 16 May 2017

If you interested in history, archaeology, and heritage listed sites then this is the place for you. At this well cared for site there is a mixture of eras. It's easily accessible for those with mobility issues and the elderly. You can walk into the...More

Thank Margaret H
Reviewed 15 May 2017 via mobile

The site is not dissimilar to Skara Bra on Orkney- but at Skara you view and observe- here you can walk into the buildings. This gives a real feel of how they might have been. Also really good viewing platform for aerial photos. Very good...More

Thank 1949etwall
Reviewed 10 May 2017 via mobile

A really interesting dip into the history of how people lived on Shetland in ancient times. It is, however, a compact site and the £6 per adult entry fee is a bit on the high side for what you get.

Thank ValtteriKnelstrom
Reviewed 4 May 2017 via mobile

We went to this site on a relatively cold, misty damp and windy day and expected to spend a short time out in the open looking at this site. But the audio guide was so excellent and the site is so well presented that we...More

Thank Stuart R
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Nearby Attractions
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Callum S
Is it open over the Christmas - new year period?
14 December 2016|
Answer Show all 5 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
From where our cruise ship ports, are there taxis or tours we can get to your site? We are traveling next year at this time and have only one day in Scotland so we want to see as much as possible. This place looks fascinating and very historic. Thank you.
25 August 2016|
Answer Show 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
What is the entry fee and hours of operation?
29 June 2016|
Answer Show 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