Skara Brae, Orkney

We were quite lucky as we got to Skara Brae before it became too busy, we looked around the remains and then walked along the beach, and when we got back to Skara Brae three tour coaches had arrived. I don’t think it can be quite the same experience when there are that many people there.

Skara Brae plaque

As you can see Skara Brae is situated close to a beach. It was a huge storm back in 1850 which resulted in a huge amount of sand being cleared away, uncovering the remains of the Neolithic dwellings. This settlement is 5,000 years old, older than Stonehenge. According to the historian Neil Oliver Orkney was the centre of the world back then!

first structure

The rectangular ‘boxes’ on the right of the photo are the beds, they would have been filled with heather and animal skins to make them cosy.

house  at Skara Brae

It is a bit like The Flintstones, with all the furniture being made from rocks, but I really like the shelves/dresser. Some Stone Age woman was really proud of her home and did her best to make it comfortable.


This is a view of Skaill beach from the edge of Skara Brae.

Skaill Beach, Orkney

6 thoughts on “Skara Brae, Orkney

  1. A richly interesting place, and I’m sure that like many historic sites it’s best seen with peace and quiet if possible, to be considered and contemplated.
    It’s interesting to learn about what it may have been like to live there, what the folk ate, how they were dressed, what contact they had with other peoples.

    • Valerie,
      I thought about going to some of those places at midnight-ish just to get a different perspective, but I have a feeling that even then others would have had the same idea. The weather was chilly and windy so we decided not to leave the cottage late on, even although it never gets properly dark there during the summer. It is interesting, they seem to have had a lot of contact with people from fairly far away.

    • Joan,
      I can imagine living like that. I suspect the women were always complaining about the sand making its way into their clean house!

  2. Wow, how great that you have fairly close access to such remote and ancient sites. Just one more reason along with at least 100 others why I would love to visit your country over and over again….!

    • Paula,
      I’ve been thinking about going to Orkney for decades, it’s quite a long drive from us up to near John O’Groats for the ferry – it took us about 10 hours to get to the Orkney cottage, although we did have a spare couple of hours on the mainland because we had been worried about missing the ferry over. I hope you make it here – some day!

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