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Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement

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Address: Sumburgh ZE3 9JN, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 1950 460112

Wander around a site where people lived for more than 4,000 years. There...

Wander around a site where people lived for more than 4,000 years. There are remains of Bronze Age oval houses, an Iron Age broch and wheelhouses, Viking longhouses, a medieval farmstead and a laird's house built around 1600. This enduring site is without parallel in Scotland and helped inspire Sir Walter Scott's novel The Pirate. After touring the visitor centre, look out towards Fair Isle and perhaps spot puffins nesting nearby.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 221 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 155
  • 47
    Very good
  • 6
  • 1
  • 0
4000 years of continuous history

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... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Moira, United Kingdom
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221 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 209: English reviews
Moira, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
374 reviews
151 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

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 very scenic spot, we were visited by a pod of Orcas when we were there.... More 

Thank GandC_UK
Level Contributor
50 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

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 round wheel house structure to get a feel for the way people lived. There is... More 

Thank Margaret H
Ashbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
382 reviews
196 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago 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 example of Norse Longhouse. Must see site.

Thank 1949etwall
East Midlands, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
229 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago 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
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
100 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago 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 spent well over an hour in the freezing wind. This is such an amazing site... More 

Thank Stuart R
Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Went to go to Sumburgh Head and found this place by accident. An old ancient place situated by the Sumburgh Head Hotel, which one can use the facilities if visiting the Jarlshof. Well laid out and a good find, worth a visit if in the area. Then take the coastal path walk up to Sumburgh Head, much better than the... More 

Thank Kairlan M
Margaret River
Level Contributor
89 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2017

If you can stand up against the wind this is an amazing place and very well explained. The place is like a time capsule. Unlike Orkney there are not many prehistoric sites. This is by far the most impressive. Visiting Shetland is a rewarding experience and Jarlshof is part of that.

Thank MreMargaretRiver
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
175 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2017

The place is a must visit. Gives you access to the transition of the site through the ages. Informative information boards and a vast amount of history fully accessible at your finger tips.

Norfolk VA
Level Contributor
121 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2017

Went there on an organized tour and had about 90 minutes to explore the site. This extremely well preserved and excavated site spans from the early bronze age through the early 18th century. Each section has signs explaining the significance of the ruins.

Thank Josiah H
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2017

Good historical site but not ideal for anyone on crutches or in a wheelchair as the ground is grassy.

Thank Georgina1959

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