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Skara Brae Tours

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Skara Brae
Dating to 3,000 BC, this Neolithic village predates the Egyptian pyramids. The Skara Brae settlement—hidden underground until a storm uncovered it in 1850—includes Stone Age dwellings complete with stone beds and furniture. A visitor center hosts exhibits including a reconstruction of one of the ancient houses.

The Basics
The UNESCO World Heritage Site can be visited on a day trip from Inverness or John O’Groats. Tours typically include round-trip ferry transport and stops at Orkney sights such as Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, Lamb Holm Italian Chapel, and St. Magnus Cathedral. You can visit Skara Brae on a more leisurely multi-day Orkney Islands tour. Admission to Skara Brae covers the visitor center, excavated site, and—April through October—Skaill House, a 17th-century manor. 
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Winds can be strong at the waterfront site, so wrap up. 
  • The visitor center and parts of the excavation site are wheelchair accessible.
  • Find a cafe and toilets at the visitor center. 
  • You must book a time slot but you can stay as long as you want. 

How to Get There
Ferries depart from Gills Bay on the Scottish mainland and stop at St. Margaret’s Hope ferry terminal on the island of South Ronaldsay. From St. Margaret’s Hope, it’s about a 55-minute drive to Skara Brae. Between May and September, ferries run between John O’Groats and Burwick on South Ronaldsay.

When to Get There
Summer is the best time to visit Skara Brae, as warmer weather makes outdoor exploration less of a challenge. Skara Brae is open year-round, though last entry is relatively early (3:30pm) October through March. In the summer high season, go early in the day to beat the crowds. 

Neolithic Orkney
Skara Brae is one of several sites on the Orkney Islands that make up the Heart of Neolithic Orkney - UNESCO World Heritage Site. Others include two stone circles (the Stones of Stenness and Ring of Brodgar), and Maeshowe (a 5,000-year-old passage tomb), as well as multiple excavated burial sites, ceremonial sites, and settlements. 
Address: Orkney, Scotland
Admission: Varies
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6 Tours and Activities to Experience Skara Brae

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3-Day Orkney Explorer Small-Group Tour from InvernessMulti-day Tours

3-Day Orkney Explorer Small-Group Tour from Inverness

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Explore off the beaten path on this 3-day tour of the archipelago of Orkney. Leave the driving to your guide and travel in a top-of-the range, 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach to visit prehistoric sites, a dramatic red sandstone coast, and some of Scotland’s most remote fishing villages. This small-group tour is limited to 16 people to ensure a more personalized experience.
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  • 3 days
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$412.40 
From  
$412.40 
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  • 3 days
  • Taking safety measures

Orkney Islands Day Trip from InvernessDay Cruises

Orkney Islands Day Trip from Inverness

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Take an Orkney Islands tour of top attractions on this day trip from Inverness. You’ll travel by coach through Scotland’s dramatic North Highlands and ferry across the Pentland Firth from John O’Groats. Cross the Churchill Barriers and Scapa Flow to the Ring of Brodgar and Standing Stones of Stenness — part of the Neolithic Orkney World Heritage site. Your guide also takes you to the stone-age village of Skara Brae and the 12th-century St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. Note: This tour operates during the summer months.
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  • 14 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$104.35 
From  
$104.35 
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  • 14 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Orkney Islands Day Trip from John O'GroatsDay Cruises

Orkney Islands Day Trip from John O'Groats

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Escape the mainland for a full-day tour of the far-flung Orkney Islands from John O’Groats. Journey by ferry across the Pentland Firth to the wind-swept Orkney archipelago, bursting with postcard-perfect natural vistas and mystical landmarks. With a local guide, cruise along the Churchill Barriers to visit villages steeped in Viking mystery like 5,000-year-old Skara Brae and landmarks like the Lamb Holm Italian Chapel and St. Magnus Cathedral.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$93.65 
From  
$93.65 
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation

3-Day Orkney Islands Tour from InvernessMulti-day Tours

3-Day Orkney Islands Tour from Inverness

star-4.5
Discover the mystic and dramatic beauty of the far-flung Orkney Islands on this 3-day excursion from Inverness. With a friendly guide, journey across the Pentland Firth to wind-swept Orkney archipelago, bursting with wildlife and picture-perfect vistas. Visit villages steeped in Viking mystery and landmarks like the Lamb Holm Italian Chapel and the UNESCO-listed Standing Stones of Stenness. Two evenings in a 3-star hotel or B&B and daily breakfast included.
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  • 3 days
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$454.85 
From  
$454.85 
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  • 3 days
  • Taking safety measures

Orkney Islands & Highlands from Inverness - 3 Day Tour from InvernessMulti-day Tours

Orkney Islands & Highlands from Inverness - 3 Day Tour from Inverness

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Our three day Orkney tour from Inverness takes in the best the island has to offer! See Neolithic sights such as Skara Brae, The Ring of Brodgar, Maeshowe, the Italian Chapel and more
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$220.74 
From  
$220.74 
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation

Orkney Day trip from InvernessDay Trips

Orkney Day trip from Inverness

This tour is long, yes but it is one of the very few tours that will give you more than you want from an Orkney day tour!
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  • 15 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$1,419.85 
per group
From  
$1,419.85 
per group
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  • 15 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Skara Brae?

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