Broch of Gurness

Orkney is quite rightly famous for its magnificent neolithic sites. As well as Skara brae, the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones at Stenness, the landscape is littered with less well known stones , burial mounds and features. The recent discoveries at the Ness of Brodgar are quite literally re-defining our knowledge and understanding of the period.

However, Orkney’s archaeology doesn’t end with the neolithic.  The landscape is also peppered with Brochs. These are distinctive round forts and date back to the Iron age, making them about 2000 years old or thereabouts. Brochs feature all over northern Scotland with very well preserved examples at Caithness and Shetland.

Among many minor sites, Orkney’s finest example is the Broch of Gurness. This is a magnificent monument with spectacular views out to sea and the neighbouring islands. As well as the central round structure, (which you can walk right inside), there is a network of settlement dwellings and ditches surrounding the site. Less well known than its neolithic cousins, and a little further out of the way, Gurness is never very busy. We always recommend it to our guests as a visiting point and they are never disappointed. Gurness is also a great place to watch seals and seabirds – and who knows, perhaps even the occasional passing orca…

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