The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Skara Brae

Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork


Hob and Jacqui hadn't been here and were going home next day. They didn't have a car with them. We did. It was past 6.30 and it would probably be closed. But we went just on the off-chance. We got lucky AGAIN.

Avoid the commercialism. If you're not bothered about buying postcards and want to have the place to yourself, do as we did and go after the visitor centre is closed at 6.30. Park in the empty car park. Walk round the side of the visitor centre towards the beach on the deserted grassy path. Follow the 'time line'. Pay no fee. The four of us had the place to wander through, consider and be amazed at without coach parties or tour guides; the time to stare and wonder and think and imagine. Moth and I returned next day at the same time and with guide book in hand made our own tour.

Skara Brae was first place on Orkney where I got a real sense of the LIFE (rather than the death) of neolithic Orcadians. It was easy to imagine people living here: hear the low rumble of their voices, smell their dinner cooking, bump your head on the fish drying on racks over the fire, feel the smoke stinging your eyes, smell the damp sheepskins, hear a child crying for her mum from the warmth of her little stone slatted bedstead...

The people who lived here were no different from us. Their dreams and aspirations were precisely the same as ours: to feed, raise and love our families as comfortably as possible. You can be very close to them here.

Absolutely enchanting and unmissable.
Jane Posted by Jane
5th July 2004ce
Edited 6th July 2004ce

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