After visiting Jarlshof we stopped off at Old Scatness.
Very easy to find; next to the airport on the A970.
We parked in the car park and headed into the visitor centre.
In addition to the usual gifts etc the centre also has ‘Viking’ clothes that both children and adults can dress up in! Dafydd quickly got fully dressed while Sophie (not to miss out) insisted on wearing a hat.
We were then introduced to our guide Vicky – yes it was Vicky the Viking! (she said she has heard every possible joke there is!) Myself, Vicky and Dafydd went outside while Karen had a cuppa.
There were few people about and in affect we had a private tour of the site which was great.
Vicky was very informative and answered any questions we had as we moved all around the Broch. Vicky explained the development of the Broch and I found the talk about the Wheel Houses particularly interesting as I had just been to Jarlshof where they also have them.
We were informed that the Shetland Trust had bought the field next door to the site which has a suspicious looking large ‘mound’ in the middle of it. They hope that it also contains buildings of some sort. They plan to excavate the field when funding allows.
The tour lasted for about 45 minutes and we were then left alone to have a look around the excellent reconstructed buildings – including a Wheel House.
We headed back to the visitor centre we were given a demonstration of weaving by a lady and invited to have a go. But Karen and Sophie had already waiting a long time for use so I had to unfortunately decline the offer.
All the guides were dressed in ‘Viking’ clothes and were very, very friendly – particularly with the children. It was an absolute pleasure to visit Old Scatness and I would heartily recommend a visit.
As an aside can I also recommend a visit to the not too far away Croft Museum – also fab!
There is an entrance fee for the site which gets you a guided tour by very knowledgeable folk in 'period' costume. There's also someone demonstrating Viking era crafts. There are toilets and a small visitor centre/gift shop.
The Shetland Amenity Trust and the University of Bradford have for the past 8 years been excavating a site in the south of shetland known as old Scatness.
The site slap bang next to sumburgh Airport and only a couple of miles from Jarlshof is a truely marvellous find.
The focal point of the site is the disovery of a 4m high Broch which is surrounded by the remains of an Iron Age village. Carbon dating points to the broch as having been built around 400BC. Later the site was used by the Picts and the Vikings.
Further evidence suggest that the site was in use during the bronze age with pottery discovered at the site thought to have been from then.
The site contains information on the archaeological excavation being carried out by the University of Bradford in collaboration with the Shetland Amenity Trust on a site in the south of the mainland. Currently it is up to date to the end of the 1998 season.