Orkney’s Neolithic village of Skara Brae has long been one of the most popular attractions in the islands.
Ever since it was uncovered by a storm in 1850 the site has fascinated visitors to Orkney. Thousands of people arrive every year, eager to get a glimpse of 5,000 years of history.
They follow the path that winds through the ancient settlement, viewing the nine remaining houses and their intricate fixtures and fittings from above.
But now special ‘after hours’ tours have been launched, offering visitors the chance to avoid the crowds and get up close to the buildings.
Historic Environment Scotland has set-up new ‘Twilight Tours’ for groups of up to twelve people, providing special access to the site. Those taking part will be able to enter one of the delicate houses and workshop areas to get a unique and authentic experience.
Sian Evans, HES Islands and World Heritage Visitor Services Manager, said ‘Visitors often tell us they would like the opportunity to see inside the houses at Skara Brae. It’s not practical to do this during the day because it gets so busy and introducing Twilight Tours seemed like a great way to solve this.’
The tours are primarily aimed at visitors to Orkney, but it’s hoped locals will take advantage of the extra access opportunities too. ‘The tours will give people the rare chance to enjoy the monument when it’s quiet, and to hear some of Skara Brae’s stories in more detail,’ said Sian. ‘We’re hoping members of the local community will come along too, and enjoy this exclusive view of their unique site.’
The tours are available now and run Tuesdays to Saturdays until Wednesday 31st August. They last 45 minutes in total start at 5.30pm, 6pm, 7pm, 7.30pm and 8pm. Booking is essential – visit the Historic Environment Scotland website for more details.