The Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse settlements in Shetland are one of the most important and inspirational archaeological sites in Scotland.
Visitors can explore the grounds of Jarlshof, but our visitor centre and facilities are currently closed. Find out more about our reopening plans
Jarlsholf is located at Sumburgh Head near the southern tip of Mainland Shetland. This extraordinary site has a complex of ancient settlements which cover more than 4,000 years of human history. You will be amazed to find such a range of archaeological treasures in one place, including late Neolithic houses, a Bronze Age village, an Iron Age broch and wheelhouses, a Norse longhouse, a medieval farmstead and a 16th century laird’s house.
The fascinating interpretation centre houses a hands-on display of local materials traditionally used on site including wool, stone, slate and bone. Visitors can also learn all about prehistoric life and the history of the site.
Almost all of the site is accessible with a little care and patience. The gates need to be lifted off by the steward. There are cobbled paths on the site but the grass verges can be used in dry weather. The path to the broch and wheelhouse area is too narrow for wheelchairs but access is possible for more mobile visitors. Seating is available within the grounds.
Very occasionally the property has to close at short notice due to adverse weather conditions or other reasons out with our control. Please check the Historic Scotland closures page for any unexpected site closures https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/check-for-closures/. You can also follow closure tweets from @welovehistory using #hsclosure. Alternatively please call the site before setting off to check they are open.