Visit the Dig

2024’s nine-week excavation – the final season at the Ness of Brodgar – is open to the public on weekdays, from 9.30am-4.30pm, between Wednesday, June 26 and Friday, August 16.

The site will also be open on the two scheduled Sunday open days (see below).

It is closed to visitors from Monday, August 19, so work to infill the trenches can be carried out.

Guided tour at the Ness of Brodgar
Excavation Calendar 2024
  • Please check opening times before travelling – the site is not open all day, every day.
  • There is no entry if the main gate is closed and there are no staff on site.
  • Please do not drop off passengers at the entrance – the single-track road is busy and potentially dangerous.
  • In bad weather the site may close at very short notice. Rain is not only bad for the archaeology but wet and slippy conditions are dangerous for archaeologist and visitor alike. Keep an eye on the website for updates.

Free site tours

  • Our free tours take place, on weekdays, at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, from June 26-August 16.
  • Each tour lasts approximately one hour.
  • There is no need to book. Just turn up in time for the start.
  • Tour group operators should note the guidelines here.

Open days

  • 2024’s two open days are Sunday, July 14, and Sunday, August 4.
  • These feature continuous tours, demonstrations, displays and activities on site and at the Stenness school from 11am to 4pm.

While on site

  • Please remember the site is, first and foremost, a working archaeological dig in a field.
  • Be prepared for bumpy, sometimes wet and slippy ground.
  • Please keep to indicated routes and stay away from the edge of the digging areas.

Toilets

  • There are no public toilets available on site.
  • The nearest facilities are in Stenness village (outside the Maeshowe visitor centre), 1.2 miles (2km) from the dig.

Photography

  • Feel free to photograph the excavations for personal or research purposes.
  • Drone flying over the site is not permitted.

Dogs

  • Dogs are welcome, but please keep them on their leads.

Getting to the Ness

  • The excavation is on the south-eastern tip of the Ness of Brodgar, between the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar – about 11 miles from Kirkwall and five miles from Stromness.
  • Motorists should follow the A965 Kirkwall-Stromness road until reaching the B9055 “Brodgar” Road, signposted “Bay of Skaill”. Continue past the Stones of Stenness and the dig site is clearly signposted.

Public transport

Ness of Brodgar and environs

Parking

  • Vehicles must not be parked along the side of the single-track Brodgar road.
  • On-site parking is free – at your own risk. The site entrance is tight and tricky, so please be careful.
  • Larger vehicles will find it difficult to access the car park. These vehicles should be left at the nearby Stones of Stenness or Ring of Brodgar car parks and occupants should follow the footpaths to the dig site.
  • The excavation car park is specifically for dig visitors. Please do not leave your vehicle while you visit other sites in the area.
2024 Access

Passing places

  • The passing places at the side of the single-track Brodgar road are solely for letting other vehicles through.
  • Please do not use them for parking.

Shop and help raise funds

Mike Copper shows some of his superb replica Neolithic pottery at one of the site open days.
Mike Copper shows some of his superb replica Neolithic pottery at one of the site open days. (📷 Sigurd Towrie)

The Orkney Archaeology Society has an on-site shop which raises funds for both the Ness of Brodgar and the society.

The money raised by the shop benefits not only the Ness but other archaeological projects in Orkney.

There you can buy our monograph, Ness of Brodgar: As it Stands, the Ness guidebook, postcards, replica Ness carved stone balls and much more – knowing that the Ness, and Orkney’s other amazing archaeology, will benefit directly from your visit.

Sterling and Mastercard, Visa, Maestro and Amex accepted.

Sponsor a Square

  • During excavation season, for a £10 donation, visitors can choose a square from the site.
  • Towards the end of the year we send out a newsletter highlighting some of the notable finds from squares across the site.

Donations

  • Donations can be made on site by cash, card or by QR code via our website.