The Ness of Brodgar excavation site is now closed to the public. See you in 2024.
Provided our fundraising plans come together, the final season of excavation at the Ness will run from Monday, June 24, until Friday, August 23, 2024.
The site will be open to the public on weekdays, from 9.30am-4.30pm, between Wednesday, June 26 and Friday, August 16.
- Please check the site opening times before travelling – it is not open all day, every day.
- There is no entry to the excavation site if the main gate is closed and there are no staff on site.
- Please do not drop off passengers at the site entrance – the single-track road is busy and potentially dangerous.
- In bad weather the site may close at very short notice.
- Please remember that the Ness of Brodgar is 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.
- 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.
- Dogs are welcome, but please keep them on their leads.
- Our free tours of the excavation are on weekdays at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.
- Each tour lasts approximately one hour.
- There is no need to book.
The open day is scheduled for Sunday, July 28, 2024, and will feature activities on site and in the Stenness Community School. Just turn up at either location any time between 11am and 4pm on the day.
Getting to the Ness
- The excavation site 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 Road, signposted “Bay of Skaill”. Continue past the Stones of Stenness and the dig site is clearly signposted.
There is no public transport directly to the Ness excavation site.
However, buses (service X1) run between Kirkwall and Stromness regularly every day and passengers can ask to be dropped at the end of the B9055 road and walk to the site (a distance of approximately three-quarters of a mile).
Click here for bus timetables.
- 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, however, so please be careful.
- Larger vehicles will find it difficult to access the site. Owners of these vehicles should park at the nearby Stones of Stenness or Ring of Brodgar car parks and follow the footpaths to the dig site.
- The excavation car park is specifically for visitors to the dig. Please do not leave your vehicle while you visit other sites in the area.
- The passing places at the side of the single-track Brodgar road are solely for letting other vehicles through. Please do not use these for parking.
In particularly bad weather we might not dig – heavy rain is not only bad for the archaeology but wet and slippy sites are dangerous for archaeologists and visitor alike. Keep an eye on our website for updates.
Shop and help raise funds
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.
- At the end of the season we send out a newsletter highlighting some of the notable finds from squares across the site.
Donations can be made on site by cash, card or by QR code via our website.
- The site is only open to the public during the excavation season. Over this period there is no entry if the main gates are closed and there are no staff on site.
- The rest of the year the site is closed and the archaeology covered to protect it.