Visit the Dig

Excavation work under way in Structure Eight as a tour watches on from the viewing platform (Jo Bourne)

Excavation work under way in Structure Eight while a tour watches on from the viewing platform (Jo Bourne)

Excavation resumes at the Ness of Brodgar on Monday, July 4, 2022, running until Friday, August 19, 2022.

Unlike 2021, which only saw three structures uncovered, this year we intend to fully open all the trenches and the site will be open to the public on weekdays, from 9.30am-4.30pm,  between July 6 and August 17, 2022. Please note that outside these dates the site is not open to the public and the archaeology covered over.

  • Please check the site opening times – it is not open all day, every day and in bad weather may close at very short notice.
  • There is no entry to the excavation if the main gates are closed and there is no staff on site.
  • Please do not drop passengers off at the site entrance – the road is busy and potentially dangerous.

Site tours

Free tours of the excavation will take place on weekdays at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

Open day

Our site open day is planned for Sunday, July 31, 2022, and will feature activities on site and in the Stenness Community School.

Excavation Calendar 2022

Getting to the Ness?

The Ness of Brodgar is the thin strip of land, in the West Mainland of Orkney, that separates the Harray and Stenness lochs.

The excavation site is on the south-eastern tip of the Ness, between the Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar and about 11 miles from the town of 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 Standing Stones of Stenness and the dig site is clearly signposted.

Parking

  • Vehicles must not be parked along the side of the 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 so owners of these vehicles should park at either the nearby Stones of Stenness or the Ring of Brodgar car parks and follow the footpaths to the dig site.
  • The car park is specifically for visitors to the excavation site. Please do not leave your vehicle in the excavation car park while you visit other sites in the area.

Site access and parking

Passing places

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

Public transport

Although there is no public transport directly to the Ness excavation site, buses (service X1) run between Kirkwall and Stromness regularly every day and visitors 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.

Weather closures

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.

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.

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 new book, 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

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 finds across the site..

Donations

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

Final points

If you are planning a visit to the site:

  • Please remember that the Ness of Brodgar is a working archaeological dig in a field.
  • Be prepared for bumpy, sometimes wet and slippy, ground and areas where it is not safe for visitors to go.
  • During your visit, please keep to indicated routes and stay away from the edge of the digging areas.

The excavation is only open to the public during the digging season. Over this period there is no entry if the main gates are closed and there are no staff on site.

Outwith excavation season the site is closed to the public and the archaeology covered to protect it.