Ring of Brodgar & Maeshowe

2.5 hours | Orkney Islands (Kirkwall) | K O I - 2 1 5
Average Guest Rating
From
$ 169.95
Exceptional Value

Exceptional Value

Exceptional Value

Book shore excursions with confidence! We offer competitive pricing, friendly service and unmatched destination expertise.

Points of Interest

  • Ring of Brodgar
  • Maeshowe
Moderate activity

Description

Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

Board your motorcoach for the brief drive to Maeshowe Tomb, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site designated the "Heart of Neolithic Orkney." In the nearby environs, one finds the remains of a Neolithic village, other burial mounds, and two great stone henges, including the Ring of Brodgar. The majority of sites appear linked by a ceremonial road.

Estimates place the construction of Maeshowe Tomb circa 2800 B.C. Built on a platform of leveled earth, Maeshowe appears as a massive, grassy mound rising some 24 feet above the bare plain. The interior features three stone chambers; the mound was found empty save for a human skull when first opened in 1861. That Maeshowe was a burial tomb remains a conjecture. In fact, on the solstice sunlight travels down the main passageway and illuminates the rear wall of the tomb. After leaving the Visitor's Center, we take a short transfer then break into small groups and walk through the low stone passage into Maeshowe Tomb itself. The extraordinary sophistication of the stone work is readily apparent.

The nearby Ring of Brodgar sits on Ness Brodgar, an isthmus between the Loch of Harray and the Loch Stenness. Arguably the last great henge built in the British Isles, the perfect circle of megaliths once comprised more than 60 stones. Today 27 stones remain standing. The Ring is 341 feet in diameter and is surrounded by both an excavated trench and an earthen dike. The exact ceremonial purpose of the Ring remains unknown, but several of the stones align with the surrounding hills and the rising sun during the winter and summer solstices. The Ring of Brodgar is the third largest circular henge after Stonehenge and Avebury.

After your visit, board your motorcoach for the return trip to Kirkwall.

Special Notes:

Visitors to Maeshowe Tomb must negotiate a low narrow stone passage to enter the Tomb. Entry into the tomb is not recommended for guests uneasy with closed spaces. Photography not permitted inside Maeshowe.

Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a hat and a light waterproof jacket or windbreaker.

Historic Scotland Steward will conduct tour at Maeshowe.

Bring local currency or credit cards for additional purchases.

Medical Restriction:

Not recommend for a passenger in a wheelchair or with walking difficulties. The stop at the Ring of Brodgar involves a walk of approximately 400 yards over rough, unpaved terrain including a couple of short slopes. The Maeshowe Tomb can only accessed via a low, narrow stone passage (approximate height 4 feet, width 2.5 feet, length 39 feet) - it is not possible to walk upright in the passage and entry is not recommended for guests who are uneasy with closed spaces. This tour involves changing from a full size coach to a mini-coach at the Ring of Brodgar as full-size vehicles cannot park at Maeshowe.

Details

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Depart quayside Kirkwall on narrated drive to Ring of Brodgar for guided tour

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
47
Travel time:
00:20
Time at site:
00:35
Inside visit:
Yes
Air conditioned:
No
Walking distance:
300
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
No
Photo/video restrictions:
No
Photo/video opportunity:
No

Transfer to and visit Maeshowe Chambered Tomb

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
47
Travel time:
00:05
Time at site:
01:15
Inside visit:
Yes
Air conditioned:
No
Walking distance:
300
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
Yes
Photo/video restrictions:
Yes
Photo/video opportunity:
No

Depart for quayside Kirkwall & rejoin your ship

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
47
Travel time:
00:15
Inside visit:
No
Air conditioned:
No
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No
Photo/video restrictions:
No
Photo/video opportunity:
No