fun things to do with kids in orkney and shetland islands scotland   Travel for Kids

Orkney and Shetland Islands

Orkney Islands
The windswept Orkney and Shetland Islands are truly in the middle of nowhere, but they've been inhabited for thousands of years – prehistoric settlements were followed in later centuries by the Vikings, and villages thrive today. Traveling with kids to the Outer Hebrides is an adventure.
  Orkney Islands
Skara Brae
    In the Orkney Islands, visit the Skara Brae Prehistoric Village, the 5000 year old Stone Age village, often called "The Pompeii of the North." Buried in sand, the settlement was rediscovered in the 19th century. The streets of the town are narrow stone passageways, leading to stone-walled houses, elegantly furnished in stone.
    Also, explore Maes Howe Chambered Cairn. From the outside, it looks like a just huge dirt mound, but inside it's a stunning Neolithic tomb. Later Vikings left runes scratched in the stone.
    Shetland Islands –
Shetland ponies
    Ride Shetland ponies – You'll want to explore Shetland's beaches or hills riding on one of those adorable Shetland ponies. You can arrange for ponies at Brootham Ponies near Sumburgh.
    Shetland has plenty of sandy beaches where kids can can look for puffins, otters, hundreds of common and gray seals, porpoises, dolphins, even humpback whales.
      Take the boat to the island of Mousa to see the Mousa Broch, an Iron Age stone tower built near the sea for protection. This broch has been largely untouched for 2000 years (other brochs throughout Scotland have been dismantled for their stones).
      Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement – Wander around the ruins of a Bronze Age village with stone huts, an Iron Age broch, a Viking village, a medieval farmhouse and a 16th century "manor" house. 3000 years of settlement on this one site.
      Shetland is famous for its "Fair Isle" sweaters and shawls, and there are numerous shops where you can purchase the genuine article.
kids books shetland orkney islands scotland
A Stranger Came Ashore  

A dark-eyed handsome young man washes ashore in a shipwreck, but beneath his charming and helpful ways, does he want to return to his kingdom under the sea? A classic story based on the legendary seal-folk, who live in the deepest ocean around the Shetland Islands. (Chapter book)



An exciting adventure story and portrayal of life 3,000 years ago, set in Stone Age Skara Brae. A boy is blown ashore in a storm, carrying something the people of Skara Brae have never seen – a bronze axe. He shows the villagers how to hunt and build boats, but an unforseen danger will change Skara Brae forever. (Chapter book)


(More children's books on other Scotland pages)
travel for kids | scotland | orkney and shetland islands
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