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Jarlshof & Scenic Mainland Drive
hrs Estimate Duration
The Shetland’s are a mosaic of over a hundred islands where land and water blend. The most northerly part of the British Isles, it is inhabited by approximately 22,000 people and an abundance of wildlife. It is a land shaped by the sea from dramatic sculptured cliffs to tranquil sandy bays. Travel south to visit Jarlshof. A violent storm in the winter of 1896-97 uncovered this remarkable archaeological site, revealing remains from the Neolithic and settlements from the Bronze and Iron Ages. The name Jarlshof, or ‘Laird’s House’, was named by Sir Walter Scott in his book named “The Pirate” based in the area. “Jarlshof” means “Earl’s Farmhouse” and as the archaeological site was only discovered almost a century after it got its name.
The term “Laird’s House” refers to the most modern building on the site built by Earl Patrick Stewart in the late 1500s. A guided tour will give you the chance to admire the remains of these village settlements, sprawled over a low green promontory by the sea. Your tour continues the short distance to the small historic village of Hoswick and a visit to the Hoswick Visitor Centre. Here, you can get an understanding of the history and culture of the Shetland’s from the interpretive displays. There is also the opportunity to purchase a garment from the wide variety of original Shetland wool items on sale in the knitwear shop. You’ll also see the small agricultural areas where sheep farming is important, see the distinctive black and brown Shetland sheep grazing in pastures enclosed by neat dry-stone walls and small communities. Your return to Lerwick will be across moorland.
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Scenic & City Tours
Tours with this activity level involve walking over relatively level terrain, possibly some cobblestone, gravel, or a few steps. Comfortable shoes are recommended.
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