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Visit the dig

Visitors are welcome during the excavation season, watch this space for details of our 2018 dig dates.

Please consider making a donation to help us fund the 2018 dig.


The first step in visiting the dig is to get to Rousay. There is a regular ferry service from Tingwall in the West Mainland to Rousay – cars need to be booked in advance but foot passengers can just turn up. Timetables are online at Orkney Ferries  and book by telephone through the Tingwall office on 01856 751360


If you come across as a foot passengers there is a public bus service on some days and a taxi/private hire service 7 days a week to get you from the pier head to the site, which us about a 6 mile walk otherwise.


For transport information in Rousay contact Richard   Telephone Number: 01856 821360


Mobile Number: 07746838761    E-mail:


To get to the dig please ask Richard to drop you at the car park (or park at the car park if you’re in a car)  for Midhowe chambered tomb: if you look down the hill along the coast to the left you will see the excavation.


WARNING: the hill is very steep and should not be attempted if you have mobility issues or health problems - it's a long way back up the hill if you get stuck!


Please walk down to Midhowe then turn left and walk along the shore, keeping to the seaward side of the stone dykes. This is a pleasant walk in itself, taking you past the remains of South Howe broch, Brough Farm, The Wirk, St Mary's Kirk and Skaill Farm, then past the Knowe of Rowigar and on towards Swandro. You can walk along the edge of the storm beach cast up by the Atlantic and there are many wild flowers along the way, together with a large seal colony along the shore and you may even see some otters!


The landowners at Swandro are extremely supportive of the excavation and we could not proceed without their willing cooperation. Please respect their land and livelihood and DO NOT take a shortcut across the fields, please walk along the shore and KEEP DOGS ON A LEAD AT ALL TIMES due to grazing livestock.


If you can't visit us then we have some photos and also videos of past seasons and more information for you and you may also subscribe to our free email newsletter to keep you up-to-date with the dig.

Viking re-enactor at the Open Day

Keith, a Viking re-enactor at one of the Open Days at the Swandro dig - quick, someone buy him a pint!

Keith in his Viking regalia  at the Knowe of Swandro dig open day - he's really very friendly