Updated: Mar 11
The Vikings first invaded the UK 793 AD bringing with them destruction and devastation. Today we celebrate their skills and ingenuity. Here are some of the events you don't want to miss!
Loch Fyne Viking Festival, Inverary ©MDHarding
Norse of Course - All Things Viking
Up Helly Aa
The annual Up Helly Aa Viking Festival takes place in Lerwick, Shetland. One of the northerly Scottish Islands. This is one festival not to be missed! With the almighty Viking squads walking the small quaint streets and the dramatic burning of the traditional Viking long boat. It's a spectacular sight. One that draws in the crowds. Do book your flight or ferry and accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment.
While visiting the area you might like to go and visit some of the places of interest.
Jarl Squad ©MDHarding
Loch Fyne Viking Festival
This year the Loch Fyne Viking Festival took place at several locations along Loch Fyne, and it was a huge success. Inverary set the scene like something out of a movie. The weather was dreich and damp with mist over the loch. Creating the perfect atmosphere for what was about to happen next. From a distance you could hear the ferocious yells and screams, then the mighty 21-foot wooden long boats appeared. Drawing closer till almost at the shore, there was a surge of energy, the Vikings jumped from the boats splashing into the cold murky waters. The crowds that had gathered in anticipation, were not disappointed! There was even a 21st water balloon scuffle. A poor bystander was grabbed traditional Viking style, taken to the water, and given an almighty cold bath.
The rest of the day followed with fun archery lessons, action-packed re-enactments, and teachings of a bygone Viking era with cooking and clothing demonstrations. There were also stalls selling crafts and gifts.
It was a fun day for all the family. Keep your eyes peeled for news on next year's event!
Action-packed festival with the Magnus Vikings.
Largs Viking Festival
Currently taking place in Largs, is the Largs Viking Festival. The whole community has been swept up in the extravaganza. There is a long Viking history in the town, the last battle taking place on 2nd October 1263.
Stroll through the marquee before stepping back in time into the Viking living village. Don't miss the highlights including the Viking Festival of Fire with the torchlit parade starting at the Viking Village at 8.00 pm for a skirmish, fire dancer, burning of the Viking longboat, and spectacular fireworks display at Broomfields. For more information please check the website - Largs Viking Festival.
Why not sit back and relax onboard a Scotrail train from Glasgow Central to Largs? Taking just under an hour it takes in the beautiful west coast with its diverse landscape.
Aargh, welcome to the Largs Viking Festival ©MDHarding
Jorvik Viking Centre
April 2017 saw the re-opening of the Jorvik Viking Centre - the national centre of excellence for the Viking age, now showcasing some of the British Museum's most exciting finds. Items to be featured include treasures from the Halton Moor Hoard – a collection of 860 silver coins and six gold discs, a twisted silver neck ring, and a gilt silver cup dating back to around AD1025-30, in the reign of Canute. The display will also feature coins of Canute as king of both England and Denmark, and a unique die used to strike coins towards the end of Canute’s reign. Weaponry, including spearheads and a ‘pattern-welded’ sword found near Windsor, will also be on display, with axe heads and stirrups of the kind used by Vikings when traveling over land on horseback.
Discover much more about how the Vikings lived as well as, displays of weaponry, jewellery, coinage, and other artifacts including a Viking-age cup - Halton Moor Hoard, that is on loan from the British Museum in London.
Halton Moor Cup Silver gilt cup or bowl 9th century AD ©The Trustees of the British Museum
Viking Drinking Horns
The horns a cattle byproduct have taken on a new lease of life. Used as everyday drinking vessels, at important gatherings, festivals, and rituals.
Are you looking for something that little bit different for Christmas? Here it is!
Viking Drinking Horns ©MDHarding
Edinburgh International Book Festival
Best-selling author Joanne Harris is known for Chocolat, which became a movie starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. Told of her youth, enchantment of Norse Myths, and writing about them in Runelight, at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Norse Themed Movies
Fancy a movie night? There are many Norse-themed movies including Thor and the classic Norsemen. Have you heard of What We Did On Our Holiday starring Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, and David Tennant?
Hope you have enjoyed reading and are inspired to visit, read or watch aargh Vikings.
I would love to hear from you if you have any questions/comments. You can reach me via email: enquiries@MDHardingTravelPhotography.com