When the Vikings first reached Britain, they were far from well-mannered. But once the plundering and pillaging settled down a tad, the Vikings made Britain their home, changing the island nation’s culture and language forever.
So, what happened to the Vikings? And how did they manage to settle our lands? If you want to find out, we suggest visiting these top Viking attractions in the UK.
Jorvik Viking Centre, York
Jorvik (the name given to York by the Vikings) was the Viking capital of England during the Dark Ages. At the Jorvik Viking Centre, you can watch animatronic Viking hunters, fisherman and traders go about their daily lives while you ride through a village on a small carriage with speakers.
After you’ve heard the stories of the life-size Vikings, head up to the Jorvik Artefact Gallery to see over 40,000 Viking objects and 250,000 pieces of pottery. Don’t forget to check out the underground vault, where you can see the remains of a Viking hearth and segments of the ancient wall.
The British Museum, London
The British Museum is the best place in the Capital to learn about Viking life. This grand museum contains a vast collection of Viking artefacts. In addition to its collections, which includes the famous Lewis Chessmen, you can marvel at a genuine Viking longboat and a Sutton Hoo helmet.
At the British Museum, you can also learn about the Egyptians, Romans and Anglo-Saxons. Want to make the most of your visit to the museum? Take a look at our Highlights of the British Museum tour.
Lindisfarne Priory, Northumberland
History buffs may know the Vikings first landed on Holy Island when they crossed the North Sea to Britain. When they arrived, they sacked a Christian monastery, ‘got rid of’ the monks and stole all the treasure. Not the best start, but the Vikings certainly left their mark.
Today, you can visit the remains of the monastery, Lindisfarne Priory, and see depictions of the raid as well as learn about life on the island before the Viking invasion. Notable artefacts include the Viking Domesday Stone and the Lindisfarne Gospel.
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Want to learn about the way of the Viking warrior? At the National Museum of Scotland, you can not only browse a vast selection of Viking artefacts and weapons but also attend a Viking training school, watch a Viking show, and get your hands on some genuine Viking objects.
As you may know, the Vikings had a soft spot for pillaging and plundering. But they didn’t always take their treasure back to Scandinavia. One of the largest hoards of over 100 pieces of gold and silver was found near the Church of Scotland in 2014. You can see this collection, known as the Galloway Hoard, inside the museum.
House of Manannan, Isle of Man
The House of Manannan uses famous characters, reconstructions and even smells to recreate life during the Viking settlement of the Isle of Man. Here, you can learn about the amazing stone crosses that are dotted around the island. You can also join the crew of a Viking longship to reimagine the daring quests across the North Sea.
Ancient Technology Centre, Dorset
Head to the Ancient Technology Centre in Dorset to experience life as a Viking. You’ll stay in a reconstructed longhouse while wearing Viking dresses, tunics and belts, completing tasks such as making fences, churning butter and tending to livestock. You’ll even eat Viking meals and play the same games as our Nordic ancestors. If you really want to dive into the world of the Vikings, this place is a must-visit.
For more historical experiences across the UK, make sure you check out our range of fascinating Small Group Tours. They’re the best way to learn all about the high points of British cultural history.