The seafaring Vikings were a group of people from the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

Between the late eighth and 11th centuries, the Vikings invaded many parts of the world – from Eastern and Western Europe to the North American continent, and even parts of the Middle East. In doing so, they made a name for themselves as fearless warriors, smart traders, and relentless raiders.

Hundreds of years later, the Viking Age continues to fascinate people across the globe. And, in the UK, we’re lucky enough to have plenty of sites – such as ex-Viking settlements and Viking museums – where we can learn about these legendary people.

With that said, we’ve put together a list of 10 places with Viking connections to visit in the UK.

1. Lindisfarne Priory, Northumberland

Lindisfarne Priory, Northumberland

No list of Viking attractions would be complete without Lindisfarne Priory. Also known as Holy Island, it was here that a devastating Viking attack took place in 793.

The attack was particularly significant because Lindisfarne Priory was regarded as the sacred heart of Northumbria and the place where Christianity in England began. For this reason, the Lindisfarne raid is often cited as the beginning of the Viking Age in Europe.

During a visit to Lindisfarne, you can wander around the priory, which was built by ancient monks almost 1,400 years ago, and marvel at the towering arches that have stood the test of time.

Afterwards, head to the on-site museum, where you can browse the collection of rare artefacts and learn more about how the famous raid played out. Look out for the ‘Viking Domesday’ stone: a carved, ninth-century grave marker depicting a scene from the attack.

2. Jorvik Viking Centre, York

At the world-famous Jorvik Viking Centre in York, you’ll be standing on the site of one of the most astounding discoveries in modern archaeology.

Between 1976-81, archaeologists from York Archaeological Trust discovered the houses, workshops, and backyards of the Viking city as it stood almost 1,000 years ago. And today, you can witness this discovery for yourself at Jorvik Viking Centre.

This is an experience like no other. Experience lifelike mannequins and galleries showcasing 1,000-year-old artefacts. You’ll also find reconstructed Viking Age streets – rich with the sights, sounds, and smells of Viking life – and fully immersive displays of the excavation.

While in the area, the Yorkshire Museum is also worth a visit.

Here, you can explore the city’s rich Viking past through an extraordinary collection of artefacts. This includes the world-famous York Helmet – one of six Anglo-Saxon helmets known to have survived to the present day.

3. Repton, Derbyshire

You don’t have to look too far into Derbyshire to find proof of the Viking colonisation. Many places in the area contain the Old Norse suffix ‘-by’ (meaning village) in their name. Even the city of Derby itself, translated as ‘deer village’, originates from the ancient Norse language.

The small village of Repton in the south of Derbyshire has a particularly rich – and somewhat chilling – Viking past. The Norse invaded here in 873, banishing King Burgred of Mercia to Rome and replacing him with their own King Ceowulf.

Today, you can discover the Viking mausoleum at Repton Abbey, a mass grave containing at least 249 human corpses. Many artefacts have also been discovered at the burial site over the years, including an axe, a sword, and some coins.

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4. Vikingar!, Largs

Vikingar! is an award-winning, interactive, hands-on experience where you can learn more about how these fascinating seafaring people lived. It’s ideal for anyone looking for something a little more immersive than a Viking museum.

At this heritage and cultural centre, expect to meet storytellers who’ll welcome you into their replica of an eighth-century Norwegian Longhouse. You’ll have the opportunity to try on replica armour and helmets, check out various weapons, and ‘interact’ with the Gods of Asgard.

Alongside the fun, there’s plenty of opportunity for learning at Vikingar! too. For example, at the end of the tour, visitors will receive a 15-minute presentation on the Vikings of Scotland – from the first raids on the Holy Isle of Iona in 795 to the Battle of Largs in 1263.

5. Canterbury Cathedral, Kent

Canterbury Cathedral, Kent

The city of Canterbury’s religious roots made it an ideal Viking target to further their control over England.

They first attacked the city in 851 and, in 1012, captured it after a long siege, taking Alphege, the Archbishop of Canterbury, hostage. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Vikings submitted the archbishop to a gruesome death after the hefty ransom they demanded never came.

Today, the medieval cathedral where the archbishop was captured is well worth a visit. The beautiful building has magnificently stood the test of time – even at the hands of the violence inflicted by the Vikings.

6. The Dock Museum, Cumbria

At the Dock Museum in Cumbria, you’ll find the Furness Hoard, an extensive collection of Viking and Anglo-Saxon artefacts discovered in 2011.

The Hoard is the greatest trove of Viking treasure ever unearthed in the area, consisting of ingots, arm rings, and 92 silver coins. Not only are these fascinating artefacts to look at, but they can also teach us a huge amount about the ins and outs of Viking trading and politics.

Alongside the museum’s famous Hoard collection, there are various other artefacts to discover – including swords, weights, and spindle whorls.

The Dock Museum is also a great all-round learning experience, with a collection stretching from Neolithic hand axes to board games created during the 1970s. So, if you’re after a more general history-themed day out, this could be the place for you.

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7. Causeway Coastal Route, County Antrim

Causeway Coastal route, County Antrim

The Vikings first raided the Irish coast in 795 and settled here during the ninth century.

There’s plenty of evidence of Viking activity in many southern towns like Carlingford, but archaeologists have uncovered little to no traces of Viking settlements in Northern Ireland. However, there are still a few areas along Northern Ireland’s famous driving route, the Causeway Coastal Route, with Viking connections.

This includes the coastal town of Larne in County Antrim – a centre of Viking activity during the 10th and 11th centuries – and Fair Head, a rocky cape wrapped in local legend. There’s also Dunluce Castle, where a battle between the Vikings and local Irish tribes allegedly took place during the 12th century.

8. Portland and the Ancient Technology Centre, Dorset

Dorset served as an open door and set off point for Viking rule over the UK mainland. Between 787 and 789, the Norse began their attacks on the Isle of Portland – an area connected to England by a slim beach called Chesil. Portland’s beautiful coastline and rugged landscape make it an excellent spot for a Viking adventure.

You could start with a trip to Ridgeway Hill, an area where at least one Anglo-Saxon victory over the Vikings occurred. A total of 54 Viking skeletons were uncovered at the hill, but only 51 skulls. According to historians, the missing three were placed on spears and displayed to warn any passers-by, as the evidence shows they were executed by beheading.

Another Viking-themed place worth visiting in Dorset is the Ancient Technology Centre, where you’ll find a 26-metre Viking longhouse constructed with traditional materials and techniques.

If you’re ready to immerse yourself in daily life as a Viking, this is the place to do it. Offering a one-of-a-kind experience, guests have the opportunity to spend a day and night in the longhouse. So prepare to swap modern clothes for Viking garb and spend your day working on the farm or doing housework like churning butter and tending to animals.

In the evening, guests are served a simple meal and a range of Viking games are played before hunkering down for the night on sheepskin mats. Throughout the experience, you’ll also learn about some of the fascinating technologies and techniques used to create ancient buildings.

9. The River Thames, London

The River Thames, London

By the ninth century, London had become a very prosperous trading centre and, unsurprisingly, its wealth attracted the attention of the Vikings.

Norsemen periodically sailed up and down the Thames in a series of attacks against London. The most famous of these was in 851 when around 350 longboats full of Vikings raided London and burned it to the ground.

The city eventually returned to Anglo-Saxon rule in 886, before Viking marauders returned in 994, led by Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark.

Aside from strolling up and down the Thames and reimagining the scenes yourself, both the British Museum and the Museum of London are great places to go if you’d like to learn more about the Viking’s lasting impact on London.

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10. House of Manannan, Isle of Man

If you’d like a taste of what living in a Viking-ruled kingdom was like, a trip to House of Manannan is definitely worth it.

At this interactive Viking museum, you’ll be taken on a journey through the Isle of Man’s rich Celtic, Viking, and maritime past – guided by the mythological sea god Manannan himself.

Prepare to pass by life-size reconstructions of the Viking settlement that once stood here, marvel at the replica of the infamous Nordic ship known as Odin’s Raven, and learn more about the island’s history as the centre of a powerful Viking sea kingdom.

Final thoughts…

The Viking Age continues to fascinate people today, and the UK remains a great place to learn more about this intriguing period of history. Whether you want to explore ex-Norse settlements or visit Viking Museums, there’s plenty to discover here.

For further reading, you might like to head over to our history section. Here, you’ll find a wide range of articles, including 17 of the most beautiful castles in the world, 11 inspiring women throughout history, and 8 reasons to start exploring your family tree.

Have you visited any of these Viking spots? Which periods of history do you find most interesting? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.