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30th August 2016

The History of Vikings in Scotland

Coastal walks in Scotland are a great way to learn more about things like Vikings. The Vikings had a huge influence on Scottish history, particularly in the shipbuilding industry. Scotland gained many things from the Vikings, and the lives of Scottish people have been shaped by our viking ancestors. The Vikings were particularly influential in the regions of Caithness and Sutherland, the areas surrounding the north of Scotland. The different coastal walks in Scotland have different benefits.

The First Vikings in Scotland

Shetland, Orkney, Caithness and Sutherland are all relatively close to Norway, and the areas were easy to reach in Viking longboats. In fact, the Vikings were able to reach Shetland by longboat in less than 24 hours. It is believed that the Vikings arrived in Caithness towards the end of the 9th century.

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Viking Control in Scotland

The Vikings were able to take power quickly in Scotland and the surrounding islands, much quicker than in England. This may simply be because of the location of Scotland, but many people believe that this was influenced by the shared values between the Scots and Vikings.

After arriving in Caithness and Sutherland, the Vikings quickly made connections with the Pictish people. One of the more powerful Viking rulers even married a member of the native aristocracy. Marriages between the native residents of Caithness and the Viking settlers were incredibly common, and the Vikings quickly established themselves within the communities. Even today, Viking DNA is a significant element in the DNA of Scottish people.

After a couple hundred years, one of the Vikings was granted the title of “Earl of Caithness”, this sparked a long line of Norse Earls in the area. Many Scottish Clans take great pride in their Viking heritage and are proud of their Norse ancestors. This is an indication of the strong binds created between the native Scots and the invading Vikings.

view from coastal walks in Scotland

Viking Scotland Today

Viking influences remain strong in Scotland, with clear indications of their presence still clear in many areas. From place names to Scottish Clans, the Viking history and culture is still celebrated in Scotland. In fact, there is even a Caithness Viking Festival to celebrate the powerful Viking people and the great Viking saga. The Caithness Viking Saga is a great day out. There are many different coastal walks in Scotland in which you can experience Scottish beauty, but on the North Coast route you have the option to learn about The Vikings!

Vikings and Coastal Walks in Scotland

The various coastal walks in Scotland pass through some truly wild landscapes which have remained unchanged since the Viking invasions hundreds of years ago. The stunning route boasts stunning views out to the seas, once ruled by the Vikings. The area is rich in Viking history, with many people still celebrating their Scandinavian routes.  In fact, the native accent has been hugely influenced by the Vikings. The accent is quite different to that heard further south in Scotland.

When exploring, you can even visit the Caithness Broch Centre. The centre celebrates the Viking heritage of Caithness and allows you to explore the history of the area.

If you interested in learning more about the different aspects of the North coast of Scotland, look at our last post! Walking holidays in Scotland are a great way to learn about Scotland’s past.

Also, are you interested in exploring Scotland’s Viking past? Then get in touchThe North Highland Way is a great way to explore Scotland’s natural landscapes.