Travel 900 years back in time to a Viking boatyard on Skye

Fed up of 2020? Perhaps a trip to Viking-era Skye could be a little tonic for our times.

A 12th Century Norse boatyard, where Vikings brought their all-important vessles for repair and shelter from the sea, has been reconstructed in a spectacular Virtual Reality tour.

From the comfort of their homes, users can now voyage to the heart of the Rubh an Dunain peninsula, which lies to the south of the Cuillins, to see where Vikings worked around 900 years ago.

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Boat shelter s, a stone-built quay and an all-important canal that linked the ancient harbour at Loch na h-Airde to the sea feature in the dramatic tour.

The digital reconstruction of the 12 th Century Norse boatyard on Skye.

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Remains of the shipyard were discovered just a decade ago after an aerial survey pinpointed part of the canal with archaeologists now believing the site is unique in Scotland.

Boat timbers dating from 1100 have since been found at Rubh an Dunain with the boatyard now believed to have supported maritime activity for many centuries, from the Vikings to the MacAskill and Macleod clans of Skye.

The remains of the boatyard were found just a decade ago with boat timbers dating from 1100 later recovered. PIC: University of St Andrews.

Archaeologists believe the boatyard has enormous potential to unravel how boats were built, serviced and sailed on Scotland’s western seaboard, with the sea serving as the highways of the day where trade was conducted and battles were fought.

Parts of the site, including the 380ft long canal, were listed by Historic Environment Scotland in 2017.

The digital reconstruction has been carried out by the Open Virtual Worlds programme at the School of Computing Science at the University of St Andrews in collaboration with the Aros Centre on Skye.

This work was funded by the North Sea Region INTERREG “Culture Power: Inspire to Develop Rural Areas (CUPIDO)” project.