Scotland has a rich, thousand-year history with the Vikings which shaped the nation we know today.
The Norsemen first crossed the sea from Norway in the eighth century, and quickly settled throughout the Northern isles (Norðreyjar), Hebrides (Suðreyjar), the islands of the Firth of Clyde, as well as on the northern mainland at Caithness.
Orkney has 1,000 years of history with the Vikings. They first arrived 1,400 years ago to flee an emerging new monarchy in Norway. The Norsemen used the islands to launch their own voyages and raids. It was turned into an earldom by the Norwegian king and Viking jarls set up a number of power bases across the islands, where traces of their way of life can still be seen today.
Scar boat burial is a Viking grave which was found near the village of Scar, on the Sanday island of Orkney. The remains of a man, elderly woman, and child were discovered buried at The Crook Beach along with a number of items - including a sword, arrows, and a whalebone plaque (pictured) now known as the Scar Dragon Plaque.
Egilsay is one of the Orkney islands which has a strong connection to the Viking people. St Magnus Church (pictured) was built around 1136. It was named after Earl Magnus, who was killed on the island in 1116 by an axe-blow to the head. The earl, made a saint after his death, had been in a fight with an Earl Hakon over who should rule Orkney. The island's name is thought to literally mean Eigil's Island in Norse.
The Brough of Birsay is a tidal island off the Orkney Mainland which was settled by the Norse in the 9th century. The remains of a Viking village can still be seen here, including houses, barns and a communal hall-house complete with sauna.