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.
Though relatively little is known about their reign, archaeologists have made significant discoveries across Scotland which help build a picture of how they lived and who they were.
Join us now as we journey back to the age of the Vikings. From the islands to the highlands, here are 13 locations you can visit with strong connections to our axe-wielding ancestors.
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It's hard to imagine Viking plunderers rampaging up that serene beach. But The Shetland Isles were the first part of Scotland to be discovered by the Norsemen, being as close to there as it is to Aberdeen. Vikings arrived in the early 8th century, searching for land. They ruled over the islands for the next 600 years, many settling down to become farmers. The Norse spirit has been kept alive in Shetland to the present day.
Photo: Getty Images
Jarlshof is a Norse settlement in Shetland which was first inhabited by prehistoric people about 4,000 years ago. The Vikings moved in from the ninth century, and a Norse longhouse - the first of its kind found in the British Isles - is one of the excavations uncovered here by archaeologists.
Photo: Historic Environment Scotland
3. Lerwick Up Helly Aa
Up Helly Aa is a Viking fire festival held in the Shetland Isles each year. It is an enormous spectacle and celebration of Shetland's history. The biggest of them all is held in Lerwick, which sees around 1,000 men descend on the streets in fantastic costumes. The Jarl Squad wears Viking dress and there is utmost secrecy about the costume of the Guizer Jarl, or Viking chief. It has come under some criticism in recent years for not allowing women to join the march.
4. Old Scatness
For a thousand years, Old Scatness lay undiscovered beneath the ground. The old Iron Age village in the south of Shetland was rediscovered in the 1970s during the building of a road. It has yielded a number of significant Viking artefacts, and now has World Heritage Status.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons