Vikings in Britain; small group tour

Vikings in Britain, escorted educational small group tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers who for 27 days explore Ireland, the isle of Man, Scotland and England and the viking history.

From A$17,650 AUD

Available

Highlights

  1. 1. Explore and learn about the Vikings in Orkney and Shetland
  2. 2. Visit key places in Ireland
  3. 3. Visit relevany museums and galleries in Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and England to develop understanding of the Vilkings.
  4. 4. Visit Sutton Hoo and the longship. The treasure/loot is in the British museum also visited.

Departure Dates

Departure Date Price
05 June 2022

Ends 02 July 2022

Selected
04 September 2022

Ends 01 October 2022

04 June 2023

Ends 01 July 2023

03 September 2023

Ends 30 September 2023

02 June 2024

Ends 29 June 2024

01 September 2024

Ends 27 September 2024

For senior couples and mature solo travellers this is a 27 day educational small group tour that takes the traveller to important Viking locations and museums in Ireland, the Isle on Man, England as well as the Orkney and Shetland isles of Scotland. The group is limited to 14 like minded travelers with your knowledgable tour director (program leader) and local guides sharing stories with you about the Vikings in Britain.

The tour program includes Lindisfarne, Orkney, Waterford and Sutton Hoo plus a further 30 sites, places and museums along the way.

The Vikings

In the early medieval period, a group of seaborne Scandinavian raiders known as the Vikings left their mark on history as brutal warriors, smart traders, and adventurous explorers. It is difficult to precisely date the beginning and end of the Viking Age, but it is generally confined to the round dates of 800 AD to 1050 AD. This begins the age a few years after the earliest recorded raid and ends it a few years before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

During this time, the Vikings extended their sphere of activity far beyond their homelands in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and adjacent coastal lands around the Baltic Sea. They began by raiding coastal sites in the British Isles and across northern Europe, France, and Italy, before extending further as traders along the river systems of central Europe to Russia and Byzantium. As explorers, the ventured across the North Atlantic, settling in modern-day Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland (making them the first Europeans to reach North America).

Vikings in Ireland, Isle of Man, Orkney and Skye and England.

A Viking raid on the monastery of St Cuthbert on Lindisfarne, a small island located off the northeast coast of England, is often taken as the starting point of the Viking Age. The monastery was one of England’s holiest shrines and famous throughout Europe for its knowledgeable monks and extensive library. During the attack, the invaders – probably Norwegians who sailed directly across the North Sea – killed many of the monks, throwing them into the sea, before taking off with a haul of treasure and slave captives.

This small group tour visits Dublin and Waterford in Ireland. The Scottish isles via Edinburgh and then back to Glasgow. Exploring York, Lindisfarne and down to London and to Sutton Hoo to gain an understanding of the Vikings in Britain. Over some 25 days the story of the Vikings and how the trade with Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of man fits with the Journey to the west to the meadows of New Foundland, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe islands and back to the Arctic circle and Scandinavia. A great tour for those with a fascination for Viking culture and their place in history.

Itinerary

28 days

Day 1: Dublin

Accommodation: Academy Plaza Hotel or similar

Arrival day, meet programme leader in hotel. Welcome dinner included.

Day 2: Dublin

Accommodation: Academy Plaza Hotel or similar

A full day guided tour in Dublin, focusing on the main Viking-related sights and areas. The riverside area of Wood Quay was a significant Viking settlement – it is now the site of modern council offices, with nothing to see, so we will need to rely on the guide to bring it to life! Similarly, there is little to see in the modern-day suburb of Clontarf, where the battle of the same name took place. The day includes a short visit to Dublinia – it has recreations of Viking-era buildings and information on Viking Dublin to create the image of Viking Dublin.

Day 3: Waterford

Accommodation: Waterford Marina Hotel or similar

A multi-day excursion south starts today, to visit some key Viking sights in the south-western counties. Wexford and its harbour became a Viking settlement back in AD 819, the first recorded Viking activity on the island. The Irish National Heritage Centre is an open-air museum with some notable exhibits and recreations from the era. The Westgate Heritage Centre closed and is due to reopen as the Selskar Heritage Centre, but an opening date is yet to be confirmed, so this visit is subject to confirmation.

Dinner included on first night in nearby Waterford tonight.

Day 4: Watrford

Accommodation: Waterford Marina Hotel or similar

A full day in Waterford, starting with a half-day tour with a local guide. Waterford claims to be Ireland’s oldest city, founded by the Vikings in the 9th century. The Waterford Treasures is a group of three museums, all of which should be of interest. If the group do not get through all of the visits with the guide, they will be able to continue their explorations using the same ticket on their own in the afternoon.

I have also included the ‘King of the Vikings’ virtual-reality experience – I have not done it, so can’t vouch for it, and not sure if this would be a bit too ‘out there’ for your pax, but sounds a bit different at least.

Day 5: Dublin

Accommodation: Academy Plaza Hotel or similar

The group will return to Dublin today, via some visits in Kilkenny. The Medieval Mile Museum is an intriguing local museum, while the Dunmore Cave nearby was the supposed site of a large-scale Viking massacre.

Day 6: Isle of man

Accommodation: Arrandale House or similar

Transfer to Dublin ferry terminal to catch ferry to Douglas, Isle of Man.

Dinner tonight, on first night in Douglas.

Day 7: Isle of man

Accommodation: Arrandale House or similar

First full day exploring the Isle of Man. The House of Manannan covers the island’s maritime history, including the Vikings, while nearby Peel Castle was originally built by Vikings. The Manx Museum, the National Museum of the island, also covers the full history of the Isle.

Day 8: Isle of man

Accommodation: Arrandale House or similar

Archaeological excavations at the Balladoole site in the south of the island uncovered, amongst other items, a Viking Age boat burial. The nearby Castle Rushen is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the world and was initially constructed by the Isle’s then Norse-Gaelic rulers. I have also included the Great Laxey Wheel today, as an interesting diversion, as the world’s largest working water wheel – it is included as part of the same historical sites group ticket that it is already quoted for the many sites mentioned above on the IoM. The mountain railway to the summit of Snaefell will afford the group with great views of the island and to see the lay of the land – and on a good day, across the Irish Sea in both directions to Ireland and to Great Britain.

Day 9: Isle of Man

Accommodation: Arrandale House or similar

Free day to explore Isle of man.

Day 10: Kendal Cumbria

Accommodation: Castle Green Hotel or similar

Transfer to Douglas ferry terminal to take the boat across to Heysham, Lancashire, England. A touring coach service will meet the group here and remain with them to Gills Bay in northern Scotland, when the group get the ferry to Orkney. Overnight tonight in Kendal, Cumbria, on the edge of the Lake District National Park.

Dinner included tonight.

Day 11: Barrow in Furness

Accommodation: Castle Green Hotel or similar

A full day looping around Cumbria to visit a plethora of Viking sights, including a visit to the Dock Museum in Barrow in Furness. There are hogback tombs, gravestones and stone crosses pertaining to the Viking era scattered across churches in the region. I have also included a visit to the Moorforge Viking Settlement, a small educational Viking settlement recreation – this visit is subject to availability.

Day 12: York

Accommodation: Park Inn by Radisson City Centre or similar

Head across the Yorkshire Dales en route to York, with some interesting stops on the way. The Rey Cross is the remains of a stone cross; a long-held local legends states it was the burial place of Eric Bloodaxe, Viking Ruler of Northumbria. The village of Stamford Bridge near York was the site of the eponymous battle back in the 11th century, which is stated to symbolise the end of the Viking era in the British Isles.

Day 13: York

Accommodation: Park Inn by Radisson City Centre or similar

A half-day guided tour in York, including entrance to the Yorkshire Museum, home to the Bedale Hoard of Viking silver jewellery. Guided walking tour of Viking York.

(Note the Jorvik Viking Centre does lean towards families, however it does have life-size dioramas depicting Viking life in the city and lots of original exhibits of Viking-era tools and weaponry.)

Day 14: York

Accommodation: Kings Lodge Inn or similar

Free morning to explore York.

The group will continue up to Durham this afternoon after lunch as they start the long journey north to Scotland and beyond.

Day 15: Lindisfarne - Edinburgh

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express City Centre or similar

The group will waste no time in heading north into Northumberland today, with the star attraction of Lindisfarne. I have also included Bamburgh Castle, the former site of a fort destroyed by Vikings shortly before the turn of the millennium, before the Normans later built a new castle on the site. The group will end up in Edinburgh today, with dinner included.

Hexham Abbey would be an interesting visit, built on the site of a former church burnt down by Halfdene the Dane.

Day 16: Edinburgh

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express City Centre or similar

A half-day tour of Edinburgh, including a visit to the National Museum of Scotland to see the Galloway Hoard and the Lewis Chessmen. An afternoon free and a second night in Edinburgh to relax after some long days of travelling before and after today.

Day 17: Inverness

Accommodation: Glen Mohr Hotel or similar

Travel today via the Trossachs, Fort William and Loch Ness for the group to take in some of the Scottish scenery, as well as a visit to Stirling Castle, given its significance in Scottish history.

Day 18: Gills Bay to Orkney

Accommodation: Orkney Hotel or similar

The group will continue north today, catching the ferry from Gills Bay to Orkney in the early evening. The Shandwick Stone is a fascinating pre- or early Viking-era feature on this route which is worth stopping to see.

Dinner included on first night in Orkney.

Day 19: Orkney

Accommodation: Orkney Hotel or similar

Full day with mini-coach and driver-guide on the mainland of Orkney, visiting some of the many key Viking sights.

Day 20: Orkney

Accommodation: Orkney Hotel or similar

Full day with mini-coach and driver-guide on the mainland of Orkney, visiting some of the many key Viking sights, which will form some of the highlights of this tour.

Day 21: Orkney islands

Accommodation: Overnight Ferry

Egilsay Island is home to St Magnus Church, dating back to early Norse times. The Orkneyinga Saga records that Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney, was murdered on the island, with the church supposedly built on the site of the murder. Reaching the island involves taking a ferry from the mainland, with schedules a little unpredictable. It is one of the most intriguing sights, steeped in history and a unique experience.

Dinner in Kirkwall tonight before catching the overnight ferry to Shetland.

Day 22: Shetland isles

Accommodation: Shetland Hotel or similar

Arrive early on Shetland and embark on first day of sightseeing with driver-guide. Highlights include the Old Scatness and Jarlshof sites near Sumburgh. The group will also take the short ferry to Mousa to view the eponymous broch, one of the best-preserved prehistoric buildings in Europe.

Dinner included tonight on first night in Lerwick.

Day 23: Unst

Accommodation: Shetland Hotel or similar

Day 21 – A full day ferry-hopping to get to Unst, one of the outer islands of the archipelago. Here there is a replica Viking longhouse as well as the replica longboat Skidbladner. I have also allocated time for a walk to view the Muckle Flugga lighthouse (often wrongly claimed to be the most northern point of Britain).

Day 24: Glasgow

Accommodation: Holiday Inn or similar

Day 22 – Transfer to Sumburgh airport to catch a flight to Glasgow.

Group meal in Glasgow.

Day 25: To London by Train

Accommodation: London House Hotel or similar

Train to London from Glasgow. Arrive London and transfer to hotel. Afternoon is free time.

Day 25: London

Accommodation: London House Hotel or similar

Full day in London, travelling around by public transport. The group will visit the British Museum (with a guided tour focusing on Viking-era exhibits) and have the afternoon free.

Day 26: London

Accommodation: London House Hotel or similar

A full day excursion to Woodbridge in Suffolk, closing out the tour with one the highlights – Sutton Hoo, providing significant insight into early Anglo-Saxon times in Britain.

Final night in London, with farewell dinner.

Day 27: London

Tour concludes after Breakfast.

Includes / Excludes

What’s included in our Tour

  • 24 nights hotel accommodation.
  • 1 night cabin accommodation on a ferry
  • 24 breakfasts, 1 picnic style lunch, 10 dinners.
  • Transport by modern vehicle suitable for the highway conditions.
  • Air, train in standard carriage and ferry as specified in the itinerary
  • Entrances and sightseeing as specified.
  • Services of Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
  • Detailed Preparatory Information.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Return International airfares.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry.

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Departure

05 June 2022

Available

Ends 02 July 2022 • 28 days

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Room Type

Single room
A$20,750
Twin room
A$17,650 pp

Payment Type

You can reserve your spot by paying a A$500 deposit, pay the rest 90 days before departure (excludes AU/NZ tours).

Pay Deposit
A$1,000
Pay Full
A$35,300

Prices are per person and valid until 30th December 2021.

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