Orkney: Viking Orkney Tour by Trike

Northern Scotland, Scotland
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About this experience

Orkney’s location and fertile farmland across the sea from Norway made it an attractive land for the Norwegian Vikings, we don’t know if they conquered it or integrated into the Pictish society but as nearly all the names are Norse you can draw your own conclusions.
Certainly, from the mid-8th century the Vikings were here, and Orkney remained a Norse earldom being governed by the Earls of Orkney land until 1468, when it was given as a dowry by the King of Norway to the King of Scotland. One of their first settlements was on the Brough of Birsay where a settlement and hall was built. Here also is an early Church and a Pictish settlement.
This was the first “capital” of Viking Orkney and in the 10th century the seat of power had moved to Kirkwall. Where the Earl built his Hall. Eventually St Magnus’s Cathedral was started in 1137 by Earl Rognald St Magnus’s nephew .Other places to visit might be Orphir where another Earl’s hall, farm and church stood and today they are in ruins. A modern centre is on this site with information about the Orkney Inga Saga.
Another popular place is Maeshowe a Neolithic tomb, the interior has the most Nordic runes anywhere outside of Scandinavia. If these runes were carved today, we would call it graffiti and vandalism but 800 later we now call it history!
Another place we often visit is Deerness with its now long gone Hall at Skaill farm, its settlement at Newark Bay and the Viking meeting place at Dingieshowe. In fact, scratch the surface of Orkney and something Viking will spring up. Come spend a half day or if you have time a day exploring what the Vikings were doing on Orkney.

  • Duration

    4 hour

  • Type of tour


  • Destination

    Orkney Islands

  • Country


  • Type of experience


  • Best time to visit

    • Spring
    • Autumn
    • Summer
  • Nearby stations

    • Stromness
    • Kirkwall Airport

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