A Viking Invasion

Press release   •   Jul 26, 2017 10:44 BST

Vibrant Glasgow got a taste of Scotland’s Norse history this week as a squad of Shetland Vikings descended on the city for an exciting and rambunctious visit. The ancient Scottish islanders were in Scotland’s largest city for some pampering and relaxation ahead of the Follow the Vikings events this September (2-3, and 9).

In a short video, released today by VisitScotland, the Shetland heroes can be seen enjoying a leisurely bike tour by the River Clyde, a visit to the spectacular Riverside Museum, some hipster styling at House Martin Barbers, and a few well-earned cocktails and food at the beautiful Spanish Butcher restaurant. The video highlights Scotland’s rich and varied history, as well showcasing the country’s modern, progressive and lively culture.

To celebrate Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, the Vikings also met the locals to talk about Shetland’s Follow the Vikings festival, taking place this September. Held over two weekends, visitors will have the opportunity to experience Scotland’s rich Viking legacy on Unst, Britain’s most notherly island and one of the Vikings first landing places in the North Atlantic, and in Lerwick, Shetland’s capital.

The Unst Viking Festival, 2-3 September, will feature the local squad joined by visiting Viking - Ardglass from Northern Ireland (featured in the TV series Vikings) and Walhalla from Poland. Visitors can expect re-enactments of Viking combat and a re-creation of Viking life around the replica longhouse and longship at Haroldswick, Unst.

Local re-enactors and crafts people will add to the atmosphere of a busy Viking community. A Viking Feast will be held on the Saturday evening featuring Viking food and entertainment!

The Viking Activity Day will take place at Shetland Museum and Archives (SMAA), Lerwick on 9 September. It will consist of talks, workshops and re-enactments for all the family. The SMAA will go totally “Viking” for the day, with particular emphasis on the Norse elements of the SMAA collections. A Viking themed meal will be held in Hay’s Dock Café Restaurant in the evening; illustrating the best of contemporary cuisine with a Nordic twist, presided over by the Lerwick Up-Helly-Aa Guizer Jarl in his role as King SweynForkbeard.

Loganair operates up to 24 services each weekday between Sumburgh and Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Begen. Lead-in fares commence at £92.03 and every ticket includes 20kg of complimentary baggage allowance. To make a reservation for travel before August 31 visit and to depart after September 1 book via

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Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017