On the Viking Trail

These talks cover the breadth of the raiding, trading, settling, how they lived and what they believed in. Below is a selection of my Viking talks, please contact me for the full list.

From the Fury of the Vikings
For 300 years the Vikings took the northern world by storm. In search of land, slaves, gold and silver, brave warriors and explorers set sail from Scandinavia. The speed and daring of the Vikings was legendary and Christian monks wrote with horror about violent raids on monasteries and towns. Come and find out about when the Vikings came to the England and what they got up to.  

Bitter is the Wind Tonight
This is the first line of an old Irish poem hoping that the wind is too strong for a Viking attack… it probably sums up the hopes of others living on the islands around the British coast. However it wasn’t all about raiding it was also about trading and settling. Dublin was founded as a Viking centre for trade, and Orkney, Shetland and the Isle of Man became desirable real estate for Vikings. 

Vikings in Western Europe 
The growing political instability in Frankia from the 830's allowed the Vikings to move from being nuisances to establishing themselves. This is the story the about attacks on Noirmontier, Rouen and even Paris; of Vikings attacking and occupying Normandy; sailing to Spain, Portugal and Italy, and even as far as North Africa. It's an exciting story about Ragnor Lodbok's sons and Rollo the Walker.

The Power of Word Fame -
The Viking Way of Life  

The Vikings have a reputation for their violent raids upon other countries, but is this the full picture? Viking life was harsh, men were expected to be tough and the best way to die, was young and in battle, but there was so much more to them. Come and find out who the Vikings really were and how they lived and what was important to them.

Beyond the Edge of the World
There was a
n island called Thule named by an ancient Greek who said it was 6 days sail north of Britain. This is referred to as early as 330BC. He was probably talking about northern Norway but the name stuck until the Vikings found the land and called it Iceland and made it a successful settlement for men wanting to better themselves.

Greenland -  Viking PR
Greenland was settled from Iceland,  carrying on a family tradition of getting into trouble and having to leave a country. It begins with the story of Eric the Red, a man with a temper who was exiled from Iceland and 'discovered' Greenland. It also  includes the story of his son Leif the Lucky finding North America.

Halfdan was 'Ere - Go East Young Man 
The Vikings who were living in what is today Sweden went east, hopping from island to island and river to river looking for trade and other opportunities. They went through Finland, Poland, and Russia and as far as Constantinople where they negotiated favourable trading rights. Another Viking success story.

Valhalla - The Ultimate Destination
Vikings lived in a pagan society. They were one of the last people in Europe to accept Christianity. They had fascinating beliefs in how the universe was created, that included nine  different worlds all  inhabited by different beings including humans and gods. All these beliefs no doubt influenced by the ice, fire and mountains that they lived amongst.

The Children of Ash & Elm - Viking Mythology 
The Vikings were a passionate, ruthless people with a deep seated tradition of storytelling sitting around their fires in the long dark winters, the more important people employing visiting skalds to entertain them and their families. Their mythology is full of entertaining stories of gods and goddesses, monsters, giants, elves and trolls.

Norse Folklore - Inside the Viking Mind
The Vikings had a complex view of a 4-fold 'soul'; and they saw the work of elves, dwarves, trolls and nature spirits in everyday life; some of these beliefs linger on in the psyche of northern people. Often referred to as the 'hidden people' they are part of the folklore from the past.