I recently managed to pop across to Largs for the Viking festival (http://www.largsvikingfestival.com/) and a visit to Vikingar! The festival goes on all week but I only managed to spend part of a day there. Largs is the site of what appears to be the last battle on UK soil involving the Vikings in 1263. So this festival was the 750th anniversary. From what I saw the battle of Largs seemed to be between the Vikings; those that had settled in Scotland and those from Norway.
There were two villages, a Viking one and a Scots one. Fairly similar, they had archery and cooking and various crafts going on. Manned by re-enactors, I quite liked them.
One of the most impressive things I saw was that primary school children were being taken around the villages in groups and told all about what was going on in each area. There were lots of groups going back and forth and I thought it was excellent to be making the most of such a great resource.
The archery looked like fun but as I’ve already made my own longbow and arrows I didn’t feel the need to have a go. I only saw a bit of a skirmish but apparently they have bigger battles and they burnt a longship.
I also went to visit Vikingar! which is a viking based activity experience type of thing. So, it’s viking festival week, loads of folk coming to visit, I get to reception – they’re ful – of school kids. It’s fully booked because it’s Viking Festival week. No way!? Who would have thought?
So I was moping round when a Viking lady kindly took pity on me and led me into a darkened room. I was hoping but she only showed me a good time…in the form of a film about the battle of Largs. It was really very good. And she never charged me a penny. Then I had a look at some of the display.
There was a food and craft fair as well as lots of the usual sea side type stuff and I even had chips from the Viking Fish and Chip bar. I walked down to the monument that was built in 1912. Not really sure what it was about but I think it was what they thought a watch tower might have looked like then.
I also popped across to the island of Cumbrae on the ferry. I didn’t bother getting off, I just fancied a boat trip. It leaves Largs every 30 minutes (yep, there and back in half an hour). Bargain at £4.75.