Viking Festival kick starts historical year for Scotland

Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 set to inspire visitors with jam-packed programme!

Viking Festival kick starts historical year for Scotland

Over 800 Vikings, a huge dragon ship set ablaze by flying torches and a crowd of five thousand spectators – for 24 hours, on the last Tuesday of January, the town of Lerwick on the Scottish archipelago of Shetland goes more than a little wild. The annual Up Helly Aa festival is a unique celebration of Shetland’s Viking past that you have to see to believe. And it is only the first of many exciting ways to relive the past in Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.

With over one third of visitors drawn to Scotland for its history and culture, VisitScotland has hailed the 2017 themed year as an exciting opportunity to experience Scotland’s fascinating heritage through a range of events and activities.

A Great Roman Bake-Off, large scale projections of Viking imagery, a live archaeological dig of St Kilda in Minecraft and a festival to celebrate the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, are just a few of the events lined up to make history in 2017. On World Herritage Day 2017, Scotland will celebrate its six iconic World Heritage Sites with six unique events from dawn to dusk (Scotland in Six). And in September, the Vikings will conquer Shetland once again for the Follow the Vikings Roadshow & Festival.The Nordic warriors will excite audiences with fire breathing, fierce re-enactments and beach raids. Visitors can step aboard the actual long ships used in the popular Vikings TV series, see inside the newly reconstructed long house and even dine at a Viking banquet.

The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology Signature Event Programme:

Spectra: 9-12 February 2017 Aberdeen
Edinburgh Georgian Shadows: 23 February – 26 March 2017 Edinburgh
Scotland in Six: 18 April 2017 (World Heritage Day) Scotland-wide
Tradfest Edinburgh: 26 April – 7 May 2017 Edinburgh
Paisley’s International Festival of Weaving: 1 & 2 July 2017 Paisley
Purvai: August 2017 Stornoway
Follow the Vikings Roadshow & Festival: 2 & 3, 8 & 9 September 2017 Shetland
Horsepower: 9 September 2017 Falkirk
Mary Queen of Scots Festival: September 2017 Kinross and Loch Leven
Shining Lives: Autumn 2017 New Lanark World Heritage Site

The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 began on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. For more information, please visit www.visitscotland.com/hha2017

Last Updated: 2 February 2017 10:21

Latest Local News

Aye Write! and Wee Write! return in March!

Aye Write! and Wee Write! return in March!

Aye Write! Glasgow’s Book Festival returns in March with an amazing line-up and more venues than ever before!

Casting confirmed for The Sound of Music

Casting confirmed for The Sound of Music

The Voice finalist Lucy O'Byrne will be joined by Eastenders and West End star Neil McDermott when The Sound of Music comes to the Glasgow King's!

Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival Announces 2018 Programme

Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival Announces 2018 Programme

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival has revealed its full programme, as it returns for its 16th year in March!

COMPETITION: Win tickets to the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show

COMPETITION: Win tickets to the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show

Win tickets to the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show at the SEC Glasgow in February!

More Local News
Andy Murray serves up challenge to Scots to sign up for the Kiltwalk

Andy Murray serves up challenge to Scots to sign up for the Kiltwalk

Last Updated: 9th January 2018
Andy Murray, the three-time Grand Slam champion, is encouraging Scots to set the Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk as a goal for 2018!
Voting opens for the SSE Live Awards 2017

Voting opens for the SSE Live Awards 2017

Last Updated: 9th January 2018
Now in their third year, the SSE Live Awards are calling on fans from around the UK to vote for their Best Live Act of 2017!
Shrek stomps into Glasgow

Shrek stomps into Glasgow

Last Updated: 8th January 2018
SHREK THE MUSICAL® will be stomping into Glasgow following the triumphant opening of the UK & Ireland tour in Edinburgh!
Start new year on the right foot (or wheel)

Start new year on the right foot (or wheel)

Last Updated: 3rd January 2018
Renfrewshire residents can experience stunning walking tracks and cycle routes right on their doorstep.
Renfrewshire unveils dates for 2018 events programme

Renfrewshire unveils dates for 2018 events programme

Last Updated: 2nd January 2018
Paisley and Renfrewshire are in line for another bumper year of major events – after dates were revealed for the main dates in 2018!
Young people ready to showcase year of youth led events

Young people ready to showcase year of youth led events

Last Updated: 2nd January 2018
Renfrewshire’s young people are gearing up for an amazing celebration of youth this year.
Panto stars launch Relaxed Performance of Sleeping Beauty

Panto stars launch Relaxed Performance of Sleeping Beauty

Last Updated: 2nd January 2018
The National Autistic Society Scotland helped launch the Relaxed Performance of Sleeping Beauty at the King's Theatre in Glasgow!
Festive Fun around Renfrewshire

Festive Fun around Renfrewshire

Last Updated: 27th December 2017
There are plenty of fun family activities to enjoy in Renfrewshire over the festive season to help keep everyone entertained.
School children asked to fly the flag for Paisley start of historic rally

School children asked to fly the flag for Paisley start of historic rally

Last Updated: 20th December 2017
Renfrewshire school children are being asked to design a winning flag to wave off drivers taking part in one of the world’s most iconic races.
COMPETITION: Win a family ticket to this years IRN BRU Carnival with Whats On For Families!

COMPETITION: Win a family ticket to this years IRN BRU Carnival with Whats On For Families!

Last Updated: 20th December 2017
Prepare for a ‘whirl’ of fun... The IRN-BRU Carnival is back and we have five family tickets up for grabs!
Eastwood Park Theatre invites isolated adults to join in panto fun for free

Eastwood Park Theatre invites isolated adults to join in panto fun for free

Last Updated: 20th December 2017
Eastwood Park Theatre is inviting people feeling lonely or isolated at this time of year to come along to their pantomime and soak up some festive fun
The IRN BRU Carnival drives back into town!

The IRN BRU Carnival drives back into town!

Last Updated: 19th December 2017
It must be Christmas time, as the IRN-BRU Carnival returns to Glasgow this week with more thrilling rides for the whole family than ever before!
Jingle Bell Mile is a walk in the park for Johnstone pupils

Jingle Bell Mile is a walk in the park for Johnstone pupils

Last Updated: 18th December 2017
Pupils in Johnstone have jingled all the way round their local community as part of a festive walk.
Snow White stars set for the stage

Snow White stars set for the stage

Last Updated: 17th December 2017
Family panto packed with song, dance and the best Glasgow banter, Snow White and the Seven Muppets, kicks off at Eastwood Park Theatre tomorrow!
Peter Kay cancels UK live tour

Peter Kay cancels UK live tour

Last Updated: 13th December 2017
Comedian Peter Kay apologises to fans after he cancels all dates in his 2018 UK arena tour due to unforeseen family circumstances.
Renfrewshire pupils are on song at Paisley Abbey

Renfrewshire pupils are on song at Paisley Abbey

Last Updated: 13th December 2017
The sound of music flowed through Paisley Abbey as pupils from across Renfrewshire performed in the annual schools Christmas concert.
Go Safe East Ren road safety campaign launches

Go Safe East Ren road safety campaign launches

Last Updated: 13th December 2017
East Renfrewshire Council has today launched a road safety campaign, Go Safe East Ren, aimed at school pupils and parents.
Christmas jumpers raise money at Flip Out

Christmas jumpers raise money at Flip Out

Last Updated: 12th December 2017
This Friday (15th December) thousands of people across the country will be putting on their festive jumpers to raise money for charity.
First Minister leads messages of goodwill to Paisley as City of Culture competition comes to an end

First Minister leads messages of goodwill to Paisley as City of Culture competition comes to an end

Last Updated: 8th December 2017
Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes Paisley’s UK City of Cuture bid will lead to ‘lasting benefit’ for the town.
Various roads around Glasgow City Centre will be closed on Sunday for the annual Santa Dash

Various roads around Glasgow City Centre will be closed on Sunday for the annual Santa Dash

Last Updated: 8th December 2017
A sea of Santas are set to take over the city centre on Sunday for the annual Santa Dash, find out which roads will be closed on the day...