Viking Unst

    Replica of the Gokstad Viking longship, on Unst
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    Vicky Sartain

    Britain’s most northerly inhabited island, Unst is just 12 miles long by five miles wide. Packed into this craggy lump are stupendous cliffs, jagged sea stacks, sheltered inlets, golden beaches, heathery hills and enough breeding seabirds to send an ornithologist into ecstasy. Better than that, Unst is right in the heart of the Viking seaways and is rich in Viking and Norse remains. Over 50 rural longhouse sites have been identified to date, which means that Unst has a greater density of rural longhouse sites than anywhere else, including Scandinavia.

    The aim of the Viking Unst Project, set up in 2006, is to build up a detailed picture of Viking life on the island and how it affected the native population.

    In its first phase, it has excavated the longhouse sites of Hamar, Belmont and Underhoull. Visitors can also see a full size replica Viking longship and take part in Viking events and activities throughout the summer.

    Tel: 01595 694 688. www.vikingshetland.com

    Do you love Britain? Let others know!