Centre for the Study of the Viking Age

Viking Workshops

The School of English invites school groups to visit the University for a morning of Viking-themed fun! Trained student volunteers lead workshops which teach children about the Viking and early medieval world through hands-on and engaging activities. We run four sessions in each workshop, which are explained in more detail below. 

Viking items on display for volunteer training
Our items on display for volunteer training © K. Whitehouse



This was a writing system designed to be cut into stone or wood. We show pictures of runes and reproduction artefacts inscribed with runes. We provide a simplified runic alphabet and encourage the children to write their names and a simple message on their own rune stick.


A hoard is a collection of valuable objects that were buried in the ground. We discuss why and where people buried their objects, and how hoards were uncovered much later by metal detector hobbyists, members of the public, and archaeologists. Through interactive activities, we get participants to dig for their own hoard, and also plan where they would bury their hoard in the landscape. 


When people died in the Viking Age, they were buried with a variety of interesting objects, including swords, jewellery, and everyday objects like combs. Using items from our replica collection, we aim to answer big questions about the Viking Age. How were the vikings buried? And what can burials tell us about their lives and beliefs? At the end of the activity, participants get to make their own Viking burial chamber and choose which objects to put in it.

Place names

Most of our early place-names were given by Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, but the Nottingham area has other layers of names too. In this session we explore the languages, landscapes and meanings of place-names using maps and pictures and the children's familiarity with the area.



General Information

  • workshops usually run from around 9.00 to 12.00 but we can be flexible with timings if planned in advance
  • we accommodate approximately 30 children per visit
  • bookings need to be arranged at least one month in advance
  • schools need to arrange their own transport

Contact and Application

To book a workshop, or for queries, please email us ae-vikings4schools@exmail.nottingham.ac.uk

Owing to demand, we kindly ask schools to make a binding application and inform us at once if unforeseen events impact the workshop. We reserve the right to refuse schools that have failed to attend or cancel in time.



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Centre for the Study of the Viking Age

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924
email: csva@nottingham.ac.uk