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Monday, 15th April 2024

Boyne Valley Viking Experience 2024 at Slane Castle

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Pictured at the launch of the Boyne Valley Viking Experience 2024 were (at front) Alex Conyngham, Earl of Mount Charles, back - Paul Kavanagh, Eli Blair, Bart Gozdur, Shay Cullen, Tara Byrne and Diana Muenchmeyer. Photo: John Sheridan.

Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May 2024

The Vikings are returning to Slane Castle this May with a spectacular historic festival which is unique in Ireland.

The theme is “Síol na Dragún” or “Descendants of the Dragon”, one of the many names used to describe the fierce Norse men. The third Boyne Valley Viking Experience will be the largest historical re-enactment festival in Ireland with Viking warriors battling for the title of Irish champion and a spectacular boat landing alone making the visit worthwhile.

It’s a fabulous family day out with flashing swords, demonstrations, a tented Viking village, and a fleet of replica longships from the Viking TV series complete with sailors.

Twice a day spectacular battle re-enactments feature over 200 armoured, full contact Viking warriors taking to the battlefield and measuring their strength in both single and group combat. Mixed in with the clashing of the swords are the sounds of medieval music and the hustle of the craft market.

Below the Castle, alongside the River Boyne visitors can immerse themselves in an authentic Viking village experience where Viking families and warriors from all over Ireland and Europe will set up camp. Over 100 tents showcase camp life for Viking folk in the area more than a thousand years ago and invite visitors to join in.

Demonstrations run throughout each day by crafts people using medieval tools and ancient skills including weavers, potters, jewellery makers, smiths and musicians. Smoke rising from the cooking fires and the clang of blacksmiths forging metalwork on huge anvils adds to the atmosphere. Full size replica long-ships will be on display manned by professional crews and sailors from the Vikings TV Series will tell tall tales of hair raising adventures.

Shay Cullen and Dave the Raven.  Photo: John Sheridan

Children’s entertainment is a particular focus and story tellers encourage them to share their world and help them find the lost Viking treasure. The Children’s Treasure Hunt led by storyteller Stefan is a wonderful fun experience for younger visitors. Aspiring young warriors will enjoy the Children’s Warrior training where they can learn Viking battle tactics, how to form a shield wall and fight against the fierce Viking warriors.

The Viking re-enactment and festival are presented by Lakes Vikings & Boyne Valley Events, a group of enthusiasts with 20 years’ experience sailing Viking long boats and organising fun festivals and events. The emphasis is on authenticity which is carried right through the warrior and villager clothing, the utensils and the crafts people.

This is part of a Europe wide series of Viking re-enactments and is one of the earliest dates on the calendar. Viking re-enactors will come to Slane from all over Ireland, England, Scottland, Wales, Norway, France, Poland, the Czech Republic and further afield.

Slane Castle Viking Festival takes place on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19thMay 2024.

Provisional Schedule Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May 2024

12.00pm       Fierce Viking Warrior Battle
13.00pm       Childrens Treasure Hunt
14.00pm       Viking Long Ships land at the riverbank and the warriors march to the camp
14.30pm       Childrens Viking Battles
15.00pm       Fierce Viking Warrior Battle
15.30pm       Childrens Viking Battles
16.00pm       Childrens Treasure Hunt

Ongoing        Viking talks, workshops, music and storytelling.
Details will be posted on noticeboard.

Tickets (from €16.93) are available at https://www.boynevalleyevents.com/  parking is free of charge.

 

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