Night of the Vikings!

February 25, 2013


If you’ve been following me on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll know I’ve just spent a short break in Edinburgh. Much of the three days I had, to spend on my own as I pleased, where spent at the National Museum of Scotland – a whopping 17 hours in total! The absolute highlight of my trip, and the reason I flew over, was the ‘Night of the Vikings’ late night event on the Friday.

One of my best friends was my ‘date’ for the night, and we started off early with dinner at the Museum Brasserie. The special menu included a selection of hearty burgers and steak, with halloumi and portobello mushroom burgers for the vegetarians and gluten free buns on request. For once I didn’t receive any odd looks for having to order a burger without a bun – though the waiter did look slightly surprised when I asked for the vegetarian option with added bacon ;-)


Where there’s a Viking party, there’s bound to be some Vikings, and I deed we tracked down a whole ‘village’ of them in the museums learning centre. The smithy showed us how to knot together silver wire to make a chain.


Besides the village, many of the guests for the night had gone all out for their costumes, with Vikings partying away left, right and centre. For those who – like us – had come in ‘plain’ clothing, there was an opportunity to make Viking helmets on the magic carpet, so that’s where we headed next. After snatching some of the ginger beards also being handed out, we totally looked the part!


There were other opportunities to get crafty and test your knowledge of runes by making name badges and necklaces. No prizes for guessing what my necklace said :P


After fuelling up on some Berry Berserker cocktails, it was time to check out the live acts. Chris Stout, of Fiddlers Bid fame, was adding to the atmosphere with his moody fiddle music, but it was the Valkyrie Showgirls that stole the, well, show.


At this point in the evening, some other friends of ours, who had been working late, joined us (though I’d been bumping in to plenty other friends and old colleagues throughout the evening too) and we went to have our souvenir photo taken for the ‘Raiders Gallery’. Forget the hand made bears and helmets, this was our chance to take it up a notch in the costume department. All together now…Arrr!

RBS Museum Late 'The Vikings' at the National Museum of Scotland -

Photograph courtesy of National Museums Scotland/ Photographer: Jo Hanley


One thing I really wanted to do was the Silent Disco, though as it was getting a little crowded towards the end of the evening I just stuck it out for a few songs. It was awesome fun though (and in the children’s ‘Imagine’ gallery, of all places^^).


We spent the last half hour in the museum’s Grand Gallery with a couple of G&Ts, watching the final band – the amazing Broken Records – on stage. They were followed by a show closer from the Valkyrie Showgirls, before the museum’s infamous Millennium Clock chimed everyone goodnight.

As with last year’s ‘Night of the Mummy’, there was so much to do we couldn’t actually fit it all in. The was also a series of comedy, readings and presentations in the Auditorium, Sagas & Soothsayers performances in the animal galleries, object handling, face painting, a chill out zone, and the exhibition itself, of course. My overall verdict for the night – totally worth flying in from Berlin for!!

Edit: Added in the photograph from the Raiders Gallery (27/02/2013)

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