31 May 2018

Meeting the Vikings at Sherwood Pines

Living on the outskirts of North Nottingham gives us easy access to lots of places to visit; everywhere from Newstead and Rufford Abbeys to Sherwood Forest and Sherwood Pines.

These are all great places for fun activities, and this month has seen us visit Sherwood Pines to meet and greet some Vikings. Well not real ones, but as close as we will ever get without boarding a long boat time machine.

With a camp set up in the forest and a battleground recreation in full flow, it was a great way to see how they might have lived all those years ago.

The children were quite excited about the fighting, although it wasn't real it at least gave us an idea of the kinds of weapons the Vikings used and the strategies they would have taken. It would have been a gruesome time, especially as they didn't really have much in the way of armour.

There was an example of a long boat and you could smell the camp before you saw it. The wonderful smell of wood burning on the camp fires wafted through the air as the Vikings prepared a lunchtime feast.

We got to see how they would have lived in the camp, what they would have traded and made themselves.

We watched make a bowl out of wood using a bow lathe, a tool that dates back to Egyptian times. We were all impressed at how long this method had been used, in fact it was used up until the 60s.

It was fun to see how they would have lived in the Viking times, even more fun to have a go. We churned some butter, had a go at grinding some wheat to make flour and watched them making glass beads in a furnace.

This was a fantastic day out that brought history to life in a way that TV and books just don't cut it. Experiencing the sounds, the sights and the smells and getting to be a part of the making and creating process is one of the the best way to learn, I have found.

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