History KS2 / KS3: Viking ships

Travelling by water was an important part of Viking culture as it transported them overseas to distant lands as both invaders and as settlers.

Neil Oliver travels to Oslo to find out how the Vikings’ skills as shipbuilders and sailors enabled them to travel so far from their homeland.

Here, a close look at the famous Oseburg Ship reveals the extraordinary craftsmanship of the Vikings.

Out at sea, on a replica of a Viking boat, he learns how they used the sun to navigate their way across the open sea, and in Russia he discovers how the Vikings overcame rapids and ice to travel up its mighty rivers to trade in the East.

He finds evidence of an ancient settlement in Iceland from where Viking explorers embarked on journeys even further West, to become the first Europeans to discover North America.

This is from the series Vikings.

Teacher Notes

Children could use maps to find out where the Vikings came from and where they travelled and settled.

Then discuss the reasons why the Vikings were able to travel so far from their homelands.

Children could use this resource as a starting point for their own research into the features of the different types of Viking ships and boats.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is suitable for teaching History at KS2 and KS3 in England, Second Level (Scotland) and KS1, KS2 and KS3 in (Northern Ireland).

More from the series Vikings

Viking trade
Vikings - Invaders and settlers
Viking home life