How to recreate the Norwegian experience without leaving the UK
One of the main benefits of living in such a global world is the ability to engage with other cultures and nations without leaving our own. Some are easier to recreate from our own doorsteps than others. Those in the UK, for example, may have a slight advantage when wanting to recreate a Norwegian experience from within the British Isles. Beginning in 800 CE with the Viking invasion of England, Norwegian culture seeped over and some of its marks can still be felt today. So, how can you get a Norwegian experience in the UK without having to go to Norway?
Mythology and culture
Engaging with the culture and mythology of Norway is one of the prime reasons for people visiting – but enough of it has migrated over to the UK to enable you to get in touch with the people who lived almost 1,000 years ago without having to venture very far.
Norse mythology is a regular component of pop culture and provides a lot for you to get involved with. Computer civilisation game Age of Mythology features an in-depth segment on the Norse god pantheon. 2020’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla adds to the expansive series with a look at Norse mythology. These games help people find out more about the subject while having fun.
The TV show Vikings (2013-present), for example, provides a historically significant look at the Vikings themselves and is steeped in history. Those wanting to get more hands-on with the Vikings show can also play a related game. As the Betsafe online casino options show, the game allows players to engage with traditional gameplay combined with iconography and sounds based around the hit TV show.
Sights and sounds
The Northern Lights are perhaps the most popular reason for visiting Norway. The Aurora Borealis – caused by electrons and magnetic fields – leads to hues of green lights dancing across the sky. They suggest that northern Norway is the best place in the world to see them, but in fact many have had glimpses from Scotland.
Northern parts of Scotland are at the same latitude as Norway and Alaska, so there is a chance you could see the Northern Lights from there. The terrain and climate in parts of Scotland is like that of Norway too, depending on the time of year you visit. Heading back down through Scotland and into Northumberland, Lindisfarne island is a prime location from the Viking invasion and remains a popular visitor spot heralding all things Nordic.
Sport and activities
Norway is a popular destination for winter sports – and has hosted the Winter Olympics twice, in Oslo and Lillehammer. Skiers, snowboarders and those who want to try sledding with dogs, riding snowmobiles, or climbing icy ridges flock to Norway to get their adrenaline going. But this can also be done closer to home.
A network of outdoor ski slopes can be found across England, Scotland and Wales, while the British Ski & Snowboard organisation can help people get involved with alpine skiing. There are also venues for biathlon training (skiing and rifle shooting) such as in the Cairngorms. For those wanting to try bobsled, the University of Bath pioneers the sport in the country with a small-part push track. Curling can be found at the Royal Caledonian club in Scotland, for those wanting to try the least strenuous of the winter sports.
Norway is a magnificent place to visit. Those considering it would likely already be interested in some aspect of what the country has to offer, from the culture and mythology to the sights and sports available. Luckily, many of these experiences can be recreated in the UK. While saving for your big Norway trip, you can get a taster for it by staying on British soil.
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