The Downpatrick & County Down Railway and Viking living history group the “Gall Gael Vikings” are calling on all would-be Hägar the Horribles to prepare their boarding parties and climb aboard the “Train Through Time” this Bank Holiday weekend, Sunday 30th May.

The train will leave Downpatrick Station and ‘disappear’ through a timewarp to the year 1002AD, where a fierce Viking warrior and trading expedition has landed in the Quoile basin, having arrived from Norway to plunder and pillage!

Colin Murray of the Gall Gael Vikings says they want to pay homage to the Viking King of Norway who was slain in Downpatrick a thousand years ago, “Our camp is at the legendary Viking burial site of the Norwegian King, Magnus Barfoots and we want to bring the rich Viking heritage of County Down to life for warriors of all ages through displays of re-enactment, making the day a Bank Holiday Viking adventure!”

The month of May marks the beginning of the ‘Living History’ Summer season with a number of festivals taking place throughout the country over the coming months. Mark Samuelsson of The Gall Gael Vikings says they are therefore delighted to be hosting the first Viking festival of Summer 2010 at Downpatrick & County Down Railway.

“It may not be a longboat, but using the train you’ll be able to get to Magnus’s Grave quickly and speedily for the fun!” he says. But as well as the rough and tumble fights expected of Viking warriors, the camp will also show other aspects of Viking life – domestic, martial, religious and trade.

Colin adds, “We strive to make this as historically accurate to the time period as possible to give both a thrilling enjoyable day, but educational as well.”

The first heritage diesel train leaves Downpatrick Station for King Magnus’s Grave at 10.30am and the last returns at 5pm. Fares include train fare and admission to the camp. Trains run on the DCDR’s “south line” so boarding will be at Downpatrick Station only, and not Inch Abbey.

And for those wanting the taste of steam, don’t forget the steam train will be out this Bank Holiday Monday, 31st May, as well.