Skibsted Fjord

Skibsted Fjord is not just a stunningly scenic spot, it’s also a place that marks the beginning of the end of the Viking Age. This narrow isthmus that today divides North Jutland from Central Jutland, separates Skibsted Fjord from the Nissum Channel. It’s also called "Draget" in Danish – a hint that the Vikings could drag their ships overland here and quickly get out into open waters. King Knut the Holy ordered that his raiding fleet should meet here to launch the final and decisive attack on England to restore his crumbling empire. 1,000 Danish and 60 Norwegian ships arrived as commanded, but the king’s own arrival was delayed due to trouble at his southern border. Autumn came and the people became impatient to get home for harvesting; so by the time the king finally showed up, most ships had left for home. Knut issued fines and penalties for non-attendance, but this backfired and led to the uprising against him and his eventual murder at Sankt Albani Church in Odense the following year: the last Viking king was dead. There’s a fantastic view of the fjord and the place where the dream of recapturing England fizzled out from the ancient churchyard on Ydby Heath.