One in 20 men in Yorkshire can claim direct descent from Vikings, according to a new DNA study.

Men from the far north of Scotland were most likely to provide a direct match with almost a third (29.2 per cent) of the men born in the Shetland Islands testing positive for Viking blood.

Researchers compared Y chromosome markers, which are inherited from father to son, from more than 3,500 men to six DNA patterns rarely found outside the Norse warrior's native Norway and Sweden.

Other areas that scored highly included the Orkney Islands (25.2 per cent), Caithness (17.5 per cent) and the Isle of Man (12.3 per cent), while Yorkshire (5.6 per cent) had the highest incidence of any English county.

The researchers found about one in 33 men across the UK, or 930,000, were a direct match.