JORVIK Viking Centre takes visitors back in time to discover the Return of the Vikings to York. The attraction is located on the site of one of the most famous and astounding discoveries of modern archaeology. Jórvík is the Old Norse name for the city of York.
Be transported over 1,000 years back in time
The year is AD960 and the last Viking King in Jorvik, Eric Bloodaxe, has been banished. The city is thriving with a flourishing manufacturing centre and wide trading links. There are new buildings, new people and new stories to be told. Hop aboard JORVIK’s ride experience and be transported back in time over 1,000 years. At JORVIK Viking Centre you will discover the impact of international trade on Viking-Age York. This includes the evolution of a multicultural society in the city, as it’s not just trade goods that flowed into Jorvik but people from across the globe.
In December 2015 JORVIK, like many other homes and businesses in York was affected by the heavy flooding that besieged the city. Water started to enter the basement of the building from the loading bay door. The River Foss had burst its banks following heavy rainfall on Boxing Day.
JORVIK Viking Centres technical team managed to create a makeshift flood barrier which held the water back long enough for a team of curators and volunteers to remove all of the irreplaceable artefacts from the underground galleries. Sadly by the morning of 28 December, much of the recreation of Viking-age York was under up to a metre of water.
Multi-Million Pound Investment
Following the major flooding at the end of 2015, JORVIK Viking Centre has undergone a full refurbishment with 22 new animatronics added to the attraction. The centre’s gallery experiences have also been completely updated. New display cases have been installed, allowing you to get up close to the astounding Viking artefacts that inspired the creation of JORVIK. You will have the chance to dig deeper into the Viking story of York using the latest in cutting-edge technology located throughout the centre.
The newly re-imagined JORVIK Viking Centre reopened on Saturday 8th April 2017 after a multi-million-pound investment.
History of JORVIK Viking Centre
Cravens chocolate factory originally stood on the site where JORVIK Viking Centre is now located, within the Coppergate Shopping Centre. Founded in 1803, Cravens relocated from their factory in Coppergate in central York in 1966. After the factory was demolished, between 1976 and 1981, and prior to the building of the Coppergate Shopping Centre, the York Archaeological Trust conducted extensive excavations in the area. They revealed the houses, workshops and backyards of the Viking-Age city of Jorvik as it stood nearly 1,000 years ago. Well-preserved remains of some of the timber buildings of the Viking city of Jorvík were discovered, along with workshops, fences, animal pens, privies, pits and wells. Other discoveries included durable materials and artefacts of the time, such as pottery, metalwork and bones. Unusually, wood, leather, textiles, and plant and animal remains from the period around 900 AD, were also discovered, preserved by the oxygen-deprived wet clay. In all, over 40,000 objects were recovered.
Coppergate Shopping Centre
Coppergate Shopping Centre (an open-air pedestrian shopping centre) now occupies the site. JORVIK Viking Centre is situated below the shopping centre. The York Archaeological Trust recreated the excavated part of Jorvik on the site. The attraction features a ride, with animatronic figures, realistic sounds and smells, as well as pigsties, fish market and latrines. The attraction brings the Viking city to life.
Directly opposite the attraction is The Hole in Wand mini-golf another great York attraction which is a big hit with fans of Harry Potter.
JORVIK Viking Centre Ride experience
During the Ride, you will discover the lives of the inhabitants of 10th-century York. Guests travel around a reconstruction of the Viking city. Everything that you see during your visit is based on actual archaeological evidence found during the Coppergate excavation. Emphasis was placed on recreating every detail of the experience, from the flora and fauna growing in the ground to the breeds of animals portrayed and even the splashes of natural dyes found in one of the backyards. This is truly an authentic Viking adventure.
Showcasing the cultural ‘melting pot’ of 10th century York
Learn about the people who lived and worked in Viking-age York. The city, which was a prosperous trading hub welcomed goods from all over the Viking world. With this wide-reaching trade came people, who brought their own customs, traditions and languages with them. Discover more of this cultural ‘melting pot’ with the help of animatronic characters during the ride experience. With a strong emphasis on authenticity, everything from their clothing, facial features and speech have been meticulously researched to offer our visitors a real insight into the lives of people who lived over 1,000 years ago. The ancient languages spoken in Jorvik range from Old English and Old Norse and even Ancient Arabic, demonstrating that the city really was a multi-cultural hub. Innovative touchscreen displays enable you to become an archaeological conservator. Visit JORVIK and discover the impact of the Vikings on York.
There are a number of interactive displays where you can learn more about how the objects on display were restored. The interactive displays also provide more detail on the articles on show.
Souvenior Viking Coin
For a small charge, you can take home a souvenir Viking coin which you can watch being crafted by hand.
Admission Prices and Offers
Purchase your tickets to JORVIK Viking Centre from The Official Website. JORVIK Viking Centre is a proud member of Blue Peter’s Badge Attractions, any Blue Peter badge holder can gain free entry into JORVIK Viking Centre when accompanied by a full paying adult.
JORVIK Viking Centre is one of the many attractions fantastic attractions in and around the city of York included with York Pass.
The JORVIK Group Pastport
Exploring the history of a city like York can be an expensive day out or short break, luckily The JORVIK Group offer the Pastport. The Pastport admission pass enables you to visit five of the best city-centre attractions in York including Barley Hall, DIG, Henry VII Experience and Richard III Experience, throughout the year, for one discounted price. Pastport covers 2,000 Years of history, 5 York Attractions all for 1 Great Price.
Travelling to JORVIK Viking Centre
York City centre is encompassed by its ancient walls and is accessible on foot. JORVIK Viking Centre is located within the Coppergate Shopping Centre, right in the heart of the modern city of York. The attraction is well signposted.
Travelling by Train
JORVIK Viking Centre is a 15-minute walk from York Railway Station and the route is well signposted. York Railway Station has great links to major cities across the UK. Search for your train tickets using the Raileasy website.
Travelling by Coach
Visit National Holidays if you want to travel by coach to York.
If you prefer self-catering, check out some of the lovely places to stay on the outskirts of the City of York on Snaptrip.
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