Where: York, North Yorkshire
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event. Some events are free
What is it?
York – then known by its Norse name of Jorvik – was the Viking stronghold of the North from the late ninth century, until the Norman invasion of 1066. The JORVIK Viking Festival is the annual celebration of all things Viking, and sees the Norse invaders once again settling down all over the city.
The festival is the largest of its kind in Europe, drawing re-enactors from every corner of the country (and beyond) to join in living history encampments, parades and no-holds-barred combat displays, including a spectacular evening event which recreates the dramatic rise to power of King Canute.
Highlights of the 2016 JORVIK Viking Festival include a living history encampment spread across Parliament Street and Coppergate. A series of events will take place in the Combat Arena at York Guildhall, pitting king against challenger, to tell the story of the rise to power of the House of Denmark which brought Canute to the throne.
Visitors can see a retelling of a classic story, Beowulf by Candlelight on Thursday 18 February 2016, and enjoy The Ultimate Viking Banquet; the most romantic evening of the festival recreating the betrothal of King Canute with fine food and ale flowing. Wednesday 17th February is Poo Day, when participants can make their very own replica historic poo and learn about the muckier side of archaeology.
On finale weekend, visitors can see the March to Coppergate, with hundreds of warriors processing through the city streets from York Minster to the JORVIK Viking Centre. There will also be the annual Best Beard Contest and the son-et-lumière finale event at the Eye of York, with battles, pyrotechnics and music.
More info: www.jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk