When: 20th – 26th February 2017
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event. Some events are free
What is it?
The 33rd JORVIK Viking Festival will take place from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th February in York.
The story of Eric Bloodaxe’s last days in York will be woven into this year’s festival, including his ultimate feast and a dramatic retelling of the Battle of Stainmore… Which can have only one conclusion for the infamous Viking king.
The epic finale of the festival, on Saturday 25th February, will tell the story of the Battle of Stainmore – where Eric Bloodaxe unsuccessfully made his last stand. The battle will take place at Rawcliffe Country Park, where a natural arena will enable the crowds to enjoy the furious fiery finale. The event will combine living history displays with hundreds of warriors taking to the field of combat to determine the fate of the Kingdom of JORVIK.
Before Bloodaxe faces his mortal enemy Maccus on the battlefield, he will attempt to win over the local Viking jarls at a celebratory dinner, hosted at the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall on Friday 24th February. Diners will enjoy table-slamming dramatics, along with Norse-inspired live music from Einar Selvik, as they tuck into a Viking-inspired menu.
Other highlight at this year’s festival include:
Have-A-Go Archery and Sword Combat
Test your battle skills and have a go at archery or sword combat in St Sampson’s Square, from Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm. Costs £3.50 per activity.
From Monday to Saturday, head to DIG! to discover the animals the Vikings would have kept. Talks will take place throughout the day on animal rearing. Admission charges apply.
Barley Hall will be hosting Poo Day on Tuesday, where visitors can make their very own replica poo, and discover how poo is used to solve ancient mysteries. Admission charges apply.
Festival Walking Tour
On Monday and Tuesday a walking tour offers visitors the chance to learn about York’s historic streets and buildings. Walks last about one hour and cost £4.50 for adults.
Annual Strongest Viking Competition
Saturday will see Viking warriors from across the globe descend on York, for the chance to be crowned the Strongest Viking. The competition is free to watch.
Best Beard Competition
Another competition taking place on Saturday is the Best Beard Competition. Men and women, young and old, may enter. The competition is free, and prizes and trophies will be up for grabs.
1066! The End of History
There’ll be a dramatic storytelling of one of the most mysterious periods of this country’s history, performed by Peter Carrington-Porter in the candlelit setting of St Helen’s Church. The event takes place on Thursday and Friday, and costs £8 for adults.
Lectures and workshops
There will be a wide range of lectures and workshops at this year’s festival. These include a historical writing masterclass, and Norse Nalebinding workshops led by one of the world’s top Viking knitting experts. Visitors can also meet archaeological experts from York Archaeological Trust, and enjoy lectures from eminent speakers including Dawn Hadle, professor of medieval archaeology at the University of Sheffield.
Finally, visitors to this year’s JORVIK Viking Festival should have much easier access, as Norse fans can Park & Raid into York during the week of the festival.
More info: www.jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk