THE JORVIK VIKING CENTRE
THE JORVIK VIKING CENTRE
I had not been to the Jorvik Viking Centre in York for a long time. I think I was probably in my early 20s last time I went (yes that is truly a long time ago...sob) I actually remember when it opened (1984 – truly showing my age there!) It opened to a lot of buzz and excitement. Back in the day it was a good experience, with lots of information about Vikings and Viking life in York and a ride through a recreated Viking village complete with smells and sounds.
Unfortunately as the water poured into town in the devastating flood in York in December 2015, the Jorvik Centre was badly affected with water reaching waist high levels. Luckily they managed to save all the artefacts and a handful of the figurines from the village survived, but the Jorvik Centre had to close the doors to the public. It was closed for 16 months, but following a £5m refurbishment , the doors were reopened in April 2017.
We visited again about 2 weeks ago and we all really enjoyed the experience. As you enter, you can walk over the remains of the buildings (they are under glass) from the original Coppergate dig. You then get to go on the new ride. I thought this was amazing. It is a bit like a fairground ride carriage and you all have individual speakers for the commentary where you can choose from a selection of languages and there is even a child-friendly version. Off you go into the Viking village. The new animated figures are so lifelike they are incredible and the attention to detail is exceptional. There are sounds and smells and so much to take in. The ride lasted about 30 minutes and The Child found it quite fascinating with something interesting and new to see at every turn.
After that we walked through to look at the artefacts and we were in time to listen to the Viking gentleman who was giving a talk about all things Viking. He was really informative and entertaining. Again, The Child was really interested and sat quietly and listened (This does not tend to happen that often as he has the patience of a gnat, so I was thrilled that he was so interested.) He even went up afterwards to ask more questions and look at the things of interest that the Viking Gentleman had been talking about (an ice skate – yes really, an early fidget spinner, amber and more...)
There was so much to take in on the ride that we all definitely want to go again to have another look. The Yorvik Centre does not have a cafe or refreshment options but it is located centrally in York so you are in easy reach of numerous cafes and restaurants. The Shambles are just around the corner, so a visit here lends itself perfectly to being part of a very good day out in York...
The Jorvik Viking Centre gets a big tick from me, and a big tick from The Child ✔️✔️
Our visit lasted about an hour and a half. The tickets are valid for 12 months. You can book online and book a specific time slot to visit which means you get fast track entry (no long queues.) If you want to visit again over the year I believe you can phone up the reservations and pay £2 for fast track again if you want to...
The Jorvik Viking Centre : www.jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk/