As part of our Mother’s Day adventure, we headed down to York for the Day. It’s been a while since we were there last and even longer since we visited Jorvik. Our kids had never been there and knew nothing about what it was. In December 2015, the Jorvik Viking Centre was flooded by the floods that hit York that Winter. This meant the museum had to be closed, while they could repair it. However, instead of a quick patch up job, they took this disaster and turned it into the opportunity to update the attraction and re-opened it in 2017.
Jorvik Viking Centre
The Jorvik Viking centre is located in the centre of york. It is a museum/attraction that shares the Viking findings that were excavated right where the centre is based. York is full of history and the Vikings held a settlement here. We decided to pre-purchase our tickets online and bought a PastPort ticket, which is an annual pass for the attraction and 4 others also in york (The Dig, Richard III Experience, Barley Hall and Henry VII Experience). For a family of 4 this cost £55, which didn’t seem that bad as we had plans to spend the full day in York and do two of these attractions. The other bonus of the PastPort ticket is that you join a separate empty queue and almost walk straight in.
If you have been to the Jorvik Viking Centre the first thing that you will remember is that it stinks! As we stood in the queue wafts of Viking stench drifted into our faces. Imogen wasn’t expecting that!
We walked in the centre and downstairs. The lower we got the closer we got to the excavation floor. This was where the archaeologists exposed Viking artefacts. The first zone has an impressive glass floor that allows you to walk over and examine the Viking Dig site. There were metal jewellery items, building outlines and what can only be assumed is a sewerage channel (leading from the actual toilets).
Jorvik Viking Centre Ride
The next part of the tour takes you onto a time travelling ride. It is worth mentioning that this ride is about as extreme as a Stannah Stairlift. Imogen had started to panic a little about “The Ride”. Even explaining that the ride was slow and not a log flume or roller coaster, didn’t suffice.
You’re transported through and around a Viking village. From the coast and port, past houses and into a market. The ride vehicle is suspended from an overhead track which floats you over the muddy flooring. A narrative track is provided via speakers in the headrest. Which allows you to customise the ride to suit. We chose Kids English as our language but could have had a wide range of European options as well as standard English.
This section has been updated quite a bit and there are some scenes that have gone. Some are potentially PC updates, but others help tell a new story of the history.
Jorvik Viking Centre Museum
The last part of the tour takes you into a traditional style museum section. Lots of excavated artefacts from the York dig site have been cleaned and are on display. There are almost complete skeletons on display, one that is in a partial coffin.
Through finding all the items on site archaeologists were able to build a picture of Viking life. It’s even possible to work out what their diet was like. On display at Jorvik is the largest fossilised Viking Poo. Through examining this they had found out that the owner of this waste had been eating rotten fish and a lot of bread. The poo had contained worm eggs, which gave a clue to the poor diet.
For £2 you can make a Viking Coin. a piece of soft metal is placed between two dies and smacked with a heavy mallet. Which leaves an impression of the metal disc.
Abigail wanted to have a go. The coin is placed in a souvenir holder along with a second commemorative coin for the reopening of the centre. The Viking cats member forged our coin for us, but I remember from years ago that I as a kid, was able to wack it with the mallet. This is probably a health and safety update.
Abigail (7) seemed to get much more out of it that we expected. She seemed to be interested in everything that was going on asking lots of questions. A Ticket for a Family of 4 to this attraction alone would have been £32, which didn’t seem bad value as there was plenty to see.
Jorvik Viking Centre Video
We created a video of our day out at Jorvik. To find out what it’s all about, we’ve tried to capture a sample of everything.
If you enjoyed our Day out the video, subscribe to the channel to see more days out in the future.
For ticketing information or further info about the centre visit the official page at https://www.jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk/