Jorvik Viking Festival

Where: York - city centre & Eye of York on Tower Street for Finale
When: Late February
Time: Finale at 6pm - other events various times (See website link)


Each February the city of York celebrates its Norse heritage by staging a Viking Festival. The exact timing varies slightly with the school half-term holiday but is always in the latter half of the month, with a wide programme of events including a Beard Competition (open to children and ladies as well as men!), living history, lectures, workshops, walks, quizzes and drama. City centre locations are used such as Barley Hall and the Jorvik Viking Centre, though the finale is out of town at the Rawcliffe Country Park, where there is more room to have a pitched battle re-enactment with the pyrotechnics to follow. Note that though our photos and video feature boat-burning, this is no longer part of the event (for health and safety reasons).

Helpful Hints

Jorvik Viking Centre at Coppergate in York is well worth a visit for an introduction into the Viking experience, suitable for all ages.

The racecourse site (earlier location to the Country Park for the finale) was prone to waterlogging so, given the time of year, you’d be wise to wear wellies or stout boots – we haven’t been to the Country Park so can’t be sure what conditions are like there. It goes ahead whatever the weather (they’re a tough crowd in Yorkshire) so wrap up – the fire is well cordoned off and won’t be near enough to keep you warm.

In 2018 the festival runs from Monday February 12th to Saturday 17th February, with the Finale at the Eye of York on Tower Street on Saturday 17th.

There are on-site parking and refreshments.

Many events in the festival are free but there is a charge and pre-booking for the Finale (£10 a head) and some other fixtures. Check with the website for details (below).

Click here for the event website :

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