Tuesday 14 February 2023

2302.14 YORVIK

Morticia and I have ventured to the city of York for their annual Viking Festival - Jorvik. It's the first time I've been to the festival and the first time in a long time since I visited York. We're here on the first weekend and I'm aware that the majority of events are on the last weekend. We want a low key visit which combines a break with the viking stuff I love. 

2302.11 09:23 - Train to Leeds. I haven't been on a train in a while, I love train travel but it can be expensive (but we got a ticket deal). Change in Leeds for York. I don't understand why people bury themselves in their phones on the train, there is so much to see out the windows. I love the whole experience.

11:00 - York! We've arrived. We have no plans except to have a bit of fun.

York is an amazing city. I'm not a lover of the urban environment but York is truly the exception to that rule. The city ouses history (did you see what I did there? River Ouse?) from every corner. From the city walls to the medival streets and historical landmarks, you won't find skyscraping buildings here. The city is choka with museums and monuments but the history I'm here for is viking.

York was conquered by the Vikings around 800 AD. Archaeological evidence of the Vikings' presence has been found all over the city.

This week is Jorvik - the most famous Viking Festival in the north of England. Looking at the itinerary there is little in the way of events until the final weekend which is disappointing but it means the accommodation prices are lower for us. Still, York is amazing at any time so even without specific viking events there's still a good time to have. There's the viking encampment in Parliament Square, small but fun and informative. A lot of the events in the guide but so much is aimed at children, I would love to see more for the adults and maybe a viking market set up for the week (I know that would be a big commitment for traders though).

The best find in the city was the Valhalla Bar on Patrick Pool. A viking themed bar with a good selection of drinks including 2 local real ales and local gins as well as mead as would be expected. It's on 3 floors with the bar on the ground and the impressive Alfather's Hall at the top. We probably spent too much time here.

We took in the history, the quirky shops on quirky medical streets. We checked out the historic pubs some of which were awesome, others not so.

It was an overnight stay, and definitely on a budget. We stayed in a private en-suite room in a hostel on Micklegate. Just a short trip into the centre and close to plenty of cafes and shops, and a Wetherspoons* for a cheap breakfast.

*as much as I hate giving my money to a 'Spoons they are reliable for cheap food.

York is amazing, in fact we want to come back soon and probably again next year. The festival might be just buzzing in the background on the first weekend but it attracts people who love the vikings, people like me - my people!
[Us enjoying York]

2302.14 19:30 - Sat in the York Tap (a pub in the railway station waiting for our train(s) home. I've loved our weekend away. Can't wait to do it again.

21:59 - After a tight connection at Leeds and a broken toilet on the train (that I was keen to use) we arrived at Meadowhall Train Station, a taxi awaits to take us home.

Memories of Jorvik!

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