Sunday 18 February 2024


Hotel was booked last year, train sorted last month, we're ready to march on York. This Northman is coming to Jorvik.

The dog knew something was going on, he wasn't happy although he's had some fun in store with my daughter.

It was all set for last Monday. We travelled direct to York (instead of the messy changes in Leeds like last year) which was easier and arrived without incident. Had a bit of trouble finding the front door to the hotel (this year we'd booked in at a Premier Inn) but managed to get to the right place. We had planned to stow our suitcase until after check in but the nice lady on reception let us check in early. The room was a regular Premier Inn one which was clean and functional.

So.... York.... Vikings.... Historical.... What's not to love about this wonderful city? Our county's capital and so full of things that make it special. We're here for the Jorvik Viking Festival of course.

Because we're on a budget we come at the beginning of the festival week which means we don't get to experience the big stuff but, for me, it's a chance to emerse myself in the festival atmos.

There were displays at the Viking encampment on Parliament Street, seemed like less than last year but still a great place to start. I particularly enjoyed the guy who was doing the wood turning.

The only problem I have with the event is that it feels like it's mainly geared towards kids. I'd love to see more music and evening events for all the grown ups. Maybe next year they'll think of that? 

If you ever find yourself in York then (as I remember saying last year) then the Valhalla bar is a must. Once again we spent loads of time in here.

The streets of York are dripping with character and history and is teaming with tourists all year round,  quite a lot of tat is available for them but if you are savvy there are some really quirky shops around. Last year we visited the Barley Hall, this year we visited the Merchant Adventurers' Hall for a bit of history.

Before we left I treated myself to something I'd wanted for a long time - a board game. Now hear me out, the game is Hnefatafl - an ancient table top game from the Viking age and a variety of game that was enjoyed across Northern Europe.  Another ancient game popular in the Viking age was Kvatrutafl which was a version of backgammon, something I've recently learned how to play (my paternal grandfather played). I've been playing both on apps on my phone for a while. I can't wait to play Hnefatafl in real life now I finally have my own set.

The trip, of course, came to a end all too soon and the train awaited to take us back home. I'm already planning next year.

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