New Viking trail launched for the Spring half term

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The Viking history below York’s streets is the subject of a new free trail being launched by JORVIK Viking Centre ahead of the May half term holiday.  A Journey through Viking Yorkis a new free audio tour created by the JORVIK team to highlight significant places in the 10th century Viking city.  The audio tour has been created as part of JORVIK Viking Centre’s 40th anniversary celebrations, and takes participants on a walk through York’s city centre, exploring key locations in the city’s history.  A different Viking tells their story at each location, adding colour and depth to the stories of the Norse settlers who settled, farmed, crafted and traded in the capital of the North, from AD 867 until AD 1080.  Characters narrating their stories along the way include a warrior from the Great Heathen Army, a trader, a skald – the Norse word for a storyteller – and a priest, who tells how the old pagan religion made way to Christianity during the Viking period.  The story continues beyond the defeat of the Vikings at the Battle of Fulford, with the first Norman Sheriff of Yorkshire and a moneyer.  “This is a fantastic way to explore the city using your mobile device as your guide,” comments Gareth Henry, head of digital engagement for York Archaeology.  “Many people don’t realise just how extensive the Viking-age city was – at its peak, its population was estimated at 8,000 to 10,000 people, so much of the contemporary city centre would have also been part of the Viking city.  It is the perfect introduction to the city’s rich Norse heritage, and a great way to prepare ahead of a visit to JORVIK Viking Centre itself.”  The trail starts at St Helen’s Square, outside the Mansion House, taking in York Minster, King’s Square, Ouse Bridge, Bishophill, York Castle and finishing in Coppergate.  The audio on the tour lasts an hour, so with walking between venues, the trail should take just under two hours to complete.  The route between stops on the tour is fully wheelchair accessible, and visitors are guided along the way on Google Maps.  A Journey Through Viking York has been created as part of Visit York’s Year of Trails, which has included the Ice Trail, Snook trail and the current Trailblazers.  It will be available free of charge until the end of March 2025 from jorvikthing.com/vikingtrail.  For further information, please visit jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk

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