Family from Edinburgh becomes JORVIK Viking Centre 20 millionth visitor! | JORVIK Viking Centre

Explore the Jorvik Group

Explore the Jorvik Group


The sights, sounds and smells of Viking-age York have been a must-see visit for nearly 40 years in York, with the world-famous JORVIK Viking Centre today reaching an enormous landmark in its own history, with the 20 millionth visitor transported back in time to the 10th century!


The Logie family from Edinburgh were the 20 millionth ticket holders for JORVIK Viking Centre, and were greeted with a fountain of sparkles and a horde of Vikings welcoming them to the Viking city of York.  The family were presented with a handmade replica of a Viking-age key, giving them the key to a lifetime of return visits to the attraction, a gold commemorative coin and vouchers to spend in the JORVIK gift shop.


“This is a huge landmark for JORVIK Viking Centre.  20 million people have explored York’s Viking heritage with our unique ride through a recreation of this city street as it would have looked over 1000 years ago.  This is a real testament to how much interest and enthusiasm there continues to be for the Vikings and the remarkable discoveries that we made during the Coppergate dig,” comments director of attractions, Sarah Maltby.


The 20 millionth visitor arrived just a few days after the organisation behind the creation of JORVIK, York Archaeological Trust, launched celebrations to mark 50 years since it was founded in 1972.  The Coppergate Dig took place from 1976 to 1981, revealing the remarkably well-preserved remains of Viking-age Coppergate, which inspired the Trust to set up an innovative new visitor attraction that has influenced a host of other museums and attractions around the world.


The JORVIK Viking Centre that visitors enjoy today is the fourth incarnation for the attraction, with a major refurbishment seeing the original time cars, featuring narration by Magnus Magnusson – which took visitors back through a time tunnel to travel around a flat version of the Coppergate model – replaced in 2001 with the time capsules that visitors use today.  A further update took place in 2010 which remained in place until the Boxing Day floods of 2015, when the attraction was inundated with water from the nearby River Foss.  Flood damage required most of the attraction to be rebuilt – and reimagined – with the current version of JORVIK opening in April 2017.


“The concept has remained the same since the first designs for JORVIK back in the early 1980s – we show visitors how we believe that Viking-age Coppergate would have looked, based upon what we unearthed here during the archaeological dig, and over 30 years of research undertaken by our own teams which followed,” adds Sarah.  “We now have people who visited during JORVIK’s early days returning with children and even grandchildren of their own.  We have even more recreated smells now than we did when we first opened, but the sometimes unpleasant aromas of the backyards of the 10th century remain in visitors’ memories for years afterwards!”


JORVIK Viking Centre is open daily for visits all year round.  For more details, please visit


The landmark number also comes as the team behind the attraction turn their minds even further back in time to York’s Roman foundations.  Planning permission has been granted for a major new development project, known as The Roman Quarter, that will include a two-year archaeological dig and the creation of a Roman-themed visitor attraction and museum called Eboracum on Rougier Street.


Notes to editors:


20 million visitors equates to:

  • The population of Romania
  • The combined population of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, London and North Yorkshire!
  • If each visitor to JORVIK waited on average 30 minutes to get in, the total queueing time would equate to 1142 years.  The early Viking settlers were beginning to establish their presence in York 1142 years ago, having arrived 14 years earlier in 866AD.
  • A queue of 20 million people in single file would stretch from York to Concepcion, on the coast of Chile in South America – a total of 7581 miles!


Photos: Please credit images to Stephen Garnett/CAG.

For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Jay Commins

Pyper York Limited

Tel:         01904 500698

Email:    [email protected]