Newest Review: ... you first go into the centre you walk down to a large room with an impressive glass floor. Underneath the floor is the actual remains ... more
Excellent Centre but a bit short
Jorvik Viking Centre (York)
Member Name: NicndDan
Jorvik Viking Centre (York)
Date: 16/07/10, updated on 16/07/10 (140 review reads)
Advantages: Innovative and fun for all
After planning a trip to York for a mid-week break whilst off work, I always intended visited the Jorvik centre being a fan of History and particularly visiting Museums. I had actually planned a whole afternoon around it having read the related literature and leaflets as I expected it too last longer. Nevertheless it was an enjoyable hour or so in the centre and somewhere I probably would recommend to all. My girlfriend wasn't too keen on going in but I think she enjoyed it!
The Jorvik centre is based around a huge archaeological dig where over 20,000 items from the age of the Vikings were discovered and is located pretty much in the centre of the historic city.
When you first go into the centre you walk down to a large room with an impressive glass floor. Underneath the floor is the actual remains of a small part of the Viking settlement which has been excavated. It looks nice and makes the centre unique as it is rare to find such a display. Around the rest of the room are video displays, pictures and artefacts from the dig which serve as an introduction to the age and the purpose of the site as you await the main attraction.
The main attraction is the ride tour around York as it would have been in the Viking age when it was pretty much the centre of the country in terms of trading and thus military importance.
The ride takes you round in pods of six people. The pods are fairly big and have speakers behind each seat with a range of languages talking you through what you are seeing. The staff only make you sit in rows with people in your group which is nice so you aren't forced into sitting with randomners. Also, the queue wasn't too big despite being behind two school trips it went down fast as there were plenty of pods.
The ride takes around 20 minutes ish, maybe a tad more and you tour a typical settlement from the Viking era in York. Visiting the typical family, the tradesman, the market, even the outdoor toilets! The models speak and are terrifyingly life like and you can see time and effort has been made in making the centre realistic and impressive. You can even smell the various scenes from the local fishman to the outdoor loo which adds to the experience.
When off the ride there is a room full of typical rooms and roles of Viking life with videos of actors playing roles. Its quite interesting but sadly this is the last and only room beyond the ride other than the gift shop!
So thus my only criticism is that fact that its much shorter and less involved that I thought. Its better for school trips as they have Vikings acting out roles and conducting workshops etc but for the normal visitor it could be over in under an hour.
Its £8.95 for adult entry so whether that's worth it is a personal choice. I still would have went in had I known the duration but its worth noting its not something that can take an entire day or even an afternoon to do!
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Summary: Worth seeing even if you have just a passing interest in history!
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