Eric Bloodaxe heads to York for Jorvik Viking Festival

The final days of infamous Viking king Eric Bloodaxe will be recreated during York’s Jorvik Viking Festival (February 20-26), ahead of the re-opening of Jorvik Viking Centre in April.

Europe’s largest Viking festival attracts about 53,000 people and its economic impact is estimated at nearly £6 million.

Paul Whiting, marketing manager at festival organiser York Archaeological Trust, said: “For the last three years, the Jorvik Viking Festival has grown and now draws even larger audiences from across the world, so with Jorvik Viking Centre’s re-opening set for April, we want to make sure that this year’s event is an epic prequel to the story we will tell in the re-imagined Jorvik.

“Eric Bloodaxe’s face has featured in the festival logo for over 30 years, and as his time in York was just before the new timeline for the Viking city recreation we’ll be revealing in April, this seems the perfect time for a new generation to learn about the famous king.”

Paid-for events during the festival include a re-enactment of the Battle of Stainmore – where Eric Bloodaxe unsuccessfully made his last stand – and a celebratory Viking feast.

Free activities include the annual Strongest Viking Competition, the Best Beard Competition and a Viking encampment in Coppergate.

The Jorvik Viking Centre has been closed since the floods of December 2015, and will reopen on April 8.