Jorvik welcomes its 18 millionth visitor as Viking popularity endures

Vikings weren’t known for their use of decorative balloons, but they couldn’t resist as a big milestone rolled around on Wednesday (August 19).

At 11.10am, the Jorvik Viking Centre welcomed its 18 millionth visitor.

The accolade fell to one of the McKee family from Manchester – Andrew, Penny, William and Evie.

As they waited in the queue they were pounced on by Vikings carrying inflatable numbers and told the news.

The amazing number is a testament to the enduring popularity of the Norsemen and women, and their remarkable recreated home in the Coppergate Centre.

David Scott, head of marketing for York Archaeological Trust, said:

Now in its 31st year, Jorvik Viking Centre continues to educate and entertain families from all over the world on the Viking Age.

And as a not for profit organisation, income generated by our paying visitors helps to fund the trust’s charitable activities to ensure the past is something that is enjoyed by all.

Famous visitors

Dame Judi greets the 13 millionth visitor to Jorvik
Dame Judi greets the 13 millionth visitor to Jorvik

Based on an archaeological dig by York Archaeological Trust in the 1970s which led to over 40,000 Viking-age artefacts being unearthed, Jorvik Viking Centre opened to the public on April 14, 1984.

It changed the face of museums by incorporating all the sights, sounds and even smells of the Viking age.

It was soon attracting people from all over the world to discover what life was like over 1,000 years ago in York.

Many famous faces have also experienced the reconstructed city of Jorvik, including both Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, Time Team‘s Tony Robinson, Liv Tyler and even Timmy Mallet.

Five million visitors ago, York’s own™ Dame Judi Dench was on hand to welcome the 13 millionth customer.