Yorvik Centre, York

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Yorvik Centre, York

Museum - Address: York, North Yorkshire

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40% positive

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Review of "Yorvik Centre, York"

published 13/09/2012 | emi_angel
Member since : 03/02/2006
Reviews : 58
Members who trust : 44
About me :
moving house soon so need to make some extra pennies!!! thanks for all who rate my reviews, always rate back :)
Satisfactory
Pro great finds, good variety
Cons short, pricey,
very helpful
Prices
Is it worth visiting?
Transport links
Family Friendly

"Yorvik Centre"

Yorvik Centre, York

Yorvik Centre, York

YORVIK CENTRE

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~ ~ ~ INTRODUCTION ~ ~ ~
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After spending a few days in York we were excited to finally visit the Yorvik Centre. Looking at the website it really appealed to me as I love history attractions and I heard from people that it was something you had to visit when in York. The Yorvik centre is based on the 1,000 year old remains of a house where a large amount of artefacts were discovered in the well know Coppergate area of York. During your time in the centre you are to discover what the artefacts are, why they were made and used as well as the people who lived in the area. The dig at Coppergate lasted over 5 years (1976-1981) and many interesting finds were discovered which have been put onto display at the centre. The centre has a mixture of tour guides, actors, rooms with artefacts on display and "time capsule" (which basically a ride that takes you through a village typical of that time period). The centre was opened in 1984 and has had major improvements and additional items added to the museum in 2001 and 2010.
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~ ~ ~ LOCATION ~ ~ ~
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The Yorvik Viking Centre is in the middle of York city Centre. We found it very easy to locate the centre as it was ideally situation within Coppergate shopping centre. When walking around York we found a few tourist/visitor signs pointing us to the right direction of the museum. The Centre can be easily accessed either by walking if near the city centre or by using the bus services into the city centre. Due to vehicle restrictions applied to the city centre it is hard to access by car so it is good to research where a nearby car park is and plan to get to the centre from there. The train station is around a 15-20minute walk away or a few minutes in the car. I do think the centre is tucked away and could easily be missed, we only knew we were in the right place when we saw one of the team members dressed as a viking wandering around outside the centre so I do think they should make the entrance more exiting and appealing to draw more people in.
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~ ~ ~ EXPERIENCE ~ ~ ~
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We bought our tickets online so we were able to que jump which was very handy as there was already a bit of a que. We only had to wait a few minutes before one of the "vikings" took our ticket which had been sent to my email address. After a few steps we were in the first room of the centre which was packed full of people. The room had a glass floor showing an excavation where you see a lot of timber and other types of artefacts. Due to the room being so packed me and my sister did not have a chance to properly see much of the excavation and decided to move on to the next part of the centre. When we turned the corner we were met with the "time capsule". The "time capsule" is basically a ride that slowly takes you around a town that has been created to look, hear and smell like a town during the viking era. I admit I was excited about the ride as I ever experienced one like this before. The capsule could fit 6 people at a time so some families had to separate and smaller groups like me and my sister had to join up with others. We were paired with a mother and her two young children. Before the ride started we were told we would hear a tour guide who would speak about each section of the town and that we should select our language which ranged from English, French and even Viking. The "time capsule" ride started quite well as we got to see how the streets would look like and the types of activities that would be happening. However as the tour went on I found it hard to concentrate to the computerised guide with the loud sound of the capsules moving throughout the rooms, it really spoiled the atmosphere and made listening to the information hard at times. Throughout the tour there was some interesting information but most of it wasn't as educational as I thought it was and at times was quite dull. The look of the town they had created was been put together really well but I found everything to be quite small and not as amazing as I had hoped. There were times you could see other people in there capsules in the middle of the scenes which didn't help with the interesting scenes. The town also included a few moving models which was quite good and helped with the scenes, even one which had been based on a skeleton found in the dig at Coppergate which I though was clever. Overall I found the whole of the "time capsule" to be quite boring and dated, no where near as exciting as I had hoped.
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After the "time capsule" we were allowed to explore the rest of the centre at our own pace. We were first met with a tour guide who was sat at a table demonstrating some of the finds from the dig at Coppergate which was quite interesting but like before there was too many people so after being pushed around a bit within the group we gave up and moved onto the rest of the centre. The next tour guide we came across was dressed as a viking and told us he was making viking coins that we could pay for, I think they were £1 each but I was sensible to move on and not waste my pocket money. From there on we had two more rooms to look around. The first room demonstrated the clothing worn as well as household items and other items found at the excravation, some of the items were very well preserved. The glass cabinets were well displayed and including information next to each item so I learned a lot of these items and they were all very interesting to view. The only issue I had with the display was that the rooms were very dark and I think some people would struggle to see much. I am unsure why you would want the rooms to be so dark as you want everyone to see the amazing finds. The last room was the best and most interesting room for me as we got to see some of the skeletons found in the dig. The skeletons were laid out so you could fully see the whole of the skeleton. By each skeleton there was a description of certain areas of interest on the skeleton such as wound sites and possible reasons for the person's death. Also there was a brief history of the skeleton, explaining what the skeletons gender was, approx age and how they would have looked. The room continued with wall cabinet with skulls in and demonstrated what types of injuries each one had that explained the person's death. I really like sort of thing in museums so was pleased the final room really picked up. After the skeleton room we found that it was end of the centre and was led to the gift shop.
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The gift shop was full of items you could buy, some good and a lot not so good. Typical of most museums everything was very expensive and we ended up not buying anything. The shop was packed full of people so we didn't get a chance to see much of the items or explore what we could of bought, the main reason being that a huge storm occurred outside and everyone was dressed for summer so we were all stranded in the gift shop. The variety in the shop was quite good. There were the usual stationary items, children's toys and other merchandise, all were average.
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~ ~ ~ PRICE ~ ~ ~
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The prices for the Yorvik Viking Centre....
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Adult = £9.25
Child = (5-15) £6.25
Concessions = £7.25
Family 4 = £26.00
Family 5 = £29.00
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The website and when we went to the centre advertised deals in which you could get discounts on other historical attractions in York at a lower price when bought together. This included the DIG (Coppergate dig site), Barley Hall and Micklegate Bar in which you can pay for the Yorvik Viking Centre and one other site or all four attractions at a cheaper combined price.
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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ CONCLUSION ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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I feel one of the main negatives to visiting Yorvik Viking Centre is the price. I felt I was only in the museum for maybe 30-40minutes at the most and felt very short. Paying £9.25 you expect to get a very good experience and walk away happy with paying. I have been to free museums and had a lot more better experience than when I visited this centre. I felt the experience at the centre was not long enough and was really disappointed with how long the tour was. At the end of the tour I felt the only room I enjoyed was with the skeletons in and every other room lacked. Although paying a single ticket is far too high in my personal opinion, I do think the deals the centre has are quite good. The family of 5 for £29 is very good when you would have paid nearly £60 if you paid separately. Also having a different amount for children and concession is a good addition. I do feel the museum is pushing for it to be more for families and having it so high for a single ticket seems to feel like they are covering there loss from people using the family deals available. I think if I paid at least half of the admission fee I think it would have made the experience slightly more positive. The only positive to the price was that it let you visit the centre as many times as you liked over the next 12 months, but since I didn't enjoy the centre I know I will not use this feature. I do think this is a great addition for families as they could use this and take there children to centre again over the different school holidays over the year. A lot of the attractions in York are around £8-£10 and found that even though the price was very high that it was well worth it and would definitely recommend, with the Viking Centre I found the price to more of a negative as I felt I did not get my money's worth.
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I was disappointed to find that when I bought the tickets for Yorvik that there was no online deals. In other events and attractions I have visited over the years I find more and more places have either cheaper tickets with a certain percentage off or other types of deals, e.g buy one get one free. When we bought the tickets online we found we paid exactly the same but we had to pay an extra £1 booking fee. The only advantage of booking online was that you could select a slot in which you could attend that would guarantee you could enter the centre at that time. This was good as when we got to the centre there was a bit of a que and it wasn't moving for a while which we discovered why when entering the packed centre.
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I personally found the centre as a whole very disappointing. Although the rooms did have some interesting finds I found there wasn't really enough to keep me entertained. The skeletons were very interesting and enjoyed learning who they were and how they died. I did not like the "time capsule" which I think the centre pushed to be the main attraction. I found the ride to be dull and I didn't really learn much and found it very slow and outdated. The moving models and dummys were a bit scary, especially the stuffed animals. The ride was really short and not very comfortable with the stopping and starting and changing the direction we were facing. The noise of the ride was really bad, the creaking and movement of the capsule spoiled the atmosphere. Times during the ride you could see other people in there capsules which spoiled the view.
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Some of the rooms, especially the first room lacked information and it confused me what things were. In the glass floor excavation site there was not a lot of information to tell the visitors what we were actually looking at which was a shame. Some of the items lacked a lot of information and I felt the centre lacked the educational side that personally enjoy when visiting historical attractions. However a positive to the Yorvik Viking Centre was the variety in how they presented there artefacts and items they found at Coppergate. I think the "capsule ride" is a good idea but I would of enjoyed it more if I could actually walk through the village the centre created as it would be a lot more fun and really get you into the "viking" spirit. When I visited York Castle Museum, one of the main positives I found with the museum was the street they had created which looked exactly like a Victorian street that you could wonder around, I think Yorvik should consider this to improve the centre as it would really give visitors a better and more real-life experience. I really like how the people working at the museum dressed for the part and had some really good viking costumes. It helped give the place a great atmosphere. Having tour guides dotted around the museum was also another good addition. I liked the two tour guides that gave demonstrations, one explaining some of the finds from the dig and the other dressed as a viking who was making coins you could buy from him. I think having the variety in the centre was one of the main positives to the centre, it's a shame there was not a lot to the centre to really demonstrate the variety to its fully extent.
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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ RECOMMEND? ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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I personally would not go again and I don't think I would visit the centre again. The centre was hyped up for me by someone at work and what I saw on the website. After finishing the tour of the centre I was left disappointed. I felt the visit of the centre was too short and there was not a lot to see, having to pay so much did not help either. I think the centre is very family friendly and meets the needs of adults and children. However there was a lot lacking in the centre and the dated items used to display the artefacts are a let down. I do think the centre is very family friendly and would appeal to many people.
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~ ~ ~ CONTACT INFORMATION ~ ~ ~
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contact number for more information such as booking tickets = 01904 615 505
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email for more information = jorvik@yorkat.co.uk
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By texting = Text VIKING space YOUR NAME to 60777, a member of the ticket office will ring you back to answer any questions (texts charged at standard network rate)
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Address
JORVIK VIKING CENTRE
Coppergate
York
YO1 9WT
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thank you for reading :)
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Emma
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This review was read 1250 times and was rated at
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very helpful

Comments on this review

  • danielclark691 published 09/05/2017
    very good
  • trayrope published 05/10/2012
    Not been here since I was little, I remember that the tkme capsule ride smelt a bit funky, well reviewed.
  • Lele76 published 03/10/2012
    Excellent review.
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Product Information : Yorvik Centre, York

Manufacturer's product description

Museum - Address: York, North Yorkshire

Product Details

Address: York, North Yorkshire

City: York

Type: Museum

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