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Viking England

(Tour code: VKH17)Trace the history of the Vikings through England

Trace the history of the Vikings through England on this historicallythemed tour. Visit famous Lindisfarne, historic York and its popular Jorvik Centre, and Gothic Winchester cathedral.


Take advantage of our latest saving of up to £25 per person when booking your Europe, UK and Ireland Summer 2017 holiday on or before 31st October 2016. Terms & Conditions

Tour Highlights
  • Lindisfarne
  • St Paul’s Church
  • Guided Tour of York
  • Jorvik Viking Centre
  • Yorkshire Museum
  • Guided Tour of Winchester
What’s Included (Full details)
  • Standard Class Rail
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • Optional Bag Concierge

Itinerary & Map

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Departure Times

On many of our UK & Ireland tours, you may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.

The Viking Life

The Viking Life

Although Vikings are widely believed to be savages and pillagers and known most notably for their sacking of England's Northern priories, they were also farmers, craftsmen politicians and experts of living off the natural environment. Throughout the winter and autumn months the Scandinavian Vikings would tend their crops, hunt, trap, fish and craft a variety of items from household goods to fine weapons and armour. It wasn't until the summer months that an expedition would be attempted from the shores of the homeland. In search of trade and discovery and indeed on some occasions mayhem, the Vikings were just as adept at solidifying trade routes and enjoying the benefits of commerce as they were at in-shore raiding. Hardened warriors and experienced sea-goers many of the expeditions mounted would end peacefully with discovery or trade. Indeed this is evidenced by the many Viking finds in Britain. The need for self-sufficiency was of paramount importance in the harsh but bountiful natural environments of their homeland, ensuring that this warrior people were sophisticated survivors, cultivators and planners above any other calling.

Alnwick Castle
Day 1

Meet in Alnwick

Our historical tour begins as you meet your Tour Manager and fellow guests in the White Swan Hotel, Alnwick, where we enjoy dinner together this evening. This lovely hotel is a Grade II Listed Building and a former 300 year old coaching inn. The most distinctive feature of this property is its Olymipic Suite, a room furnished with items and decorations from the RMS Olympic, sister ship to the tragic Titanic. Alnwick itself is a delightful ancient market town and historic centre that dates back to 600 AD. The town is also home to the famous Alnwick Castle which was home to the most powerful northern baronial family, the Earls of Northumberland. As a Grade I Listed Building the castle receives over 800,000 visitors a year. The original parts of the castle were erected in 1096 and over its lifetime has survived a number of sieges. It is the second largest, still inhabited castle in England coming second only to Windsor Castle.

  • Dinner
Lindisfarne Castle
Day 2


The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is an apt place to start our tour. Home to a 6th century priory off the coast of Northumberland, from 793 it was repeatedly raided by the Vikings on their passage to England, and this heralded the beginning of the Viking age. At its height, the priory of Lindisfarne became the main seat of Christianity in the north of England, after being founded in 634 by Saint Aidan, known for restoring Christianity to Northumberland. He remained there until his death in 651.

The priory was soon expanded with Bishop Finian adding to the structure with timber church, supposedly suitable to be a bishop's seat though the cheap construction did not go down well with other members of the priory. Its thatched roof was later replaced with the sturdier material of lead, as the priory became more established it sent missions to nearby locations and more importantly, Mercia. Perhaps Lindisfarne's most well known monk, Saint Cuthbert and later abbot of the monastery had many of his miracles recorded by the Venerable Bede, further adding to the priory's reputation as an emergent force of Christianity in the north.

After Cuthbert's death his shrine became a major pilgrimage location. Following our exploration with our guide, we visit the Lindisfarne museum, where you can discover the 1,400 year old history of the priory and understand how the daily lives of the inhabitants unfolded. Later we see St Paul's Church at Jarrow. (Please note: our time on Lindisfarne is dependent on the tides).

  • Breakfast, Dinner
York Minster
Day 3


This morning we travel to York by rail, arriving in the afternoon. After checking in to our hotel, we enjoy this beautiful walled city steeped in centuries of history. Amongst the many areas of interest in York, be sure to see the incomparable Minster, which is one of Europe's largest and most ornate gothic cathedrals, and the Shambles, a quaint street that has remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages. Alternatively, the network of medieval streets offers a unique charm and is one of York's major highlights, as is the National Railway Museum (free admission). The largest of its kind in the world, the museum boasts many steam locomotives and a selection of Royal carriages. Another popular option is the. Otherwise perhaps stroll along the city walls or take in the views from Clifford's Tower.

  • Breakfast
Day 4

Jorvik and the Yorkshire Museum

We visit the fantastic Jorvik Viking Centre today and learn about the Viking way of life through the site's colourful exhibits and ancient artefacts. The Jorvik Centre was founded on the site of an important archaeological discovery of Viking homes and workshops in York. The site was estimated to be around 1000 years old. The discoveries enabled the Viking Centre to be built on this spot, creating a 'ground breaking visitor experience'. The depth and detail of the displays here promise to be an enlightening experience.

Later we see the Viking display at the Yorkshire Museum. The exhibit is called 'Capital of the North', it chronicles how the medieval kingdoms of Britain's northern realms were ruled from the seat of York. Using the precious finds and detailed historical references held at the museum the life of the Northern Kingdoms is told through York's history. The most important and spectacular of the finds on display here is the Vale of York Viking Hoard. Discovered in North Yorkshire in January of 2007, the hoard was valued at over £1 million and is considered to be the most important find of its type in Britain for over 150 years. Our expert speaker will join us during the day.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Jorvik Viking Centre
  • Yorkshire Museum
York City Walls
Day 5

York city walls tour

Today we enjoy a guided tour of York beginning on the city's walls, to offer us a unique perspective. We then travel to Winchester by train.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Guided City Tour
Winchester Cathedral
Day 6

Winchester Cathedral

Splendid Winchester Cathedral welcomes us today. Boasting the longest nave of any Gothic cathedral in Europe, this cathedral is the burial place of Harthacnut, the King of Denmark from 1035 to 1042. The cathedral's original minster building was founded in 642 on a site immediately north to the current building. By 971 the site became a fully fledged monastic settlement. The cathedral holds the remains of Saxon kings, including Kind Eadwig of England, who died in 959. Our visit also includes a guided walking tour of Winchester.

  • Breakfast
Tour Group
Day 7

Homeward bound

Today you are free to leave after breakfast, concluding our tour.

  • Breakfast
Guest Speaker
Guest Speaker

Steve Ashby

Steve Ashby is a senior lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Steve specialises as a Viking-age archaeologists in the material culture of everyday life. Steve has penned a popular interest book named A Viking Way of Life, and is involved in TV and radio. Most recently with a series of documentaries with the History Channel.


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