Two great events that offer free fun for students this February


Returning to uni after the Christmas break can be a bit of an anticlimax – especially if you’ve cleared out the bank account – but York has the antidote to student winter blues, with fantastic festivals to lighten the dark winter months that offer maximum fun without breaking the bank!

“The new year is an important time for the city centre, but we work hard to avoid a bleak mid-winter," Andrew Lowson, executive director of York Business Improvement District.

"Although the Christmas trees are removed, our winter lights are funded by city centre businesses and stay to add a touch of sparkle to the dark evenings.  

"With York’s shops offering sales galore to stretch the pennies even further, and warm coffee shops offering respite from the cold and a chance to catch up with friends, it is a great time to enjoy the city.  

"These free festivals are the icing on the cake."

Lots of returning students have already made the most of free entry to dozens of attracts at York Residents Festival. What's next?


York Ice Trail


Saturday 2 February 2019

York's Ice Trail is the largest outdoor trail of its kind in the UK and one of York’s must-see events. On Saturday 2 February more than 50 amazing statues, all carved from big blocks of ice, will sparkle on street corners and in squares across the city centre, providing a magical way to explore York. The designs of the sculptures change every year and for the first time in 2019 the trail will feature one carving that cleverly brings together ice and fire to stunning effect – superb content for your Instagram feed!

The trail is free to do and is a great thing to do if you’ve got family or friends visiting. For more information and to keep up to date with news about the event head to Visit York or follow York Ice Trail on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


JORVIK Viking Festival


Wednesday 20 February – Wednesday 27 February 2019

Every February thousands of visitors gather in York to see Viking hordes take over the city during the JORVIK Viking Festival!  In 2019, the Norse warriors will be welcomed back for more skirmishes, battles, and a host of Viking-themed activities, talks and workshops.

The Festival is a superb way of finding out about the story of the Viking city of York and the team behind JORVIK Viking Festival has revealed the best places to explore Viking culture completely free of charge.

 The top five free events to see at the 2019 JORVIK Viking Festival include:

  • The Parliament Street Viking Encampment (daily)
  • Stories and saga- telling in Coppergate (daily)
  • The annual Strongest Viking Competition - Saturday 23 February, St Sampson’s Square
  • March to Coppergate - Saturday 23 February, starting at Dean’s Park at 1pm).  Hundreds of Viking warriors muster in the shadow of York Minster before processing through the city streets to Coppergate
  • The Best Beard Competition - Saturday 23 February. The audience is the star of the show at the Best Beard Competition, with genuine facial hair competing against novelty hand-crafted beards – previous entrants have been made from cardboard, wool, fake fair and even human hair! Compete or spectate – the choice is yours!

For more information on all of the events head to the JORVIK Viking Festival website.



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