DESPITE the terrible weather, York remains 'open for business' this week - with several events taking place over the half-term period.

Top attractions such as the Castle Museum, the Jorvik Viking Festival, the National Railway Museum and York Art Gallery have been holding events all week and, despite the weather, have seen great turnouts.

The city centre has also been bustling with both tourists and residents throughout the week.

This week York Castle Museum is hosting a series of family-friendly activities, allowing visitors to come face to face with infamous highwayman Dick Turpin or to become a master rat catcher.

This weekend will see the climactic finish to the Jorvik Viking festival - the largest in Europe - which has been as popular as ever.

A variety of Viking activities are available across the city - from crafting to demonstrations and talks - and the chance to take part in the annual search for the finest facial hair – natural or manufactured – in the Best Beard competition. A Viking procession through the city centre will also be taking place on Saturday with hundreds of costumed Norse men and women marching to Coppergate.

Paul Whiting, head of marketing and communications at Visit York, said: “With flood defences in place to protect the city, we are keen to reassure visitors that York is very much open for business with a vibrant range of activities going on this half term. There is so much to see and do – from experiencing a Viking march through the city centre to trying out some new street food at Shambles Market Food Court, the range of what is on offer is incredibly diverse.

"We look forward to welcoming visitors and residents into the city centre to experience the unique ‘Only in York’ offering this half term.”

“The National Railway Museum is very much open for business despite the weather and we’re having a busy half term. Lots of people are taking part in our free coding-themed family activities which run until Sunday.”

 JORVIK Viking Festival’s event manager, Gareth Henry, said: "Whenever you host a winter festival, you’ve got to expect good and bad weather days – for us this year, the wind rather than rain has been the biggest challenge.

"That said, York is still enjoying a busy half term, with many people who have planned trips here just donning coats and hats and exploring everything the Festival has to offer.  It has been great to have the encampment back on Parliament Street, and today is also looking busy.  The stage in St Sampson’s Square is proving as popular as ever, and is set to host our Strongest Viking and Best Beard competitions on Saturday, as well as saga telling, have-a-go sword workshops and combat displays over the next four days.

!Looking at the forecast for the weekend, the March to Coppergate and our sell-out evening Battle Spectacular in the Land of Darkness are all currently scheduled to go ahead as planned, but with more strong winds forecast for Friday and Saturday morning, we’re reluctantly closing the Parliament Street encampment at the end of today.

"The Vikings were a hardy bunch, and we’re delighted to say that fans of the Vikings seem similarly minded – dress for the weather and you’ll have a great time."

A spokesperson for York Museums Trust said: “We have a fantastic variety of events and exhibitions this half term for people of all ages to enjoy. The largest exhibition to date by York artist Harland Miller has just opened at York Art Gallery, while upstairs in our Coast to Coast exhibition there is the chance for children to set sail with the Snail and the Whale in immersive storytelling sessions.
“At York Castle Museum families are invited to solve the mystery of who stole the Lord Mayor’s cat, hunting for clues hidden around the museum’s famous displays such as Kirkgate the recreated Victorian street.

“At the Yorkshire, Museum join the Vikings on a perilous journey across the waves to Jorvik, or take part in making Runes, the symbols Vikings used to communicate with. Or if you want to step back even further in time, head to Yorkshire’s Jurassic World which includes the chance to feed a huge virtual dinosaur!”

To find out more about what is going on throughout the city, visit