BLOODTHIRSTY Vikings today laid down their weapons and picked up Cupid's arrow to enjoy some traditional Valentine's Day romance.

As part of the 2004 Jorvik Viking Festival, John Donovan and Helen Pickavance tied the knot in true Scandinavian-style during an historic re-enactment at Clifford's Tower. The ceremony, not legally binding, was attended by about 20 Vikings in authentic costume as part of an action-packed programme for the 2004 Jorvik Viking Festival.

Hrolf Douglasson, who conducted the ceremony, said Viking brides and grooms got together as part of a business arrangement, with cash changing hands between the two families.

The York festival, launched yesterday with a children's Viking parade, runs until February 22.

Updated: 12:00 Saturday, February 14, 2004