NORTHERN cities are about to face a fresh onslaught from Viking warriors set on recreating the invasions of more than a 1,000 years ago - and all to celebrate a slightly more recent milestone in the history of York.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Jorvik, the Vikings from the York attraction will be invading cities across the north - as part of a summer Viking Invasion Tour.

The tour will kick off on Saturday when a troop of Vikings will descend on the streets of Chester, bringing alive the old feud of the two walled cities.

The York Viking invaders will march through the rival city, where they will come face to face with their Roman counterparts.

The Vikings will then lead a fun afternoon of Viking activities.

They will also present the "key" to Jorvik to the Lord Mayor of Chester. The key will be a special coin that symbolises payment to enter Jorvik - being struck from a copy of one of the two Viking coin dies, found in 1980 during the archaeological dig that unearthed the remains of the Viking Age city.

After Chester, the Jorvik Vikings will invade Hull on July 10, and visit the Cleethorpes Viking Festival on July 24 and 25.

They will then reconvene in York for a Viking Weekend on August 7 and 8, of battle drills, archaeology and craft demonstrations, setting up camp in the centre of York. Here the Vikings will plot their next invasion, with targets planned to include Newcastle and Sheffield.

All events are free and open to all.

Updated: 08:58 Monday, June 28, 2004