THE sights and sounds of Vikings in battle rang out through York as the city’s week-long festival reached a spectacular climax.

Thousands of visitors gathered on Knavesmire on Saturday evening to see the burning of the Viking long-boat followed by a fireworks display.

Earlier in the day the Vikings marched through the centre of York after thrilling crowds with a huge battle in Museum Gardens.

Sarah Maltby, of York Archaeological Trust, said: “It’s been incredibly busy all week. I would say 80 per cent of events sold out either beforehand or on the day.

“We have tried out a few new events this year such as Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories, which went very well.”

One of the hundreds of visitors who came to the city for the festival’s finale was Yvonne Figg, from Rochdale, with her husband and three children.

She said: “We came over just for this and it was definitely worth the journey. We have had a great time.”

Duncan Copperthwaite, another visitor from Lancashire, said: “We came over for my wife’s birthday and to see the festival.

“It’s all been very exciting. We like the re-enactments.”

Sarah said: “The whole week went very well. We got just over 2,000 people for the boat-burning, despite the weather.

“It got a little bit wet down there but we were always going to go ahead. The fireworks went extremely well. York was packed.”

This was the 26th year of the festival and saw a wide selection of events and activities throughout the week, including, for the first time, an evening of Viking music and poetry in York Minster.

Coppergate was the setting for a week-long Viking camp where children listened to Viking stories and enjoying being made-up with an array of Viking battle wounds.