When King Halfden and Ivar The Boneless invaded York back in 866AD, we’re sure they gave little thought as to how the Viking invasion would shape the city in the years to come. At the time, the Vikings were more interested in conquering and plundering, renaming the city Jorvik and making it the new capital of the Viking kingdom!
The Vikings may be long gone but their presence is still felt. The Jorvik Viking Centre showcases real-life Viking treasures unearthed in the city. You can even learn to throw like a Viking - head to unique venue The Hilt and try your hand at urban axe throwing.
The Hilt - A Viking Venue Like No Other
Situated at 57 Goodramgate, The Hilt is located a mere four minutes from York Minster. The first indoor axe throwing centre in York, The Hilt is more than your average run-of-the-mill venue! Where else can you combine the thrill of axe throwing with the opportunity to eat like a king?
Bring your family, round up your friends, organise a work’s outing and give your colleagues something to talk about other than the latest drivel on TV. There are ten lanes available, and a bunch of very skilled coaches are on hand to teach you how to throw like a Viking pro. Once you’ve had a standard safety chat and plenty of practise it’s competition time!
Axe throwing is hungry work - luckily The Hilt offers a menu fit for a warrior, with Viking meatballs served in made-from-scratch sauces and savoury snacks such as Nordic nachos. The desserts finish things off nicely (if you’re a fan of sharing go for the Cow’s Elixir - choose from oreo, maltesers or snickers) and wash it all down with a tasty mocktail.
Brace Yourself for Urban Axe Throwing Training
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never picked up an axe in your life (we’re guessing quite a few people haven’t). Whether you’re a novice, or a professional axe juggler, your coach will teach you the rules and skills you need to get to grips with this fun Viking pastime.
The friendly Hilt coaches are experts in axe throwing and provide a fifteen minute safety briefing followed by a twenty minute practise session. This allows plenty of time for your assigned coach to work closely with each member of your team. During that time you will learn the art of single and two-handed axe throwing and your coach will make sure everyone’s comfortable with what they are doing.
Ready to take on your Viking competitors? The throwing bays beckon for a spot of friendly (and fierce) urban axe throwing.Two vikings step up to throw at the same time, so you will have a competitor to your left or right. You will also have your nearest and dearest behind you cheering you on!
Each viking throws an equal number of times per round and you score points each time your axe hits the target. The closer you are the more you score! With points ranging from 1 to 3 to 5 depending on your accuracy. The more points you get the more likely you are to take the Viking crown! The victor is the Viking who ends up with the highest score. The competition lasts for about 40 minutes, and Vikings are not just playing for the crown - but also for a place on the weekly high score board.
How to Book Axe Throwing At The Hilt
Your booking entitles you to a Viking coach to train you, safety briefing, practise time and competition (your group may be combined with another but won’t be split apart). There’s also a full food and drink service (check out the online menu for pricing).
Larger groups of 8-12 people can book an exclusive session. This entitles you to private side by side lanes - no other groups will be combined with yours. You get a Viking coach to teach you how it’s done, safety briefing, practise session and the big competition to round things off. Your party also gets a complementary full portion of shareable meatballs (enough for all of the Vikings in your party) and you can purchase additional food and drinks from the menu too.
Are You Ready to Throw Like a Viking and Eat Like a King?
So, you’ve now got the jist of what The Hilt is all about. Why not put aside the stresses and strains of the daily grind and come grind an axe instead? You don’t have to pillage and plunder to unleash the Viking within.
Urban axe throwing offers you and yours the chance to get together, have some fun and let off steam. Learn a unique new skill and fill your face with meatballs afterwards - what better way to spend a few hours in the city of York?