top of page

878 AD Winchester


6 May 2023

Written By:

Edited By:

Colum Blackett


878 AD is a unique collaboration between Hampshire Cultural Trust, Sugar Creative and Ubisoft, in an attempt to bring history and games together. By embarking on this adventure, you will get to witness key moments in Winchester’s Anglo-Saxon history. This immersive experience will allow you to travel back in time and observe the events that led up to the Battle of Edington in May 878.

878 AD is a pioneering collaboration between the heritage sector, the gaming industry and technology innovators. Together they have managed to make the City of Winchester come alive.

All credit to Hampshire Cultural Trust.


The 878 AD experience is situated in the centre of Winchester. There are two parts to the event, one is indoors in The Brooks shopping centre and the other is around the city itself.

878 AD – Upper Floor of The Brooks – Winchester – S023 8QY

Check the site for travel options. I used the Park and Ride which I would recommend.

Link to Site: Home | 878 AD - Step into Anglo-Saxon Winchester


The experience is split into an interactive attraction supported by live performances, and an augmented reality app tour which you can complete at your own leisure. I would recommend checking that your smart phone is compatible prior to visiting.

The indoor exhibition took me 60 mins to complete but it will vary depending on how involved you want to be. The app tour around Winchester will take slightly longer, roughly 90 mins.

When I attended the event, it was pretty quiet, but I believe there is a limit of 16 who can participate at any time. However, there are 15 minute time gaps so you should not have to wait long. I booked in advance to avoid disappointment, especially if you are travelling some distance.

It is good to note that the experience is card only, but you can book in advance. 878 AD has a small gift shop so you might want to bring your card along.

Ticket prices vary but you can see all the options on the site. Although the price is slightly higher than I would have expected, the fact you can return as many times as you like within 12 months makes it very worthwhile. It is also a nice perk that you receive 20% off at the Ubisoft store by purchasing a ticket.

All credit to Hampshire Cultural Trust.


As an interactive experience, 878 AD is great fun. There are objects from the Anglo-Saxon era on show, including the exquisite Winchester Reliquary. You can participate in Anglo-Saxon games both in the flesh and on interactive screens. These screens will be very familiar to anyone who has played the Discovery Tour. The quizzes are only short but really easy to do and tests your knowledge of the time period. I have to say the tech on show is very impressive and helps compliment the information boards.

The whole atmosphere and aesthetic of the event is beautifully put together. You can really see the effort that has been put into making this the best possible attraction. I wish I could have experienced this when I was a kid, as the visual learning on offer here is perfect for my personality type.

As you enter the event there is a short video which sets the scene for what is about to unfold. It is like a mini cinema experience that uses Assassin’s Creed Valhalla as the backdrop. I was immediately brought back to when I first fired up the game. The mood of the room is helped tremendously by the fantastic Valhalla soundtrack which plays in the background of the video.

All credit to Hampshire Cultural Trust.

Live Performances

I am not usually one for audience participation but after my visit to 878 AD, I can definitely say the experience is richer for it. Even my Dad who attended the event with me thought that the acting brought something different to the table. He didn’t engage as much as I did but thought that the event would have not felt the same without it.

There are multiple characters from the Reeve to a thief, the solider and the slave. They bring stories and events to life from the streets of Anglo-Saxon Winchester. If you are up for some fun, try pretending you are a Dane instead of a Saxon. The Reeve did not take too kindly to my love of the Vikings. All the actors are very engaging and knowledgeable, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions.

All credit to Hampshire Cultural Trust.


As you exit the event there is a small shop with both historic and Assassin’s Creed Merchandise. From what I could tell a lot of the Assassin’s Creed items can be purchased from Ubisoft or gaming sites such as EMP. Although there were a few AC15 items that are not so easy to get hold of in the UK. I personally purchased a graphic novel and my Dad bought me a Viking cup with a cool wolf on it, the same style as the tattoos in the game. It is card only payment so if you are looking to purchase something make sure to bring it along.

878 AD: Winchester Revealed

Once you have finished the indoor experience you are free to roam the streets of Winchester where you can continue your journey with the augmented reality app. It is a free download and staff will be on hand to help set you up before heading off. It is just worth checking that your phone is compatible prior to visiting.

By completing the 878 AD interactive experience, you will be rewarded with rare Assassin’s Creed Valhalla in game content. The app allows you to explore the city as it is now but using the technology to transport you back to how it was. By collecting the fragments you will reveal Alfred’s lasting legacy. Not only that, it takes you on a nice tour of the city allowing you to revel in the sights.

There are other tasks to complete such as creating your own shield, making pots and building various things. You can even learn how to fire a bow to protect the city. I visited during the winter and a mixture of the weather and travel time meant that I could not fully complete the experience, however I will defiantly be retuning soon. It is all immensely impressive and engaging, allowing you to add that fun element to learning about history. This truly is the modern way of engaging audiences and I believe 878 AD has pulled it off brilliantly.

All credit to Hampshire Cultural Trust.

The View from the Community

Aaron Young: For me this event combined two of my loves, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and The Last Kingdom. Being able to go to such a significant place in history and learn even more about the time period blew me away. I hope that Ubisoft can continue to collaborate with other locations to provide such an interactive experience.

Noel Young: My son kindly invited me to come along with him to this exhibition. I have an interest in history and in particular this period in the history of England. I am familiar with the series of fictional works by Bernard Cornwell which dovetail nicely with this subject, along with the links to Assassin’s Creed. During the visit to Winchester, I found the exhibition fascinating, not only in the historical context but also in how it is closely associated with the AC Valhalla. The level of attention to detail applied to the creation of the game was incredible. I was so impressed that I purchased AC Valhalla and have since been enjoying it greatly. The experience of playing this game has been hugely enhanced by visiting the 878 AD exhibition.


878 AD is a fantastic experience that seeks to redefine what it is to learn about history. The event manages to cater for all age groups, immersing them in the rich heritage of Winchester while adding the glamour of the gaming industries most well know franchises. The actors play their roles perfectly enriching the experience through a different kind of interaction. The technology on show is pushing boundaries and ensuring that learning and history remains a fun thing to do.

For some the event would seem a little short, especially at the cost – however if you are in to history or the Assassin’s Creed franchise you will not be disappointed. Plus with unlimited returns within the year and a beautiful city rich with history you cannot go wrong for a day out in Winchester.



Share Your ThoughtsBe the first to write a comment.

About the Author

Aaron is a passionate Assassin's Creed fan who joined our AC Partnership Program as an Online Article Writer back in 2022.

After building momentum and interest on TOWCB website for Virtual Photography, Aaron established TOWCB Virtual Photography Team, of which he is now Team Leader. Throughout 2024, TOWCB VP Team will be sharing community captures in dedicated articles, and providing a positive environment on Twitter for gamers to share their shots.

Aaron Young

bottom of page