We spend three days in York last week.
The first day was spent at the wonderful National Railway Museum. We have visited this Museum many times before. There are two huge halls with engines and carriages. One has a collection of carriages used by royalty and in general use over the last one hundred years. The engines are mostly steam, you can walk around them and underneath one. There is also a Japanese Shinkansen or bullet train the only one outside Japan. These remarkable trains reach very high speeds, are very reliable and have their own dedicated line. There is a collection called the warehouse which contains objects from railways stations, model used in planning, signs, crockery and many, many others. We love this museum. We usually visit once a year and stay for as long as we can. You can take your own lunch and eat it inside at this time of year or outside in one of the gardens in the warmer months. As this is a national Musuem it is free! If you are in the area I would recommend a visit.
The second day we visited Jorvik. I had heard so much about it, many people raved about it and its website suggested it was really popular and recommend you book tickets in advance at busy times. I visited York as a child when the digging was taking place and remember the big hole in the ground in the middle of York. I was disappointed by it. I am not sure who it is aimed at but certainly not short children several of the exhibits were too high up for my youngest. It was really dark inside the whole building, they provided a map of one section but it was too dark to read it and interpret what you were looking at. There were several really good audio visual displays but they were so close together that it was difficult to hear the one you were trying to listen to. It was not a particularly big space inside and it was fairly busy when we visited. Some of the exhibits are positioned such that if someone is looking at them you cannot get past as they are in a narrow space. Outside there is a board stating it is a fifteen minute wait from here, it would be horrible to be inside when it is that busy. It was hard enough to see some of the exhibits with a few people inside with many more it would become impossible. It took us fifty minutes to walk through and I came out feeling is that it. I cannot imagine ever returning.
We were very deflated when we came out, I had wrongly thought it would fill more of the day so had no plans of what to do next. Luckily right by the exit was a stand of leaflets of places to visit in and around York. So we headed off to the Yorkshire Museum. We had a bite to eat in the rather wonderful gardens next to a Roman tower with a view of the river and the remains of Abbey Walls. The Museum itself had several collections including roman objects, dinosaur fossils and biology specimens. There was a lovely room on an upper floor with comfy chairs and many many books. We spent nearly an hour at the end of our visit resting in the chairs and looking at books. We loved this Museum and will definitely return for another visit especially as we did not manage to see one of the collections as it was closed for refurbishment.
Our final day was spent walking part of the city walls. We got on the wall at Lendal Bridge and walked round to Micklegate Bar where there was an interesting small Musuem which we had a look round. We ate our picnic by the river before heading to Clifford's Tower which the children really wanted to explore. You can climb a winding staircase within the walls of the tower and walk around the 'top' of what remains of the tower. The views are great but it was very cold and windy up there!
We used the wonderful Park and Ride to get around the city. It is cheap and the buses run every ten minutes so you never have to wait long. We love visiting York and now that we have found somewhere to stay all year round I am sure we will be back for many visits in the future.