Monday, 18 November 2013

visiting York

We haven't managed a proper go-away holiday this year, so we decided to head to York for the November weekend.

York is of course the county-town for God's own County of Yorkshire. It is beautiful and full of fabulous history.

So, where did we go?

Richard, the Duke of York (was he the Grand Old Duke of York? Or the Richard of York who gave battle in vain?) challenged Queen Margaret of Anjou's right to hold the throne after her husband, King Henry VI, became unfit to rule and he lost his head for it, although his sons Edward and the gloriously controversial Richard III both wore England's Crown, until Richard, the last Plantagenet, was betrayed, and the crown passed to Henry VII, the first Tudor. We went to have a look at Micklegate Bar, where Duke Richard, and his son, Edmund, had their heads impaled on spikes. Then we enjoyed walking along the city wall (while the children laughed at my fear of heights).

We had a great time at Dig, an archeology, hands-on exhibit which is great for kids, although when the boy started unearthing a skeleton we were all in there to help! We also loved the replica they had of the worlds biggest fossilised jobby (found in York, and on display at Jorvik). If digging is not for you, there are loads and loads of other things to do. If you have children I would highly recommend it.

We also really enjoyed Barley Hall, which could have done with some dressing up clothes, but we loved learning to play Nine-Men's-Morris, we loved the beautifully restored hall, and all the fun Horrible History facts. Special mention also goes to the stinky tubs. Big girl especially liked the jobby (there's a theme here)!

As I said, York is beautiful, and one of the nicest things over the weekend was just wandering around the streets, including The Shambles. 

We tried to spot some of the cat statues scattered around the city, with the help of the York Cat Trail (it's free, and it's here), and loved playing in the gardens of the Yorkshire Museum. They are gorgeous, packed with squirrels and interesting features, and a great place to be. 

There are lots of things to do in York, so here's a quick round up of what we didn't go to:
  • The National Railway Museum (although I believe it's a great day out)
  • York's Chocolate Story. Have you been? Unfortunately, York's Rowntree company has been taken over by Nestle, and I can't bring myself to like them. 
  • The Yorkshire Museum. Yet another museum you have to pay to get in. I thought British Museums were supposed to be free? Or is that another thing the money-grubbing Tories have done for? 
  • York Minster as it was £20 for us to get in (and then extra to do anything interesting)! Christian charity eh?
  • Clifford's Tower
We could have kept happily busy in York for a week. It's well worth a visit. What would you recommend?

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