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Getting In Touch With Our Inner Vikings & Archaeologists in York!

Getting In Touch With Our Inner Vikings & Archaeologists in York!

Squeezing York into one day is a hectic thought….. Its bustling historic city centre is full of attractions that will boggle your brain if you don’t have a plan…. But we thought we’d share our first hand experiences to help give you the best place to start any family day out in York……

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Especially as it’s become one of our favourite European Cities that we’ve visited on our European Roadtrip… So if you’re looking for the first tip from our visit, we’d suggest everyone should try wall walking when you arrive…. giving you a chance to get your bearings by strolling around some of the 3 miles of medieval city walls and gatehouses (just like Dubrovnik…)…

Home to the impressive York Minster, the largest medieval church in England, as well as the longest circuit of medieval city walls…. it’s easy to see why York often compared to another of England’s most picturesque cities in Cambridge. But where better to start in York than by giving a families perspective on two of its most family friendly attractions…… the Jorvik Viking Centre & DIG: An Archaeological Adventure

If like us, you’ve arrived into York by the excellent park’n’ride (from Monks Cross)…. you’ll know how motorhome friendly they are trying to make this city… Plenty of freely available motorhome spaces with electric buses running from dawn to dusk! In fact, this effort to make North Yorkshire more accessible to motorhomes stretches as far as Helmsley and the nearby North York Moors where new free motorhome parking is springing up by the castle…… so hats to off to North Yorkshire for making an extra effort for motorhoming families like ourselves.


Jorvik viking centre – learning more about living Danishly

After spending the summer of 2016 in Denmark, Norway & Sweden, we’ve loved discovering more about the Vikings…. Even grabbing a chance to see the impressive Danish Museet Ribes Vikinger museum and the Viking ships in Oslo, Norway. So the chance to use our value for money York Pass to gain entry to the Jorvik Viking Centre seemed a great starting point to our day out in York.


Located close to the heart of the city centre, the newly re-opened Jorvik Viking Centre is fascinating for kids and adults alike… Just imagine ducking through a simple side door in Coppergate, to find a series of Viking history right under your feet… It’s this sense of what lies directly under your feet that resonates the most…. only added to by the excellent interactive displays and fascinating ride through a recreated Viking street.



For those who’ve read our recent ‘SeaShore Foraging & Wild Cooking Experience in Pembrokeshire‘ where we outlined the reasons behind our European Roadschooling Adventure… you’ll know we’re firm believers in this mantra ‘ Tell me, and I’ll forget, but teach me and I’ll remember…. but best of all involve me and I’ll learn….’ so well done DIG for offering a truly memorable educational opportunity that both girls loved from start to finish!


grabbing a bite to eat in york –  just head to swinegate for food

With tummies rumbling…. we headed into the best areas to eat in York and a chance to continue the girl’s food journey at Las Iguanas. Having visited over 35 countries in Europe, we’ve loved showing the girls everything from Portugal’s ‘Pastel de Nata‘ through to rural Hungarian ‘Goulash‘….. but a chance to taste Las Iguanas’ authentic South American food was just too good to miss!


Apparently, they’ve just launched a new menu…. full of vibrant tastes from Argentina through to Mexico… but for us, we focused on Brasil and a chance to experience tasty authentic dishes like those below, including  Pele’s favourite dish ‘XinXim‘ and the delicious ‘Dadinhos‘. But before you worry if it’s suitable for younger kids, don’t worry as the kids menu is fantastic too…. and they even have spiral fries!!!!


After a meal of fairly epic proportions for less than £50 (for a family of 4)… we staggered and swayed our way back towards the centre of York, before using the clever and useful ‘park’n’ride’ live timetable to ensure we limited the time we had to wait before being ‘whisked’ away to Monks Cross….. and then the 40mins north towards the North York Moorsand the free motorhome parking spaces in Helmsley….

It’s been another thought provoking yet fun family day out in York, and we’ll be up early in the morning to start it all over again tomorrow with a medieval extravaganza including the Richard III Experience, Henry VII Experience and the Barley Hall….

Don’t miss the York Christmas Festival that incorporates an Ice Trail weekend featuring 45 ice sculptured located around the city centre – which makes it the biggest Ice trail in the UK!

LifeinourVan Top Tip

If budget isn’t an issue, head for the city sightseeing bus as it gives a great overview of the city…. certainly the easiest way to discover more about the city… and it’s genuinely humorous too!

LifeinourVan Top Tip

Your never to young or old for these family travel ideas

If the above interested you, then you might just find you like one of these 10 further tips for visiting York with Kids.
  • StoneGate & Barley Hall – Disappear back in time as you’ll love the medieval feel here…
  • Guildhalls – Don’t miss a chance to see these amazing riverside architectural beauties…
  • The Shambles – Former meat street (1300’s)famous for overhanging timber framed shops
  • York Castle Museum – Take a trip back in time to see just how we lived over the centuries
  • Clifford Tower – Famous for having it’s roof blown off, its the place to grab a view over York
  • National Railway Museum – Possibly the best free museum in the UK…. a veritable feast!
  • York Minister – if you’re feeling brave, why not walk the roofs or climb the tower…
  • York Museum – visit now to see an amazing Viking exhibition… but there’s plenty more too!
  • Micklegate Bar – Visit one of the last remaining ‘Barbicans’ in Europe
  • Henry VII / Richard III Experiences – Jam packed full of child friendly historical activities


jorvik york

dig york

Las Iguanas

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About The Author


Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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