Heading up to Yorkshire soon? If you do, you'll find York has plenty of fun lined up this Christmas, so there's no excuse for family boredom! Perhaps you fancy spending a family friendly day at one of York's museums or attractions such as the impressive Jorvik Centre or Railway Museum. Or maybe your kids might fancy embracing all things festive and getting involved in the festive St Nicholas Christmas Market.
Or if York's not grabbing you then why not check out our family focused reviews of over 50 European Cities here and starting planning your next family city break... perhaps Porto in Portugal or Dubrovnik in Croatia? But if you fancy finding out more about York's Castle Museum and Yorkshire Museum, then read on below...
After over a month exploring Yorkshire's attractions, we're finishing up with two of York's most famous attractions - York Castle Museum and Yorkshire Museum. Heading in using the excellent 'motorhome friendly' Park'n'Ride, each museum had more than its share of unique history and proved well worth at least 1-2hrs each if you can spare the time.... we did and both girls loved it!!
And the ever useful York Pass came up trumps in our first museum of the day providing us with free entrance to the Castle Museum. Situated close to the iconic 'Clifford Tower' it's a great place to let your imagination wander......
You'll find yourself wandering through cobbled Victorian streets, experience life in a First World War trench, get up close and personal with York's confectionary history or travel through the history of body shape looking at our fantastic costume collection.
Interestingly the York Castle Museum is actually housed in a former debtors’ prison and an adjoining former women’s prison plus it also stands on the site of the former York Castle!!! This excellent museum even has a prison cell where you can try out a condemned man's bed – in this case, that of highwayman Dick Turpin (imprisoned here before being hanged in 1739).
But if you asked our girls why they enjoyed the visit so much, they'd tell you it was because this excellent museum has displays of everyday life throughout the centuries. It captivated both girls by showing them just how people used to live by displaying thousands of household objects and making comparisons to modern life...
Again free using the York Pass, not only does the Yorkshire Museum have an incredible amount of artifacts from the entire history of York, but we were also lucky enough to visit during the excellent Viking exhibit (now closed)
Situated in stunning surroundings of the medieval ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey near to Lendal Bridge, the museum has an excellent exhibit on Roman Britain with a diverse array of artefacts. It felt very archaeologically focused taking a historical forensic approach that combined well with the more simulated scenarios in the Castle Museum
It's truly jam packed with high quality exhibits too... which interested a 9yr old as much as it does us!!! Ranging from Dinosaurs, Romans and Vikings.... it does a great job of showcasing York as the 'Capital of the North' and just how culturally and historically significant it must have been... (it even reminded us a little of Exeter's RAMM Museum). Most of York's Roman archaeology is hidden beneath the medieval city, so the superb displays in the Yorkshire Museum are invaluable if you want to get an idea of what Eboracum was like.
The museum adeptly uses highly visual videos and interactive areas to make the experience more engaging, particularly for younger kids.... There's always something else to discover and try.... from learning how to tie knots to rowing in a Viking long boat..... and that was just within the Viking section!
They built this building in 1830 over the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey with the exhibits becoming more and more interactive and informative as you delve deeper into the museum.
If we had to sum it up, we reckon the Yorkshire Museum certainly packs in far more than it's exterior suggests... as it's a treasure trove of historical collections that could easily keep kids occupied for an afternoon!
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