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York offer some great value activities for children and families, but which ones top the list? Find out here?

York offer some great value activities for children and families, but which ones top the list? Find out here?

Having visited Yorkshire for over a month, we’ve gained lots of first hand experiences we thought we’d share with anyone else heading this way soon. Find all you need to know to plan a visit to York with kids in tow: the best attractions, parking advice and some tips where to find the best food. So in a city with plenty of great value activities for children and families, which ones top the list. Find out below?

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Our girls absolutely loved the Caribbean spirit not to mention the chance to try Caribbean classics such as jerk BBQ or curried beef cheeks with coconut rice and peas. All surrounded by a restaurant that resembles a colourful shack with graffiti-laden walls, reggae beats, copious amounts of Limeade and Red Stripe, and great passion pie to finish!

Have you visited any of these Yorkshire family friendly days out?

We’d never really seen the variety that York has to offer so spending a full month in York seemed to good an opportunity to miss!! Before this month, we’d no idea on the best way to visit York with kids but in each blog post below, we share practical tips for a trip to York with children (or by motorhome) and offer reviews of over 30+ family attractions within and outside of York.


​* denotes York Pass Attractions

Getting into and around York…. How does it fare in a motorhome?

Having now visited over 50+ European Cities on our two year European Roadtrip, we’re accustomed to hopping into and out of cities… So how does York fare on that front?

We’ve visited York often, on average twice a year by car, and each time we make the point of bringing the children sightseeing: we’ve trodden the cobbled streets of the famous Shambles and delved into the depths of the Jorvik Centre. It’s easy to use the city wide Park’n’Ride system and it’s relatively cheap return ticket too (£5.80 for our family). It even has a ‘live feed’ for each bus that allows you to plan your journey to the minute!!!

However motorhome access is just as easy, with motorhome specific parking (further city-wide parking information here).  at the Monks Cross; Grimston Bar; Designer Outlet and Rawcliffe Bar Park and Rides. There are plenty of places for motorhomes to park up closer to the centre including near the racetrack on Knavesmire Rd or Foss Island Road (YO31 7UP).  There are also a variety of campsites either close to the centre or in easily reachable areas close to the outside Park’n’ Ride.

Popular campsites include Sheriff Hutton Camping & Caravanning Club, York Rowntree Caravan Club, Grantchester & York Caravan Park,….. But for more in detail information, please click here

so which of York’s attractions were the best for families…?

We’ve been surprised (and impressed) with the quality of almost all of the attractions across York as they seem to have plenty of :-

  • Experienced, knowledgeable guides
  • A very child-friendly attitude: the kids are at the centre of the experience at all times
  • Carefully crafted itineraries that would interest kids as well as adults
  • Interactive displays
  • Frequent, well thought out stops during each attraction
The ‘Capital of the North’ may be stuffed full of historical, classical treasures, but York also has plenty to intrigue kids too… but none more so than the impressive archaeological DIG attraction, captivating Jorvik Centre or historic Henry VII/Richard III Experiences!
Nowhere in northern England says ‘medieval’ quite like York with its  medieval spider’s web of narrow streets… So you could do fare worse than spend an afternoon seeing this from the magnificent circuit of 13th-century walls…. but if you really want to make the most of this city, it’s well worth getting hold of the excellent value  York Family Passes (3 day family ticket costs £200)

Using the York Pass, you’ll find instant hits like York’s Chocolate Experience or the interesting Castle Museum.

LifeinourVan Top tip

But travel further afield and you can find fantastic learning opportunities like The Deep, Eden Camp or Fountains Abbey!!!

LifeinourVan Top tip

Considering places to eat in? …. where should you head…?

For those who’ve followed our journeys across the last 2 years, you’ll know the girls loved experimenting with new foods. Having visited over 35 countries in Europe, we’ve loved showing the girls everything from Portugal’s ‘Pastel de Nata‘ to our fresh fish meal on our Croatian Scuba Adventure or a rural Hungarian ‘Goulash‘….. so where better to relive those memories than Swinegate’s ‘Turtle Bay‘….. A colourful taste of the Caribbean with uber-friendly staff!!
Our girls absolutely loved the Caribbean spirit not to mention the chance to try Caribbean classics such as jerk BBQ or curried beef cheeks with coconut rice and peas. All surrounded by a restaurant that resembles a colourful shack with graffiti-laden walls, reggae beats, copious amounts of Limeade and Red Stripe, and great passion pie to finish!
If you fancy another ‘food adventure’ and have rumbling tummies …. why not grab the chance to taste Las Iguanas’ authentic South American food! Full of vibrant tastes from Argentina through to Mexico… 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!!!!
Or if you’re looking for somewhere more traditional, you could make them vey happy if you headed to ‘Joe’s Kitchen‘…. Just imagine a dinner packed full of board games and tasty food…… all in the very centre of York’s bustling city centre.

Lifeinourvan | York, England – the verdict

We’ve found Yorkshire to be literally dripping with historical significance, so visits to cities like York are a crucial part of our roadschooling adventure across Europe. Taking a different approach to most, we’re bringing history to life by taking them to places like the WW1 battlefields or the iconic Berlin Wall….. so hat’s off to York for a great variety of learning options (both inside and outside the city) . Plus you’ll find plenty of fun attractions that make it the perfect place to grab a relaxing family city break in the UK.

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About The Author

Richard

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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