We (my wife and I and two young adult children) are driving into York (from Edinburgh) on a Monday in late May, stopping to see Alnwick Castle along the way (maybe a quick-ish stop at Holy Island - just to see the Priory if tides serve and time allows). I thought about Bamburgh Castle instead of Alnwick, but it sounds like Alnwick has more to offer (particularly to kids raised on Harry Potter, but now young adults).
We'll have dinner in York that night and spend the first of three nights in our lodgings there.
We then have two full days to spend in York (and/or surrounding areas). Suggestions? I know I want to see the minster in York along with the Jorvick Viking Center, the city walls and the Castle Museum. We were planning to ditch the rental car at the train station on the night of our arrival, but we could keep it one more day if it is worthwhile to drive out into the surrounding area (Durham? Hadrian's Wall? Castle Howard? Other?).
The national railway museum isn't really my thing (though my family may want to go). It sounds like the Shambles may be a nice people-watching spot.
We'll leave the morning after the third night on a train for London.
Other thoughts? Recommendations for restaurants? Somehow it seems apropos to have roast beef with Yorkshire pudding sometime while we're there.