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Best places to see in York

Hi all,

I will be in York for 3 full days in May 2015. I am interested in everyone's thoughts on must see and must avoid things.

Thanks!
Virginia

Posted by
149 posts

Hi Virginia. In spring 2012, my wife and I spent two nights in York. To this day, I am perplexed as to why RS rates the York Castle Museum so highly. Within minutes of purchasing our tickets, we knew it was a mistake. Maybe someone else can explain the attraction. We enjoyed walking the wall, Clifford Tower, and the Yorkshire Museum along with its gardens. We rented a car and visited Rievaulx Abbey (which I enjoyed more than the Glastonbury Abbey) and Helmsly Castle.

Posted by
4637 posts

Highlights of our trip to York was York-Minster Cathedral, Railroad Museum, Shambles.

Posted by
3811 posts

York Minster, The Shambles and the Jorvik Viking Museum.

Posted by
203 posts

Thanks so much for all of your comments!! My husband and I are really SYCHED about the Railroad Museum and the Minster!

I was planning on going to the York Castle Museum, particularly for it's '1914: When the World Changed Forever' and 'Victorian Street' exhibits. What particularly did you not like about this? It sounds like a ticket to this includes a ticket to the YorkShire museum. Was the 'Roman York' exhibit at the Yorkshire museum when you were there?

Also, I'm interested and more than a little curious about the Shambles.....I don't quite understand what this is.

We are considering driving out into the Yorkshire Dales......Has anyone been to Thirsk?

Posted by
4148 posts

Of course , everything mentioned above , BUT , The National Railway Museum is truly an underrated gem . This place is about a great deal more than trains - it illustrates how modern industrial technology massively changed Britain , and the entire world . Being a train buff certainly doesn't hurt , but it goes much deeper . On two visits to York , I spent two full days there even though on the second visit , I had only planned to go for the morning - Well , you know , the best laid plans ......

Posted by
203 posts

Thanks, Emma for telling me about the Shambles. Sounds like something my husband and I would enjoy seeing.

Steven, I am getting the impression that this Railway Museum IS alot more than just something about trains. I am also intrigued by the fact that it sounds like there are all sorts of tours and talks by knowledgeable people. The Station Hall, Turntable, Winding engine, and warehouse tours all sound so interesting!! I'm looking forward to seeing the royal carriages too.

Is the Railway Museum really free? Hard to believe.

Posted by
4148 posts

Virginia , Yes , the museum does not have a mandatory entry fee , but they are appreciative of voluntary contributions and any donation is welcome , For us , our sentiments are that such an institution serves an important educational function and as a result , We would feel like freeloaders if we did not make a contribution . For us , a contribution of ten pounds each seemed reasonable , but again this is purely a matter of subjective judgment . One other emphasis , allow plenty of time for the Minster , and particularly pay attention to the massive restoration of the stonework on the South face of the building to the East of the transept . The Mason's Lodge is set up there , and you can see them cutting and carving new replacement stones for the job . The craftsmanship ( and craftswomanship , there are several distaff members of the team ) is impeccable , all the stone work being ENTIRELY executed by hand - I stood there , my mouth agape , for nearly an hour until my wife pulled me away

Posted by
4148 posts

Virginia , Before you go , watch this wonderful travel essay by the great Python , Michael Palin , entitled " Confessions of a Trainspotter " , From the late seventies , part of a BBC series , this more than speaks for itself . It was , for me , the singular thing that originally propelled me to the railway museum - http://youtu.be/mYi1qLUAJJI

Posted by
14161 posts

Altho I have not been to York in many years, I loved going to the Castle Museum and did really like the Victorian Street display. I see from their website that it has been redone and reopened in 2012 and as I went many years ago my view is not of the current exhibit. I do, however, enjoy detailed displays and enjoy looking in old shop windows. This certainly is not everyone's idea of an interesting time.

Posted by
203 posts

Hi Steven,

Thanks for your comments. My husband and I feel just like you......that an important institution like the Railway Museum deserves to be supported, and we will certainly donate something. I was just surprised that there was not an entry fee.

Thanks also for telling me about the restoration of the stonework at the Minster. I have read about the restoration of some of the stained glass, and it sounds like there is a very interesting exhibit about this. I think they call the exhibit 'The Orb'. We are also interested in seeing what I believe is called the 'Undercroft', which shows the history of this site. It sounds like there are some rather interesting interactive and audio visual displays which add a great deal to one's knowledge about the minster and the site upon which it is built. We will certainly check out the stonework restoration project.

Many Thanks!
Virginia

Posted by
203 posts

Hi Pam,

Thank you so much for this travel essay information!

My husband and I look forward to watching it. We love railroads....there is a very large and extensive museum in Sacramento, CA, close to where we used to live, that we visited many times before moving to Austin, TX.

Appreciate it!
Virginia

Posted by
203 posts

Regarding my reply:
'

Hi Pam,
Thank you so much for this travel essay information!
My husband and I look forward to watching it. We love railroads....there is a very large and extensive museum in Sacramento, CA, close to where we used to live, that we visited many times before moving to Austin, TX.
Appreciate it!
Virginia
'

Sorry, Steven, I got the replies mixed up. Thank YOU for telling us about this travel essay!! We will watch it this afternoon.

Regards,
Virginia

Posted by
203 posts

Hi Pam,

I too enjoy very detailed displays, and both my husband and I enjoy looking in old shopwindows.

I believe a ticket to the Castle Museum includes admission to the Yorkshire museum, so I believe we will go to the Castle Museum, and if it is not really to our liking we can (and probably will anyway) head over to the Yorkshire museum.

Thanks!
Virginia

Posted by
14161 posts

Virginia, that sounds like a good plan to me! I always give myself permission to bail on a museum/activity if it is not to my liking. I'd love to know how you like it! York is popping up in my mind for a possibility of a Fall visit.

Posted by
8889 posts

What, only one short mention of the walls (see here)! and no mention of the city gates (or 'bars' as they call them locally) (see here and here).

You can't miss the walls, it is right in front of you as you step out of the station. The lower level of stones are original Roman, the upper layer medieval. You can walk along them, and imagine watching the enemy approaching the city. To me the seeing the walls plus the Minster makes it possible to imagine what a medieval city really was like.

Posted by
203 posts

Thanks Chris for mentioning the walls. As I read more and more about York it sounds like walking the walls sounds like definitely something to do.