Monday 14 July 2014

A Tuesday in York: Part II

After our wandering around the Shambles, we walked over to York Castle Museum, which I remembered from my previous visit to York as one I was particularly impressed with. 

The brick building houses a museum/exhibition which I was very much interested in, but we simply could not do all the interesting things and visit all the interesting places in York in one single day.

Coming up towards the Castle Museum, we met these geese with their little ones:

Clifford's Tower is just outside the museum, as you can see here. We climbed the steep stairs up to the very top (it looks like a tiny mole hill here, but believe me, it is rather high and steep), only to find that, once again, we were required to pay a substantial fee in order to get inside the walls. Couldn't they let us know that down at the bottom?! We were sure they lured people up to the top on purpose, calculating that once you'd mastered the steep steps, you'd be unwilling to climb back down without actually having been inside. Well, we were unwilling to comply with their calculation, left without having gone in, and went to the museum.

Among other things, a whole road from Victorian times has been recreated inside the museum, complete with shops, houses, carriages, a school room, and much more. Visit the museum's website to look at some of what we saw; I did not take any pictures inside. In Kirkgate, the Victorian street inside the museum, now even the time of day and weather change! The light and sounds are adapted to simulate evening, night, early morning (including bird song typical of that hour) and day, and we found ourselves in the middle of a thunderstorm - without getting wet!
Actors dressed in period costumes play the part of shopkeepers and residents, and one young man in particular seemed to be taking his role very seriously. It wouldn't have surprised me to find out that he actually lived in the museum all the time!

The Sixties exhibition was also very good. I kept thinking of how much my husband would have liked it; like me, he was born in 1968, which makes us too young to actively remember that decade, but a lot of what was new in the 60s was of course still around when we were children.

After the museum, we had lunch at a small café on Castle Gate and walked back into the centre, entered one or two shops and came across some more beautiful buildings (and a postbox - this one is for John/Scriptor Senex):


Our next stop was the Yorkshire Museum.

These ruins are in the museum's park, and the mini-castle-like building is at the entrance to the park.
The exhibition itself was certainly good, but we were probably having something like information overload by the time we went there; I'm afraid we did not do the museum justice, although we fully appreciate the beauty of the building itself.

Outside in the park on our way back into town, a group of people from some environment protection organization were showing these birds. I felt bad for the birds to be so on display, but they seemed to be calm enough and well looked after. Nobody was allowed to get too near to them.

We were ready for coffees and teas now, and stopped at a place called "Cocoa World" where everything they serve, as you have guessed by the name, has something to do with chocolate. Heaven!! :-)

Until that Tuesday in June, I had not been aware of how much chocolate history York has - and not just history, of course; there is lots going on at present. They even offer a chocolate-themed holiday! You can walk chocolate trails, visit chocolate factories and museums, participate in chocolate workshops, and read everything about York's links with the chocolate industry.

After our sumptuous choccy break at the café, we walked back across the bridge to the bus station. 

Ours was going to be the last bus back to Ripon on that day, and so we were very intent on catching it. However, the bus was late - very late! -, and we were already thinking of going over to the train station to find out when and how we could go back from there.
Eventually, the bus pulled up, much to the relief of everyone who had been waiting there with us, and chatting to us. It had been a great day out!


  1. The Castle Museums sounds very interesting!

  2. I like the red mailbox, so old-fashioned and pretty. It's funny about getting to the top and having to pay a fee, good for you that you didn't fall for it. These pictures are so beautiful to look at, as I Always say, they remind me of the English classics and the British way of life. So pretty. Here in Sicily the buildings don't really have any shape, they're square or rectangular. Although in Trapani the attractiveness of the building lies in the balconies. Most old buildings in Trapani belonged to barons, counts etc. so the entrances and balconies are really pretty. The baglios in the countryside are also characteristic, but otherwise, buildings are just simple and plain, and one or two floors high.

    1. Of course you like the mailbox, Francesca - è il tuo colore! :-)
      That's true what you say about the buildings in Sicily. In my ex-husband's small village, most buildings look pretty much the same, but people give them an individual touch by the colour of the wooden shutters, plants on their balconies etc.

  3. Oh I remember that museum well, could have spent the whole day there. I remember walking the walls at York too.

    1. During my first visit to York in 2003 or so, my husband and I also walked the walls. We walked along the canal with the canal boats, too, and went to the Railway Museum and the Jorvik Centre.

  4. It looks like you could spend almost a month there and still be learning new things about the area! Those are places i like to go see.

    1. That's true! I've been regularly coming to Yorkshire for 14 years now, and there is still loads I haven't seen.

  5. This all sounds like something that I would have truly enjoyed! All the walking and sights, the chocolate and the owls! Remember my post about AWARE, they have owls and other birds that they also display, but they do so only because the animals cannot be released back into the wild, usually because of an injury. I have no idea if that was the case with those owls that you saw, but it could be a possibility.
    (And I bet John would tell you that the Postbox is quite old, it is Victorian...I think that is right, it looks like a "V" entwined inside an "R"...Victoria Regina....but I am sure that you know that already!)
    YAY that Germany won the World Cup! :-)

    1. Yes, I spotted the "VR" on the postbox, which is why I took the picture. I've seen many more postboxes with "GR" and "ER" on them, so this one had to be posted for John.
      We did not ask the people who were with the birds, but you are probably right and those were ones that can not be released back into the wild.
      It was great fun watching the World Cup final over at my parents' with friends and family - and even greater when "we" won! :-)

    2. How kind of you! I still never fail to find it amazing that a piece of street furniture can be still there and still in use after 140+ years.

    3. I really like it when things are kept useful for a long time. The throw-away mentality of today's mobile phone industry (and many other things) is just not for me.