Soo, the good people of Grand Central cut us the most amazing deal with return tickets to York so how could we not go? We’d toured the ‘lights’ and the Rail Museum just a couple of weeks ago and it had been suggested that the main museum near Cliffords Tower was worth a visit, so that’s the target for today.
The rolling stock of Grand Central may have a few miles on it but it’s way more spacious and comfortable than Virgin and much quicker than Trans-Pennine so we travel in luxury.
The walk from the station to the museum is about a mile if you chose the route that we take. We enjoy the walking as much as the arriving so deliberately take a circuitous route across Lendal Bridge and through Parliament Square through the square adjacent to the Jorvik Centre and on past Cliffords Tower.
The museum is £10 for entry which may be a bit of a surprise if you think all museums are free but that really is not an issue as we discover it really is great value for money.
I won’t go into detail but I can say the Victorian Street, Kirkgate, is fascinating and so well presented. Each of the shop units are subtly lit and the smells, atmosphere and attention to detail are exceptional.
We walk and reminisce. There’s a hansom cab and shops of every description along with a farriers workshop, prison cells and a chemist. As we walk around we hear children’s voices and initially, I think it is part of the sound effects but to everyone’s delight, they’re real! It’s a small group of infants, superbly behaved and a credit to their school as they excitedly search around the nooks and crannies with worksheets. We ascend some stairs and we’re in what looks like playrooms or bedrooms filled with toys of yesterday. Brilliant stuff.
We leave this wing and walk across the cafe area into the 1st World war exhibition and experience a huge array of different things from sniffing some old carbolic type soap to crawling through a trench. There’s an interesting room on exit which encourages everyone to express their thoughts on blackboards with chalk. There are inspirational words for all and given the subject area I’m pleased to report there is no abusive language.
On leaving this part of the exhibition we emerge into a yard area complete with stocks and gallows, an appropriate addendum to what was a prison.
There is a working water wheel down near the Foss and, on return, we enter another exhibition which is perfect for a bunch of 60 odd-year-olds, “The 60’s”.
If you’re ‘of an age’ you’ll love this. There’s anything from TVs with appropriate video running to a jukebox with nothing but 60’s songs and it works. We spend a fair amount of time in there and put a couple of Beatles records on together with Joni Mitchel. Just sublime.
We’re getting hungry now and pass through the prison at a canter as we head towards Wetherspoons for lunch.
Wetherspoons are having a Tuesday Steak day. You get a rump steak that covers the plate along with the trimmings and a pint all for eight quid.
We spend a very enjoyable hour or so discussing what we’ve seen then make out way back through the seasonal streets of York to the Railway Station and our good friends on Grand Central. The timing is brilliant, we have the same happy and enthusiastic crew that took us to York. They must have ricocheted off Kings Cross and picked us up for the return!
Distance walked is just a couple of miles. York is looking great and the museum is well worth a visit. Recommended. Enjoy the photos. G…x