Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

York has always been one of my favourite places to visit both when I was still living in Yorkshire and nowadays on visits back home. With its rich tapestry of history, wonderful old cobbled streets, alleyways, the imposing Gothic minster not to mention the numerous little curiosity shops plus cafes and restaurants galore – suffice to say you’re spoilt for choice (see here for an earlier visit).

York Minster

Street leading up to the imposing Gothic York Minster

However on last month’s trip, there was only enough time to fit in a quick afternoon visit one day with my dad. With the bottleneck and one way systems in the centre of town we always use the Park and Ride and take the bus into the city centre. Getting off at Lendal Bridge there are attractive walks in all directions. We could have gone down to the River Ouse via the Museum Gardens or taken a tour along the city walls.

We were, however, making for Coppergate and the famous Jorvik Viking Centre which we discovered had recently reopened (courtesy of the advertising poster at the bus stop!) following extensive damage in the York floods of 2015. It’s about a 10 minute walk from Lendal Bridge and we skirted round the Minster, Deanery Gardens and the pretty Treasurer’s House nearby en route to the museum.

York’s history has always fascinated me – I can well understand why ghost tours are a popular attraction as there must be plenty haunting the old streets and buildings!

York has its origins as a Roman fortress town (becoming known as Eboracum at this time) and later as a trading city during the Viking period and middle ages. In the 1970s workmen came across some historical artefacts quite by chance during renovation works in Coppergate. This discovery turned out to be of major archaeological significance as over the course of the next few years the 10th century Viking city of Jorvik was unearthed. It led to a rethink of the Vikings’ links to the north of England as they had actually formed a thriving settlement here. Jorvik proved that they lived and traded extensively from this base rather than simply plundering and pillaging and disappearing back to their Scandinavian homelands.

The revamped Jorvik is an amazing experience. The famous interactive ride takes you through a re-enactment of the bustling town as it would have been in AD 960. Β The last Viking King in Jorvik, Eric Bloodaxe, had been banished and the city was once again a flourishing manufacturing and trading centre. It was also a cultural melting pot with Scandinavians, Anglo Saxons, Irish and peoples from far away in the East coming to and fro to trade. The animatronic figures are very life-like and the homes, furnishings, markets and animals (down to the rats!) have been recreated complete with the sounds and smells of the ancient town. The time travel ride (with commentary in many languages) takes about 16 minutes. You really feel you could be in the old town – it’s a great interactive way for people of all ages to enjoy history. The lighting was not conducive to taking too many photos inside so you’ll have to imagine the experience!

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Jorvik Museum

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Coppergate Outside Jorvik

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Museum Exhibits

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Jorvik Museum

After the ride you can explore the museum exhibits in more detail including seeing some of the skeletons that have literally been unearthed. The gift shop, as always, is one of my favourite places to browse round, with a large range of books, jewellery, china, trinkets and toys – there is something for everyone here!

Wandering round museums is always thirsty work and we had just enough time to stop off for afternoon tea at one of our favourite cafes, Bailey’s Tearooms, before heading off back home!

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Bailey’s Tearooms Looking Out

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Bailey’s Tearooms Inside

 

Copyright Β© 2017 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

32 thoughts on “Exploring York and Viking Tales!

  1. A vivid description with stunning pictures 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks it’s a great place to visit! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gilda Baxter says:

    Rosemary, I have never been to York although have passed it many times on my way to Scotland. Next time I must stop to explore, sounds like it has a lot to offer. You managed to get some nice blue skies for you lovely pictures πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We were very lucky with the weather last month Gilda – it was brisk and quite cool but sunny and clear skies. York is a fascinating place – well worth exploring it has so much to offer! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. York is a city that I never tire of. I usually head first for the National Railway Museum. I didn’t realise that the Jorvik Centre had been reopened.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it only reopended in April. The ride is improved and updated in light of more recent research. They’ve added spoken languages to the figures that you encounter on the interactive ride as they now realise Jorvik was far more multi cultural and cosmopolitan than previously thought. Have always enjoyed outings to the National Railway Museum too – I never get tired of York either!

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      1. I must get back and take my grandchildren to Jorvik!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Am sure they would love it especially the time travel ride!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Heyjude says:

    Ah, York is one of my favourites too. Though I wasn’t awfully impressed on my one and only visit to Jorvik Museum. It was expensive I felt for the short tour and very smelly πŸ™‚ My favourite museum was the one where they recreated a Victorian street with shops etc. The Castle Museum?

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    1. Yes that would be the Castle Museum Jude – it’s a really good museum. My favourite part was the reconstruction of a Victorian street with all the shops. Have been a few times and always love that bit! I do agree the Jorvik ride was always rather smelly though I think that was to create a realistic impression of life back in the day! However the smell didn’t seem as strong on the last visit so am wondering if they have toned it down a bit! The ticket is valid for another visit within 12 months so I gave mine to my dad – maybe my nephew can us it πŸ™‚

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      1. Heyjude says:

        I think I fell in love with the Victorian street when I was a child. I took my kids to see it too and they also loved it. My grandchildren on the other hand loved the Victorian town at Ironbridge. Not sure they have been to the York museum, but I think they have been to Jorvik.

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        1. Yes I remember loving that Victorian street as a child too Jude – it has timeless appeal πŸ™‚

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  5. kayrpea61 says:

    Loved York when we visited in 1999, especially the walk around the wall, and Yorvik. Can’t help wondering if you were in York the same week I visited Lincoln for a day LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Were you over last month too Ken? In which case maybe yes! Lincoln isn’t a place I know too well – just used to skirt through the county en route to East Anglia where my grandmother lived!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kayrpea61 says:

        Inspired by Michael Portillo’s train journeys, and a friend having sung at Lincoln Cathedral, I made a dash from London for the day. Spent the whole 6 hours at the castle/cathedral precinct, ending with Evensong at the latter. Very impressive!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sounds a wonderful day trip Ken! I love Michael Portillo’s journeys – we must have the Lincoln one on DVD since I have most of them but we have tended to watch the Continental ones mainly. I must look out the Lincoln one! πŸ™‚

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          1. kayrpea61 says:

            It is the love of train travel to which I referred, rather than MP’s visit to Lincoln specifically. It was really neat to find, on leaving the fast train at Newark New Gate, the connecting train to Lincoln was comprised of a single carriage! (& yes, it was mid May)

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Apparently he went through Lincoln in series 8 – Gainsborough to Ely have just looked it up! Yes train travel is the best – it is very quick to get to Newark from London (it’s on the main line up north to Leeds and York which I know very well). In fact you can get to York from London Kings Cross in as little as 1 hour 50 minutes depending on the train so can easily do that as a day trip too!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. kayrpea61 says:

            My train from Kings Cross was going on to York & Newcastle. Very speedy indeed, Rosemary. Yes, we have had that episode of Portillo, quite recently too on SBS

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yes those fast trains cover a lot of ground! I occasionally catch the Portillo series on SBS when I happen to tune in at the right time!

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  6. A most beautiful place! Thanks for great photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome – York is a wonderful place so much history and a modern and vibrant city too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. restlessjo says:

    Looks like they’ve done a good job with the Jorvik, Rosemay. It’s a good few years since I was there and a revamp was probably a good idea, though they could have done without those horrendous floods. My son is going to be working in York from the end of this month. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ll have plenty of reasons to go to York then Jo! It’s a pity that the revamp had to happen with the floods, which as you say were horrendous. The revamp has been well worth it though – it’s been updated to reflect more recent research and the ride is now a few minutes longer than before πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. KerryCan says:

    You describe this so well–it makes me want to go immediately! I will add it to my list–Yorkshire sounds very appealing overall!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kerry – am glad you enjoyed the tour and description! Can highly recommend York as a travel destination πŸ™‚

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  9. Neha says:

    Simply amazing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – glad you enjoyed the post πŸ™‚

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  10. I love York too Rosemary, could never tire of it. Your pictures are gorgeous and really show off those wonderful streets and old buildings. My husband and I visited Jorvik years ago when it first opened. It’s been on my list to go back and revisit with our son so great to read about the updates and what it is like now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy πŸ™‚ I reckon the update has really improved things although I have always loved Jorvik from the early days. I think your son would love it too – the ride is quite an experience. Plus there are some other things on offer such as having coins minted (though obviously you have to pay extra for that). I always love the gift shop too. I do think it would get very crowded during holidays though but they seem to have got things well organised. York as a whole has such a wonderful character and I always love a visit there! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for taking me back to my school days when we did a tour of York and the Viking centre. I learned more from you however as I was a sullen teen then! Hope you and yours are all well

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ting! Yes I know it’s funny when you’re younger – we just don’t appreciate things as much then! York is a wonderful place – if you follow the link in my recent post there’re some more photos from a past visit. There is so much to see and do here without even going to the Viking Centre! The shops are well worth a browse too and plenty of cafes and eateries for refreshments! Yes family all well thanks and hope yours are too πŸ™‚

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