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Advice - spending a day in York with 11 / 12 year olds

United States
Level Contributor
153 posts
Advice - spending a day in York with 11 / 12 year olds

Hi there - we are traveling from the US and will spend a day in York (August)... I would love some guidance on the following:

1. Which is better - Castle Museum, or Jorvik Viking Centre? Or should we do both?

2. We also plan to walk the walls, visit York Minster, Shambles, & Railway Museum

3. Did I miss anything off the list? Would you substitute something else instead of what I listed?

4. Any suggestions on good books for 11/12 year old children to read before we go to York, so they can learn about the Vikings in advance of visiting?

I know we're trying to fit a lot into our day, but we're early starters and try to take full advantage of being somewhere :-)

Thanks in advance!

Karin

12 replies to this topic
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3,607 posts
13 reviews
1. Re: Advice - spending a day in York with 11 / 12 year olds

Jorvik Viking Centre? is a wonderful place for children but does not take all day well worth going to

just to throw something else in the mix a fabulous place the railway museum

https://www.railwaymuseum.org.uk/

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3,607 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: Advice - spending a day in York with 11 / 12 year olds

Oh sorry see you are going to the railway museum have a great time loved my stay in York :)

United States
Level Contributor
153 posts
3. Re: Advice - spending a day in York with 11 / 12 year olds

Thanks so much for the note... did you by chance also visit the Castle Museum? I didn't know if one was better than the other, or whether should do both (Viking and Castle museums)...

North York Moors...
Level Contributor
276 posts
51 reviews
4. Re: Advice - spending a day in York with 11 / 12 year olds

DK Eyewitness books are good. This is in the UK but you should be able to find it in the States:

https:/…9781405373302-viking

In addition kids love the horrible histories:

https:/…9781407163864

Kent, UK
Level Contributor
7,735 posts
11 reviews
5. Re: Advice - spending a day in York with 11 / 12 year olds

The Castle Museum and Jorvik are chalk and cheese. Bear in mind that, despite the name, the Caslte Museum has nothing to do with castles, it is a folk museum with also a bit about the 60s, an ongoing WWI exhibition, and the old prison cells. It's quite big so expect to spend quite a while in there.

You might also consider the Yorkshire Museum, which has lots of Roman related artefacts (plus a section where some "Romans" talk to you and tell you about their life), and a Medieval exhibition on atm, plus some stuff about dinosaurs and the like.

Edited: 17 June 2018, 01:35
Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
1,744 posts
1 review
6. Re: Advice - spending a day in York with 11 / 12 year olds

As a "normal museum", the Yorkshire Museum is superb - Roman, Saxon, Viking and medieval things, and all refurbished a few years ago so it's nice to walk around. I seem to remember there were some hands on things, but was pushing a sleeping toddler last time I went so didn't pay too much attention.

I would probably do the Viking Centre, the Railway Museum and one of the Yorkshire or Castle museums if you have time.

Oh, and make them go into York Minster even if they say it sounds boring. It's the largest Gothic cathedral in western Europe, and you can climb the tower for great views on a clear day.

They might also enjoy the York Chocolate Story (I've never been personally), and if they like chocolate they will LOVE the hot chocolate menu at York Cocoa House.

There - you now have way too much for one day ☺

Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
1,744 posts
1 review
7. Re: Advice - spending a day in York with 11 / 12 year olds

P.S. if you happen to be passing the Shambles then, sure, have a look, but don't write it into your plan. It's just a short street with some shops, and you don't see anything that you can't see on Google Images. You'll see plenty of old streets and old buildings while walking around!

P.P.S. As you will in Chester, which I see you're also visiting!

Edited: 17 June 2018, 02:50
Kent, UK
Level Contributor
7,735 posts
11 reviews
8. Re: Advice - spending a day in York with 11 / 12 year olds

How could anyone visit York, and not take a walk down the Shambles? If you only view on GSV why bother goring anywhere at all? Might has well stay at home and view the world from a PC screen.

Netanya, Israel
Level Contributor
13,241 posts
29 reviews
9. Re: Advice - spending a day in York with 11 / 12 year olds

Jorvik shouldn't be missed. It'll take an hour or so only. It's an only attraction in York worth booking in advance.

Train Museum is very big. If your children are interested in trains, it's well worth visiting.

Castle Museum is really special. The Victorian Street part, and WWI exhibition are most memorable.

Yorkshire Museum - IMHO is too "dry" and boring. Nothing really special about it.

York Cat Trail is a real hit with children. You pick up a free Cat Trail map from the store on Shambles, and you walk the streets of medieval York, searching for the cat figures.

Do not miss Milkshack - it's a milkshake shop with a huge variety of milkshakes.

You probably won't have time for the Afternoon Tea at Betty's on St Helene's Square, but at least purchase a few Fat Rascal cookies. Your children will love them for sure.

If your guys like Fish&Chips - Mr Chippy is good, and their children menu is alright too.

Hope it helped.

Yuri.

United States
Level Contributor
153 posts
10. Re: Advice - spending a day in York with 11 / 12 year olds

I LOVE all these ideas and suggestions... thank you so much!!! I literally cannot wait to go... it's been 20 years since I was in York, and I'm already counting down the days - thank you so much for all the local insight :-)

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