York Weekend : Day 1

FAIIINT York weekend break. Micklegate bar. FAIIINT York weekend break. Shambles market and high street. FAIIINT York weekend break with Travelodge. Breakfast boxes.

FAIIINT York weekend break with Travelodge. View from window of Castle Museum mill and river.
A couple of weeks ago we spent a long weekend exploring the beautiful city of York. I hate to admit it, but I’ve not done much travelling around the UK and our cities here are pretty low or non-existent on my bucket list of places to visit. When I think of travelling, I think of exotic, far-flung places and of different cultures and better weather, but this little break has made me realise what a great shame that is. We have so much history, culture & heritage right here, a train ride away and I’ve never even given it the slightest thought. I definitely aim to change that with more weekends away in the future!

We were invited by Travelodge to spend the weekend in their York Central hotel, conveniently located just a short walk outside of the city centre, it was the perfect base. The room was as you’d expect, a good size, clean & basic with everything you’d need, plus they’ve recently upgraded to new king size beds in all of their rooms, so we both had a great few nights sleep. When we first checked in we were really surprised to see such a lovely view out of our window, we’d expected a car park or brick wall as is usually the case, but instead we had a picturesque mill, plus views of Castle Museum & Clifford’s Tower just across the river running right by the side of the hotel.

We had two York Pass‘s kindly arranged for us so we could make the most of exploring the city and what it had to offer, so after a quick check of the room & dumping our suitcases we headed off out. I couldn’t recommend these more if you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing like we did, it was so handy. You purchase a 1, 2 or 3 days pass & this gets you free entry into all of their top attractions, plus free tours and discount vouchers for restaurants and shops too.

 

Clifford’s Tower

FAIIINT York weekend break. Clifford's Tower, ruins of York Castle. FAIIINT York weekend break. Looking over the walls of Clifford's Tower. FAIIINT York weekend break. Model of what once was Clifford's Tower & York Castle. FAIIINT York weekend break. Panoramic views of York city centre & York Minster from the top of Clifford's Tower. FAIIINT York weekend.

Clifford’s Tower is almost all that remains of York Castle, first built in 1068 by William the Conqueror as a means to dominate the former Viking city. It was burned to the ground twice before being rebuilt by Henry III in 1243, over the years it played a crucial role in controlling Northern England. Being huge Game of Thrones nerds, we couldn’t stop joking that it felt like we were at Castle Black as we walked around, up in the North with the famous walls circling the tower! The panoramic views of the city, and cathedral from the top are worth the visit alone.

 

Yorkshire Museum

FAIIINT York weekend break. Yorkshire Museum gardens & ruins of St. Mary's Abbey. FAIIINT York weekend break. Yorkshire Museum Moa skeleton & Giant Deer skull and antlers. FAIIINT York weekend break. Yorkshire Museum Scottish Wildcat & Bird of Paradise taxidermy displays. FAIIINT York weekend break. Yorkshire Museum Thylacine Tasmanian Tiger skull. FAIIINT York weekend break. Yorkshire museum giant fossilised ichthyosaur skeleton display. FAIIINT York weekend break. Yorkshire Museum eagle taxidermy. FAIIINT York weekend break. Yorkshire Museum Anglian Gilling Sword & fractured skull of local who fought the Roman Army in The Battle of Stanwick. FAIIINT York weekend break. Yorkshire Museum viking silver jewellery, heavy collar from the Bedale Hoard. FAIIINT York weekend break. Yorkshire Museum human skeleton. FAIIINT York weekend break. Yorkshire Museum botanical gardens & ruins of St. Mary's Abbey.

Yorkshire Museum sits in some of the most beautiful botanical gardens, scattered with the remains of a Roman fortress and the Medieval ruins of St Mary’s Abbey, we were pretty sad that it kept raining, so we had to quickly dash inside the museum instead of having a proper walk around. The museum itself houses a great & varied collection of pieces, with everything from Roman statues, mosaics and pottery to Medieval stained glass and swords, rare books, skulls of locals smashed to pieces by the invading Roman Army, Viking jewellery and numerous fossils including a giant ichthyosaur skeleton. We spent a good few hours looking around, and I could have happily spent many more here too.

They also hold a really nice selection of taxidermy & specimens, especially of recently extinct species, with an impressive Moa skeleton, Dodo and two Great Auks amongst them. I got a little over excited to see they had a real Thylacine skull in the cabinet! Anatomy and evolution are things that have always fascinated me, and this creature has always seemed extra special and intriguing. It looked and behaved just like a canine, but it had evolved these striking similarities completely independently, it was a carnivorous marsupial with tiger stripes and a jaw that could open 120 degrees. It makes it all the more poignant that this unique creature was hunted to extinction, like a lot of others in this collection, with the last confirmed live animal dying in the 1930’s. It would get my vote if we ever have the technology to bring extinct species back!

On our way back to the hotel we joined the Ghost Trail ghost walk, as we were told we needed to do at least one of these whilst we were here. Honestly, I don’t believe in this kind of thing at all, but our guide was a lot of fun and clearly enjoys his job! It’s a nice way to take a short tour around some of the most historic places in the city centre that you may otherwise miss and learn a little more about them, plus lots of interesting facts along the way.

We were guests of Travelodge for this stay. As always, all opinions are honest and my own.

Filed under: Travel

9 Comments

  1. Posted 29.06.2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    ugh york is definitely one of my favourite towns :) Loving this xx

    dresses-and-travels //@susandollparts

  2. Posted 29.06.2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Loooove York, it’s definitely one of the best cities to visit in the UK I think. I went years ago, but I can remember some sort of church converted into a pub. Fabulous photos xx

  3. Posted 29.06.2015 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful photos!!! Ahhh clearly I need to get to York and revel in that Viking jewelry collection!

  4. Posted 30.06.2015 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    omg! this is my dream, i love the places like this! <3
    lovely pictures!

    Kisses,
    Flor.

  5. Posted 30.06.2015 at 2:01 am | Permalink
  6. Posted 30.06.2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    This looks so great! I love all the pictures of the tower and ruins. York looks very lovely!

  7. Posted 04.07.2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Wow, these snaps are incredible! What a beautiful city. I don’t believe in ghosts either but love a good ghost walk!

  8. vivien_noir
    Posted 08.07.2015 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I think I might want to add York to my travel bucket list! I’ve always wanted to visit the UK.
    May I ask… who is “we”?

    • Posted 09.07.2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      As I said, it’s never somewhere that was on my list either, but I would fully recommend it now & hope to go back soon! Such a beautiful place.
      ‘We’ is me & my boyfriend Ollie, who also does all the photos :)

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