York Castle Museum

1032 Reviews

Star Travel Rating

3/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Date of travel

November, 2018

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

Reasons for trip

We were on the doorstep of the “York Castle Museum”:https://www.yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk/ when it opened at 9.30am. We paid our £11 (plus a £1 donation, “we do have charitable status you know”), gave our details for gift aid and in return received one of those horrible all-inclusive hotel style wrist bands. Presumably this is because the café and shop on the ground floor is free for all and you could then just wander into the museum which is on either side of it. The entrance fee lasts for a year.

We were advised to start on the left-hand side with its timeline about the development of York as a city and the history to the museum which was started by a Doctor Kirk who, when patients couldn’t afford his fees, he accepted objects in lieu of payment. This eclectic display was then given to the museum in 1938.

At the time of our visit, there was a Victorian Christmas theme where the Period Rooms were beautifully decorated in traditional festive style.

One of the major attractions is Kirkgate, a recreated Victorian street which is probably the most iconic part of the museum with cobbled street, lots of shops, schoolroom, police cell, Hansom cab and horse. I remember vividly this horse from visiting the museum around 50 years ago – obviously the horse seemed huge at the time. The shops contained lots of trade you’d not see on the high street now e.g. taxidermists, saddle makers, gunsmiths, and maker of scientific instruments.

There was also special exhibitions including the personal shoes of the designer Vivienne Westwood which had some weird and wonderful creations with vertiginous heels and platforms.

Shaping the Body: 400 Years of Fashion, Food and Life displayed costumes through the ages. There was also an interesting display of how nationalities decorate their bodies through tattoos, dress, scarring or other mutilations such as the Ethiopian ladies with lip rings.

The second wing was given over to a display of the first world war – 1914 When the world changed forever. A volunteer was guarding a display of medals, when I asked whether this was a temporary exhibition to commemorate the centenary, he confessed he didn’t know as he was in his first half hour as a volunteer!

An 1960s exhibition featured music, culture and dress of the times before we were led out through the prison yard (the museum is situated in the former prison) and then through the former cells.

There is something for everyone and although we only spent 2.5 hours in the museum, it would be possible to spend much longer although I’d suggest splitting up the trip over two days.

Helen Jackson

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.