York Castle Museum

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The York Castle museum is known as one of the best museums in the UK and in my opinion it certainly lives up to it's reputation.

The museum is situated in York city centre, close to other attractions such as Cliffords Tower and the Coppergate Shopping Area as well as The Shambles.

There is car parking almost opposite the museum in the Castle Car Park, we chose to take a taxi from our city centre hotel.

Entry to the museum costs £8.60 per person but this entitles you to visit the museum as many times as you wish over a period of a year. If you upgrade to £10 this adds in the Yorkshire Museum, York, which again can be visited as many times as you wish for a year.

There are thousands of items exhibited throughout the museum (so allow plenty of time) in its two buildings North and South Building, which are linked together. The Reception Area, Gift Shop and Café are housed in the area which links both buildings.

The North building has a brilliant exhibition which illustrates so well Victorian life from cradle to the grave. Everything imaginable is displayed often in full room displays.

The exhibition I enjoyed the most was the Kirkgate Victorian Street exhibition. Kirkgate is a complete full size replica of a Victorian street with street lighting, sounds and smells of that time. A great mix of full size Victorian shops are there for people to visit..

The North building also has an art gallery to visit.

The South Building shows the prison with all its cells and a large exhibition of crime and punishment. Once through this area, walk on and you will find a 1960's exhibition, which is quite extensive showing everything from juke boxes, books, records, motor scooters, to name just a few. This exhibition triggered memories of my childhood in the 1960s!.

There is seating in both the north and south buildings, where people can stop, rest and take in the exhibits which I did appreciate. . The lifts are wheelchair accessible.

I think it is worth pointing out that in the prison area of the South building it is quite dark (although there is lighting) and the stone flooring is a bit uneven. I have a walking stick and I managed reasonably well, but for those with poor mobility extra care would need to be taken in this area.

There is a well stocked gift shop and a café both close to the entrance. The café overlooks a grassy area towards Cliffords Tower.

We spent two and a half hours in the museum, we could have spent a lot longer. We definitely will return to this fascinating museum.

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