I love Chocolate and I enjoy history, so York’s Chocolate Story, located in the city centre was somewhere I wanted to visit during a recent trip to York!
Visiting York’s Chocolate Story is by guided tour only. Tours run throughout the day. We paid the senior citizens rate of £9.50 each. Standard Adult rate is £10.50, there are reductions for children, family tickets, and further reductions if you buy online in advance.
The tour is accessed from the same entrance as the café and gift shop. Staff are at the entrance to explain when the next tour is taking place. Those taking the tour queue in the entrance corridor (which leads to the café). It is a bit narrow here and can get a bit congested. Stools line the corridor but they were to high for me to climb on to, so we waited in the café area where the seating was more accessible. Fifteen minutes later our tour commenced.
The tour is over three floors, there is lift access, the lifts are wide and spacious, but a lot of people were crowded into the lift, for anyone who is a bit claustrophobic in lifts, or doesn’t like sharing lifts with lots of other people it is best to explain this, so you can use the lift with less people in it. For those without any mobility problems there are stairs.
Our guide took us on a journey from the beginnings of chocolate to what it is today, during which the importance of chocolate to the city of York was illustrated. Our guide showed us how chocolate helped shape the city of York and about York’s famous chocolate families.
Information was received using all our senses – we listened to chocolate snap, to illustrate the type of chocolate. We felt chocolate to learn of the different qualities identified through texture, we tasted chocolate, we looked at chocolate and we were encouraged to participate in the discussions, and chocolate making – we ended up with very special highly decorated chocolate lollipops which we had created!. We saw films, enjoyed entertaining talks. Posters, maps, photographs, objects, memorabilia were all explained to us as we went from room to room and floor to floor. The constant aroma of chocolate and the tasting sessions ensured we all felt uplifted!. As I have arthritis, I was pleased to be able to get a seat in each room, this meant my one hour plus tour was comfortable. There was only two seats in each room. Our guide ensured I got a seat in each room, along with another person using a walking stick. Had more seats been required I am sure she would have got them for us. I found our guide helpful, she also gave an interesting talk.
The exit to the tour led us straight into the gift shop where chocolate gifts are in abundance, we noticed they were not just from York but from around other regions of the UK too. The gift area leads to the café (although we waited in the café for our tour we did not eat in it), and then out to the bustling street outside.
Accessibility. There are drop off points outside the venue and level access to where the tour starts, from which there is lift access throughout the tour. There is sufficient space throughout the tour for wheelchairs. As stated I only noticed two seats per room throughout the tour (apart from in the cinema area where there were more) so my tip would be to ask for seating if you need it.). The W.C’s are ground floor, I did think they were a bit cramped, with not much room to move around, but I was told they did have a disabled W.C. although I did not see it.
Nearby. York’s Chocolate Story on Kings Square, adjoins The Shambles – York’s meandering medieval streets with their overhanging timber framed buildings, some dating back to the 14th century. The Shambles are known as one of the best preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe and are certainly worth a visit (see my separate review on The Shambles.) Behind The Shambles is the daily Shambles open air market. For those wanting a more modern shopping experience, then the Coppergate Shopping Centre is nearby as is many of York’s attractions.