Earlier in the year I visited Yorkshire for the weekend, something that I always thought I’d need to take a week off work to do. Leaving on a Friday night, it took just over 4 hours to get to the hotel and it was an easy journey down.
The cheapest hotel I could find was called The Elmbank Hotel, I’m not usually fussed where I stay as we never spend that much time in the hotel room. The hotel was about a 15 – 20 minute walk to York’s city centre but there’s lots of shops and cafes on the way in so it wasn’t a boring walk.
The hotel is going through a refurb and I think we got one of the rooms still to be modernised. The room was very old fashioned and big chunks of the wallpaper were coming off and we could hear the neighbouring rooms flush their toilet. Despite having a Harry Potter style lounge and a cat, I probably wouldn’t book this hotel again.
What I Did
I started off the day with a ‘posh Yorkshire breakfast’ at Lucky Days cafe which meant I didn’t need to stop for lunch later. A Viking festival was on so there were hundreds of Vikings roaming York, it felt like there were more Vikings to average people!
This part of York certainly isn’t a shamble; it’s lots of lovely quaint buildings that are quite high and packed together. If you only take one picture in York, The Shambles is where you should take it. There are fudge and sweetie shops, and even a shop that had a large soft toy alpaca standing outside.
I learnt that The Shambles used to be just butcher shops and that the path outside used to run red with all the blood coming off the meat. The blood then used to run down into The Golden Fleece (York’s most haunted pub). Thankfully it’s not like that today.
National Rail Museum
This one was for my boyfriend, we’d both been separately years before but never together. As I’m not a massive train enthusiast, all I can say is that there are lots of trains! I found myself taking pictures of the old-fashioned branding rather than the trains! At the time we went, there was an exhibition about World War 2 and the trains being used as ambulances which I found really interesting as I’m weirdly fascinated by people’s lives especially during the war. You can ride on a steam train and there’s also a viewing platform to watch trains come and go at York’s station.
York Castle Museum
I was told that York Castle Museum had an old fashioned street like The Transport Museum in Glasgow. It cost to go in but because I’m under 25 I got a discount (yay for youth). It’s a funny layout this museum, you start by going through a display of toys from different eras then you end up in a Victorian street. This street was the best part of the museum; there was a sweet shop that actually sold sweets, lots of different old fashioned shops and rooms to explore. It’s 10x bigger and better than the street in Glasgow! There was also a Swinging Sixties exhibition and then you creepily entered York Castle Prison with criminals of the past telling you their stories in each cell.
I was recommended The Original Ghost Walk of York from someone who used to live there. Apparently, Morgan Freeman has been on the walk so I thought it must be good!
The walk started at The King’s Arms pub and we were led by Pat who reminded us of his name by patting his head – so it’s obviously helped me remember!
Pat was really funny, he moved around the massive group on the walk and was quite theatrical in his movements. His stories interconnected really well and I learnt so much about York. Usually, on walks like this I often find myself zoning out but with Pat every story was interesting.
York is home to good old Terry’s who make Chocolate Oranges so you should at least go to say thanks to the legend, Sir Joseph Terry.