We gave ourselves another day just to explore this lovely city, now that we have the official and obligatory tours and sights covered.
The weather was spectacular once more. Our adventures began with Viking York – known as Jorvik – at an excavation site cum Disney ride. The Vikings lived here in Jorvik from about 866 to 1066, when they got booted out. The discovery of a Viking ‘residential’ area has provided a number of artifacts, skeleltons, and the remains of buildings. We – along with lots of school children – enjoyed it a great deal.
So sorry we missed those Vikings – they seemed to have a real zest for living…and fighting…and pillaging.
We strolled through several house exhibits. One was Fairfax House, a beautifully restored Georgian home with an incredible furniture collection. No photos, but good memories of beautifully proportioned rooms, incredible ornate ceilings and very tasty wallpaper.
We also visited the York Castle Museum, which is not a castle, but a grand building near where the castle used to be. It has period rooms spanning several hundred years and a recreation of a York street during Victorian times with shops and businesses of every description. Must mention that York was a major confectionery center – and still a great place to find sweet shops, in case one is looking for cinder toffee or allsorts. Who suspected the Kit-Kat bar was invented here? Go know.
The rest of our time was spent soaking in modern-day York, which is just a wonderful combination of old and new, tourists and the indigenous folk, with all their Celtic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Norman blood. Quite special.
We capped this wild and crazy day with a luscious cream tea in the garden of the Grays Court Hotel, which is one of the only two residences that back onto the Roman wall – an absolutely perfect place to say our adieu to York. We must return!