Despite our day trips to London and Salisbury, our suitcases and backpacks had sat idle for 5 weeks, and we’d slept in the same beds lots of nights in a row. Since the students had a long travel weekend this past weekend, we decided to take advantage of it and travel as well. Thursday morning we headed by train up to York for a night. York is about 4 hours north and near the Eastern coast of England. We found it to be a quiet city with lovely sights.
About 40 years ago, archeologists discovered a complete Viking city under current-day York. We started the day at the Jorvik Viking Centre, which was (as the guidebooks had warned us) totally cheesy. And fun. We rode out time machines through Viking times complete animatronic people and “authentic” Viking smells. “Um, Dad, is that guy going to the bathroom?” “Yep.”
All those smells made us hungry (or maybe it was that we’d just brought along light snacks for lunch on the train), so we tried out Betty’s Tea Shop. A yummy dinner, and 4 macaroons later, we were full. (Unfortunately, I’m the only one who likes macaroons, so I had to eat them all by myself. It was rough.)
We walked through the old city to the Museum Gardens and the ruins of the abbey. It was stunning and the girls enjoyed the chance to run and play (and tackle each other).
The next morning, we had some time before our train to Edinburgh, so we took the opportunity to explore the city a little more. Near our hotel, was a small moor, which evoked scenes in my mind from The Secret Garden and Wuthering Heights, both set in Yorkshire, so we had to walk through it.
We didn’t see Heathcliff, Cathy or Dickon wandering the moors, so we walked through Micklegate Bar and along the old city walls to York Minster for a quick visit. We didn’t have a lot of time in the minster, so the girls and I got a learning backpack and did one of the kids trails, while Bill explored the gothic cathedral more in depth.
I really enjoyed the small town feel of York and the uncrowded streets, and would love to return for a longer visit someday.