York is perhaps our favorite city in England. And with much of the historic center reserved for pedestrians, it doesn't seem like a big modern city. If you are looking for a place that is quintessentially historic England, you must visit York. Lots of people visit England and they don't travel much further north than London. I have also seen people suggest stopping for a few hours in York on the northern route to Scotland. In my opinion, that doesn't do York justice at all. If this is your first visit, stay at least one night to fully explore York!
If you are looking for a place to teach your children about York vikings and much more, York is the perfect destination. There are so many attractions that teach history in a fun, engaging, and interactive way. Leaving children and adults alike thirsty for more.
The Romans founded York in AD 71. The emperor's Adriano, Septimio Severo, and Constanza I celebrated the court in York during their diverse campaigns. York is a city steeped in history. Founded by the Romans, invaded by the Vikings, Norman William the Conqueror marched on York in 1068. If you want to learn your British history, the medieval streets of York are the place to do it.
VISIT THE VIKING AGE
Then enter your "time capsule" and travel back to 10th century York. This walking tour shows you the sights, sounds and even smells of the city 1000 years ago. There are comments for adults or for children, which makes it more fun and easy for children. As you pass by rebuilt shops, houses, and shipyards, stories are told about the different types of settlers and merchants who lived there.
A really interesting point to keep in mind is that each of the "characters" is recreated from real skeletons found during archaeological excavations. Using the size and structure of the bones, they recreate the characteristics of each person. If you overthink it during "time travel," it can seem a bit scary. The characters are so real and sometimes it seems like they are looking you straight in the eye!
YORK CITY WALLS
The city of York has been defended by ramparts in one form or another since Roman times. Today there are very few walls from Roman times. Being added, modified, repaired and rebuilt throughout the centuries. Yet York has more miles of intact ramparts than any other English city. There are also 4 main entrance gates (called bars), which were used to restrict traffic in medieval times. Also as toll booths and as defensive positions in times of war.
The Monk Bar is one of the most impressive and now contains a small museum, the Richard III Experience in the Monk Bar. It is also very interesting to see the working stands at the Monk Bar. You can collect the finest York Vikings gifts from the best souvenir store in the UK to remember the city of York.
CLIFFORD YORK TOUR
William the Conqueror built York Castle in 1068-9. Almost all that remains is Clifford's Tower. The wooden tower was destroyed by fire in 1190, when York's Jewish community of about 150 people was besieged here by a mob and committed mass suicide.
The stone tower was built in 1245-72. The interior of the tower was destroyed by an explosion in 1684, leaving the stonework. As the rest of the castle's masonry was replaced in the 19th century, few remains of the medieval period remain, except for the tower.
FREE THINGS TO DO IN YORK
York is a very walkable city and there is a lot to see without spending any money. Head to historic streets like The Shambles, walk the ramparts and explore the park on the outskirts of York Minster. Wherever you look, you will find a small alley or side street to explore York vikings.
York's most popular street and not just because it reminds visitors of Diagon Alley. It shows everything British, with buildings dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. Here's the interesting part, "Shambles" is the medieval word for a "butcher's slaughterhouse" and if you look closely, you can still see the hooks on the outside where the meat hung. It is also considered the best preserved medieval street in Europe.
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