Going to York this weekend with the kids. Obvs going to the Jorvik centre, doing the little daft Dig thing they have there too, and a potion class. Anyone got any hot tips about fun stuff we could do on Sunday?

the Railway museum is brilliant. and free!


If the weather’s good and it’s not too icy (two big ifs tbf) walking the City Walls is good fun. Takes in most of the main sites and would imagine running around with kids would be fun. Art Gallery and the Cold War bunker are both meant to be good, the Yorkshire Museum is decent and kid-friendly, and the grounds/river are good if the weather’s alright too.

Worth doing a bit of research on where you wanna stop for food and drink and potentially trying to book - everywhere will get packed around lunch and dinner, and especially if you’ve got kids it could be annoying walking in and out of places to find its full. Plenty of options though, and most pubs are fairly family friendly tbh. Il Paradiso is probably the best Italian food I’ve had in the country, and Kalpakavadi and Yak & Yeti are both good if they can handle spice. Probably all three would require a booking, Il Paradiso is open throughout the day and quite a good vibe in mid-afternoon if not.

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What sort of food do you like chuff? I can probably give you some recommendations.

This looks great, but Station Hall is shut, and that seems to be the main attraction there unless I’m missing something? Don’t want the kids giving me a Jeff Goldblum-style, ‘are there any, um, trains, at this train museum’? :slight_smile:

Thanks, but we’re so awkward - we’re all vegan, and my kids are really particular about stuff they like. Got The Source booked for Saturday night (if they still have food left, it’s their last night apparently :frowning: ) and probably just going to go to Wagamama on Friday. Really liked the look of The Orchid but there’s no way my kids will eat anything they’ve got on their menu!

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Vegan food might be the one area that is outside my area of expertise I’m afraid.

As for things to do, it’s all a bit weather dependent. Definitely endorse @BobRickerton ’s suggestion of walking the walls if the weather is nice. The best bit is from Bootham Bar to Monk Bar, round behind the Minster - you get great views over the city and of the Minster gardens. Museum Gardens are beautiful on a sunny day too.

If the weather is less nice you can do a trip down the river. The Yorkshire Museum (in Museum Gardens) is good - lots of Roman stuff, as is the Castle Museum which has an excellent recreation of old streets which kids like. Clifford’s Tower is near the Castle Museum and worth visiting too - great views from the top.

You can have a very enjoyable few hours just wandering around the old streets in the centre of the city - The Shambles, Petergate and Stonegate particularly.

The only downside of York at the weekend is that it is often beset by gangs of drunken stag and hen parties. Despite living nearby they have sadly meant that I don’t go in much at the weekend these days. Hope you get lucky and avoid them and have a good time.


With your last paragraph, I think the one saving grace is that they tend to congregate in that area of town between the station and the bridge, it’s like the Slug and Lettuce acts as an invisible barrier they can’t pass. Rarely see any of the groups in the proper centre.

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Station Hall is the first bit, has a bunch of royal carriages and stuff, it was a bit underwhelming when i went last year tbh.

the Great hall is the best bit and is open, loads of awesome trains in there Great Hall | National Railway Museum

Ah, that’s much better, cheers!

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I live in Manchester, there’s no way it could be worse in York than it is here :smile:

I wouldn’t bet on it. York is a magnet for them, I think partially because of how easy it is to get to from North and South by train. The number of bars in the centre of the City is ridiculous now and I would never choose to go out there on a weekend evening.

The centre is obviously much, much smaller than Manchester so it is very concentrated and some areas can really become quite unpleasant.

Annoyingly it’s not just an evening thing either - they are often reeling around the town in massive groups all day as well. As Bob says though they do tend to concentrate on certain areas of the City though and can be avoided with a bit of care.


That’s useful to know, cheers!

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I assume you know this but the free Happy Cow app is a life saver for finding vegan things in places you don’t know

Can type York in from home but it shows by distance when there and links to maps

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As said below, I think it probably is :smiley: But plenty of it is fine and you’ll be well clear of them. Give me a shout if you want any child-friendly pubs and/or generally.

Love York. Did a long weekend there with the family last year. 7 year old really enjoyed it.

JORVIK Viking Centre is great. He was bored in the Chocolate Museum. Railway Museum is excellent. Cliffords Tower was great. Did a lap of the city walls which was great, although quite long for younger kids. The boat trip is fun too - we got bantered by two pissed-up old blokes at one point which my son found hilarious. We were usually back in the hotel by 8 so didn’t see much of the nightlife, but went to lots of great pubs - particularly liked the newer House of Trembling Madness and Pivni. Both seemed pretty kid friendly.

Cresci was nice for pizza - usually some decent vegan options at a pizza place right?

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Not a local but was there a few weekends back for a break. Not sure I have a huge amount to add (although I will say the Brew York taproom appears to be family friendly at weekends, if that’s a draw…) but if the weather is OK and the kids aren’t knackered from climbing the walls, it’s a nice and not relatively long walk down the river to the Joseph Rowntree park, which is a classic landscaped park with ponds and swans and a little cafe and stuff.

There’s also an outdoor market off the Shambles that has loads of street food places that might be worth a peak for you. Plus when I was there a dog from a tea shop over the road was just wandering around and up to people, I went in and said “hey your dog just wandered into the market” and the woman sorta shrugged and said “yeah, she does that” ???

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Certainly wouldn’t recommend doing the full circuit (actually you can’t quite go all of the way round anyway, there are breaks), especially with kids. Despite anything else there are some bits of the wall where your only view of some pretty ugly bits of the town (yes, even York has those). As I said earlier, the bit from Bootham Bar to Monk Bar is long enough to get the feel of it and has the best views (because it goes behind the Minster). The bit from the station to Lendal Bridge is good too.

Thanks everyone for your tips, and sorry for not responding much, ended up being a pretty manic weekend! Absolutely loved the place, such a beautiful city and even though it’s pretty touristy it never felt too much. Some stray thoughts for anyone else visiting York with young kids:

Jorvik - still really great, but surprisingly brief, don’t think we were in there for even an hour
Clifford Tower - brilliant fun, so many little stairways for the kids to run around
Dig! - great fun and the kids even enjoyed the archaeology chat beforehand
Potions Cauldron - total tourist trap bullshit, the ‘potion making’ was just us sat in a room with three video screens showing terribly acted/scripted ghosts and then pouring a Dip Dab and a flashing ice cube into a flat lemonade and rum that we then had to drink on the street. Kids loved it of course
Yorkshire Art Gallery - brilliant, so much for the kids to do there
Yorkshire Museum - also good for the hour or so we spent there

Really loved all the street performers and buskers around too, and since it’s so compact you can squeeze a lot into a day. Would love to give food recommendations but the only non-chain place we ended up in is now shut (and wasn’t that great apart from the Brass Castle IPA that I had).