Things to Do in York - page 2
Yorkshire has long been the rural heart of northern England and the Yorkshire Museum of Farming is devoted to telling the story of its history and heritage. Spread over 14 acres of farmlands in Murton Park, just outside of York, the museum offers a fascinating peek into traditional farm life, displaying a large collection of farm equipment from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Visitors can follow a year on the farm in the Four Seasons gallery, learn about animal husbandry in the Livestock Gallery, and discover the work of the Women’s Land Army during WWI and WWII. The farm also offers plenty of fun family activities, including tractor rides, animal feeding, farrier demonstrations and a nature trail, plus a farmhouse café and an adventure playground.
Few places offer such intimate insight into the York chocolate industry as Goddards House and Garden, once home to the family behind the Terry’s confectionery company. Nowadays, Goddards pays homage to York’s chocolate past, as well as life in the 1930s. Don’t forget to stop by the on-site café for some chocolate orange cake and coffee.
Some cities are built on industry, but few have the sweet distinction of being built on chocolate. York’s Chocolate Story, a three-story interactive museum, details the city’s 300-year relationship with the confection. Regularly-scheduled guided tours highlight the three major chocolate companies that got their start in York: Terry’s, Rowntree’s, and Craven’s, as well as some of the most popular creations to come out of York including the Chocolate Orange and Kit-Kat. The city’s industry sparked a love for the chocolate that ultimately enveloped the globe: a tin of Rowntree’s even traveled with Shackleton on his Antarctic voyage in 1908.
In addition to York’s history as a chocolate town, museum displays detail its origins in the far-flung jungles of Central America. Interactive exhibits illustrate the process of turning cacao beans into bars, candies, powders, and more. Sampling stations at the end of each section allow all visitors to taste freshly formed sweets, and onsite confectioners hold lessons in professional chocolate tasting, and even guide visitors in creating their own treat at the end of the tour. The museum also has a chocolate-themed café and gift shop.
York’s Chocolate Story is the culmination of York’s Chocolate Trail, a self-guided walking tour in York’s historic downtown that includes chocolate attractions — Terry’s Shop & Tea Room, Terry’s Mansion House, Rowntree Park, Goddards House and Gardens — and several chocolate-y dining locations.
Embark on an archaeological adventure right in the heart of the city with a visit to the Jorvik Dig, the perfect complement to the nearby Jorvik Viking Centre. Centered around the city’s original archeological dig sites, the unique attraction offers the chance to discover York’s 2000-year history through four specially created in-door excavation pits, filled with replica artifacts from the Roman, Viking, medieval and Victorian eras.
The interactive exhibits are great fun for the whole family, with fascinating displays detailing the recent Hungate excavations, and showcasing artifacts such as medieval pottery and Roman jewelry, while children of all ages can get hands-on digging for treasures like pottery, bone, and jewels in the special synthetic soil pits.