York for history buffs


It’s true….little things really do say a lot as York’s collection of curious objects demonstrates.
The fascinating facts they reveal speak volumes about the ancient city, which is home to many of the country’s rarest treasures.

Captain Scott of the Antarctic’s tin of cocoa
– this treasured home comfort was found beside the frozen explorer’s remains. It survived one of the world’s most famed and daring expeditions and is now back in the city it was made in. See it at York’s CHOCOLATE Story.

Unusual artefacts made by German and Turkish prisoners of war –
including a glass bead snake from WW1, a ship in a bottle, a cigarette case made in aluminium and a duck toy. See them at Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum which is housed within an original prisoner of war camp.

The York Helmet
– the most outstanding object of the Anglo-Saxon period to survive in Europe. Dated to approximately 750 to 775, this iron and brass helmet was discovered when struck by the claw of a mechanical digger – luckily the operator stopped to check what had been hit. See it at Yorkshire Museum.

Horn of Ulf –
The Chapter of York, which remains the guardian of York Minster, was given the land on which York Minster and its precincts stand by a Viking nobleman called Ulf, who owned a significant estate around York. As a symbolic deed of trust, he presented the Chapter with a large and ornate ivory horn, the Horn of Ulf. See it in the Minster’s new Undercroft exhibitions.

2,000 years of history:

To discover more of the exciting stories of York’s 2,000 years of history visit all five of its city-centre attractions for a single price.

The world famous JORVIK Viking Centre (pictured above), where you can come face to face with a Viking

DIG – An Archaeological Adventure

The medieval townhouse and York’s hidden gem, Barley Hall

The JORVIK Group’s newest attractions, the Richard III & Henry VII Experiences, on York’s city walls


What’s good about York for you and your family:

Most of the historic streets in the city centre are traffic-free.

The city is so compact you can walk from one attraction to the next quite easily, even with younger children.

There is a wide range of accommodation, where family rooms are available, from luxury self-catering apartments offering great value without compromising on quality to the city centre YHA for great value; ideal for school groups or families on a budget.

For pure family fun of the ‘run off energy’ type, you can’t beat Creepy Crawlies, where you will find one of the biggest four lane Astra slides in the country, six different Play Zones, an outdoor adventure park, animal farm – and an award winning café!

Lots of FREE must-see things to see and do too:

Visit Dick Turpin’s grave or Guy Fawkes’ birthplace – have a picnic in the botanical gardens – Museum Gardens – or take a riverside walk.

Visit the National Railway Museum – the largest railway museum in the world is home to a wide range of railway icons and millions of artefacts from the Japanese bullet train to Thomas the Tank Engine.

Walk the city walls – at 3.4 kilometres long they are the longest medieval town walls in England.

Play in the parks – Museum Gardens, Rowntrees’ Park, York Designer Outlet covered play area.
Go on a free city walking tour – you’ll get fresh air, exercise, fun and history all in one go!

For further information and to book a stay in York, visit

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