20 March 2015

York - Vikings, Chocolate and Free Internet

It feels like ages ago now that I posted about my awesome little 'York Box', filled with exciting things from the city and tickets to go back and visit some of it's best loved attractions but it's taken 'til now to post about our day out, oops!

We all love York and go a fair bit, but we definitely timed this specific visit well for our purposes as we turned up in the middle of York Viking Festival! This meant that as well as the usual attractions that we had planned, the city was littered with 'extras'. The little ones got to dress up...

dress as a viking

... there were Vikings just walking the streets,....

...as well as Viking crafts, stories and loads of other things to see! After investigating the Viking ship and all the other stuff going on in King's Square we we're (temporarily) Vikinged out and headed into York's Chocolate Story for a sugary rest!

York's Chocolate Story is amazing! There's a museum upstairs - we didn't go there on this occasion but have in the past  - that takes you through the history of chocolate, with a heavy York bias! There's plenty of tasty samples and the chance to make your own scrummy chocolate lolly! There's also a fab chocolatey café and an amazing shop filled with an incredible range of exotic and exciting looking treats!

This time we were mainly concerning ourselves with the café! The order of the day was the chocolate fondue, a pot of delicious melted chocolate with strawberries, marshmallows, shortbread biscuits, fudge and more for dipping!

chocolate fondue stuff to dip

I can't begin to tell you how sugar-happy this made me! It was soooo good though! The hot chocolate here is incredible too, as you might imagine, and comes in a range of flavours and chocolate types. The milk chocolate with chilli is my favourite!

chocolate fondue in york

And speaking of favourites, next we were off to Dig! Dig is one of the attractions I received a pass for in my York Box and my kids LOVE this place. I have seriously lost track of how many times we've been. I can identify a sheep foot bone with the best of them!  It's an archaeology based attraction, and the best big is getting to go crazy in these mock dig sites. There are four little sites based on four historical periods with plenty to find in each. The staff here are wonderful, explaining what each item is and what it can tell us about the people who left it behind.

archeology museum

The second part of the guided experience is sorting through trays of bones and other leftovers, again looking for clues about the past. There's plenty of other things to see and do in the museum too, puzzles, games and colouring in amongst dug up bones and artifacts. 

learn about bones for kids

When we'd finished Digging it was time to head to the Jorvik Viking Centre or our last stop of the day! Jorvik is 30 years old now, and one of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK. It certainly was on this occasion - much busier than I've ever seen it before (and, like Dig, we've been here a bunch of times!) I don't know if it was the Viking Festival that brought all the history buffs out, but it did make it a little trickier to see everything. The highlight of a trip to Jorvik is the 'ride' that takes you on a narrated tour of a Viking village, with authentic sights, sounds and yes, smells, of the Viking Era. 

viking toilet

Now here's the sneaky bit! If you are in York and want to find your way to Dig, or track down the nearest Bettys Cafe or research any of the cities other attractions, you should be able to do so easily by jumping on CityConnect - York's free internet service! Just select 'CityConnect Free WiFi' under the wifi options of your little tech device and log-in to get online! You might need to keep re-logging in if you lose the connection (which did seem to happen everytime you go into a building) but to be fair you should be paying more attention to the gorgeous city than your phone and only use it to enhance your trip! Either way, it's good to know! 

Do you have any favourite spots in York for my next visit? And how jealous are you of my chocolate fondue? It's lots, isn't it?

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