On Monday we went to York for a full day of looking around. We took the 8am train direct from Halifax. One thing I hadn’t anticipated is just how packed and crowded it would be. At least as bad, if not worse than the trains at home in some sections and almost as bad as Tokyo. Didn’t take a photo as I literally couldn’t take my phone out of my pocket. After Leeds, virtually everyone got off and we had the train all to ourselves to York. It became a present trip at this point.

Train at York station

We were blessed with the weather for most of the day, it’s been shocking here in Halifax but we finally got a nice day with some blue sky. Started with breakfast at Betty’s, apparently a famous tea house here in the city. Coffee and breakfast was nice. Most interesting thing was the “Engadine” torte.

Having grown up in the Australian suburb of Engadine I had to try it. The waitress asked how to pronounce Engadine, so she now knows how Australians say it. Not sure about the Swiss way but I’m sure it’s not the same.

We then headed down to “The Shambles” the most famous street in York. It was the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. There are three Harry Potter shops in this one street. Personally I think the street is overrated, the streets around the whole area are just as interesting (and less crowded). Not sure how they can manage three Harry Potter shops but all of them were packed with people. More cash extracted from me once again…

After this, I went to the National Railway museum and Sharon & Emma went to the Viking experience. The train Museum is fantastic. Only place outside Japan that has a Shinkansen on display. There were some beautiful shiny steam locomotives, one of which (The Mallard) holds the world record for steam powered speed, at 200kph, set in 1938. To put that in context that’s what the first bullet train did in 1964 (although as regular service not under special conditions). 200pkh on a steam train would be a scary prospect, they wouldn’t have the breaking capacity to match that speed.

I think the most interesting thing the museum had was an old small steam engine and railway carriage from the 1850s, both of which are very rare since almost all of them were scrapped at the end of their service life

Chance to walk under an old steam engine, and get oil dripped on you if you are unlucky

bullet train.

Viking experience display

Caught up with Sharon and Emma at the Richard the 3rd experience at a section along the York Wall, very interesting little museum around the battle of Towton in 1461 during the war of the Roses. You can read more about the battle below. The museum is housed in an old fortification along the wall, which was interesting in its own right. On display there was plenty of amour and weapons form the era and info about how they found Richard the 3rd under a car park in 2012


Walked around the wall for a while and admired some of the amazing English gardens dotted around the city as well as some of the amazing buildings everywhere. We got off the wall near the main church (the Minster) and paid to do a tour. Like many buildings in the UK Roman ruins were discovered under the foundations when they did restoration work to prevent the church falling down 50 years ago. Amazing the building never collapsed as it was sitting on the foundations of a Roman building never designed to take the weight of this one.

Cheese Makers?

original Roman foundations

We had dinner and drinks in at the “hole in the wall pub” I had a traditional English Chicken Tikka Masala curry. Sharon had Scampi and Emma had a butter chicken curry.

It had started raining (again..) as we left, so hurried back to the station and got the 7.15pm train back to Halifax