York ~ Final Hoorah, Sizzle or Fizzle

Friday August 29th ~ York, England

The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows

Over the past couple of days we managed to get a few more places explored, and fun times squeezed in.  One stop was to the Royal Theater where we took in a performance of “The Wind in the Willows”.  This delightful story based on an English classic children’s book written in 1908 by Kenneth Grahame, was made all the more special by attending a matinée where we were surrounded by youngsters.  Their laughter and squeals of delight certainly helped make this even more memorable.

Set for the play "Wind in the Willows"

Set for the play “Wind in the Willows”

Before the production started, we took a backstage tour where the living quarters for the animals portrayed in the play were reproduced in details to match the storyline.  Many of the children attending the production queued up and quickly pointed out items they recognized from the story.

Visiting back stage

Visiting back stage

The most photographed street in York is The Shambles.  Some of the buildings date back to the 14th Century.  At one time there were as many as 25 butcher shops lining the street and merchants showed off their cuts of meat on the bench ledges facing the street.  As no sanitation features were in place, the butchers threw the animal guts and offal into the center of the street, making for a putrid mess.  This has resulted in the origination of using the word today to describe:

“…any scene of total disorganisation and mess is now referred to as, “a shambles” ~ Wikipedia

The Shambles

The Shambles

The Shambles

The Shambles

A few days ago I posted pictures of a couple of the yellow bicycles we spotted around town. I did find out that they, along with the many yellow flowers planted here and there were in fact placed to honor the Tour de France.

Another fun item we have also spotted about town are cats.  Not real ones, but oversized statues placed on windowsills or attached to walls.  The intent was to scare off rats, however the success of that is highly debated locally.  Nowadays they are more a building fashion statement.

The York Castle Museum

Another wonderful afternoon was spent slowly digesting room after room that was artfully and delightfully presented in this well done museum.  There are four main sections and all are worth exploring thoroughly.

My favorite section was Kirkgate, the Victorian Street.  There were individual rooms set up in great detail with artifacts from this period. There was also in-depth information covering all aspects of how life was experienced in Victorian times from giving birth to death and burial rituals and customs.  Small shops replicated what a candle maker, candy shop, tailor, stable, jail, and school would have been like.

Candle makers shop

Candle makers shop

Other sections included 1914: When the World Changed Forever, York Castle Prison and The Sixties.

Right next door is Clifford’s Tower.  We drove past it on our hop-on hop-off bus trip earlier in the week, but this time we climbed up the steep steps to the castle remains and then climbed further up the curved stairway to the top for views of the area.

Clifford's Tower

Clifford’s Tower

And the view from the top.

Taken from the top of the tower.

Taken from the top of the tower.

Since we leave in the morning toward Ipswich for our final night in England, I will wrap up our stay in York with a couple of details.

Our hotel was well located, right on the edge of the river with wonderful views, however the housekeeping staff is woefully under trained.  Our room was minimally cleaned a couple of days, and skipped all together one day. It would be with hesitation that I recommend the Park Inn Hotel.

View from the 8th floor of the Park Inn Hotel

View from the 8th floor of the Park Inn Hotel

Places to eat:

We found three places that we enjoyed and would be glad to recommend if you find yourself hungry in York.

  • Pizza Express – more than just pizza, with a few healthy selections, and gluten-free options.  The Leggera Superfood Salad and the Padana Pizza were two favorites.
  • Bill’s – we had the grilled Hake that was very good.  They have done a great job of marketing and offer candies, jams and other items for purchase with the Bill’s label.
  • Barbakan Cafe – just outside of the main tourist area, it is a place where the locals go to enjoy authentic Polish cuisine.

Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful for a comment I received from a woman who wrote:

“Thank you for your sharing your wonderful journey you are on. I start my morning with you and a good cup of coffee. I love sharing your adventures with my 83 year old mother over the phone. She always ask where you are at now. She chuckles at some of the stories. Especially the food parts. Life is a highway..keep calm and travel on.”

Kathy, your kind words and special moments like this are what make the daily couple of hours I spend sorting through pictures and writing all worth while. Thank you!

About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
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5 Responses to York ~ Final Hoorah, Sizzle or Fizzle

  1. Tom Dodson says:

    Stumbled across your blog late in your journey and have looked forward to reading your daily posts. Will most definitely go back and read through the ones I missed by coming late to the game. As a Gate 1 user, many of the tours with them were familiar and stirred up fond memories. Adding your personal daily thankful moment should make us all stop and reflect how blessed one is to be able to experience a little of what this beautifully made world has to offer. Thanks again and safe travels home.


    • Hello Tom and welcome. I’m so glad you enjoyed reliving some of your Gate 1 trips through our blog. We are huge fans and feel they give good value for the money. Writing down my gratitude moment every day has certainly helped me realize just how blessed I am.


  2. Mike Alesko says:

    You’ve always been a great gratitude expresser, Joanne. Cheers to you for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cool capture of the kitties 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ghost Writer says:

    I’ve seen plenty of cats climb their way up buildings, (not modern) it’s a scary thing to see at first, but they always find their way down.


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