Seeing as we had decided not to visit London after all, and we had decided to move on from Carsington we spent some time seeing what we could book on the way up the road. Much to everyone’s surprise we managed to get a night at Rowntree Park in York. Surprise as it is almost impossible to get into, let alone at last minute. But seeing as we were here we had a lot on.
First about the site – pretty well laid out, big hard pitches and from what I can see most pitches are separated by a hedge, not a huge one but enough to stop people getting a bit too close. The facilities are on stilts, it’s been flooded round here a few times in recent memory. And if you want a riverside pitch…..well let’s just say it’s not by the river – check Google maps out.
So first stop – Micklegate Bar Museum. A fairly small museum in the Micklegate Bar oddly enough. Couple of floors of exhibits, quite a bit on the War of the Roses, and York history. A film on the changing style of armour was maybe a little long winded, but made up for by the armour lying around that you could put on. In fact everything was hands on, or heads in in the case of helmets. I’ve no idea how any knight ever fought though. That stuff is seriously heavy!!
A quick run around part of the town (including a number of parts I’d not seen in a number of previous visits) and it was our next stop – Barley Hall, which is a relatively new find in York terms. Another hands on museum, some of it about the people who had lived in it and then a chunk of Horrible HIstories type material. Best you have a look at the site for more info on that one.
The final planned stop was Jorvik DIG. We didn’t get as much time here as I think we may have liked but we had managed to get on the last tour of the day. And, as often seems to happen to us, we were the only 3. Our guide, Matt, was incredibly enthusiastic about his work, and you couldn’t help being carried away by it. So what’s on the tour? Well we started off with a little briefing about archeology generally, looking at aerial photos, and then some artifacts – well, junk as he called it, given that that’s exactly what most of this stuff was. Then, plastic trowel in hand, we wandered into 4 simulated digs. I was quite skeptical at first but as you dig away at tiny rubber pellets looking for clues and things it becomes quite interesting – no, it does. A lot of digging, finding and chatting before we finished the digs and moved on to bone guessing – what animal, what body part? It would be fair to say I sucked at this bit. But fun nonetheless. All too soon it was closing time though. I’ve seen people knock this on TripAdvisor because of a number of things – but I couldn’t agree less with them. I’m not into archeology at all, any exhibition we are at the “finds” of plates etc are what I always skip, but this was very interesting, and somewhat intriguing. Something very different and highly recommended.