My work husband is from York. His Northern accent stands out in London, and even I have a giggle at the way he pronounces some of his words. He’d been trying to get me to see his hometown for a while and finally over a bank holiday weekend Virgin Trains released 5 pound one way fares. I couldn’t pass up the chance for a day trip to York.
I navigated my way around King’s Cross Station, glimpsing the long line of people each waiting for their turn for a snap at platform 9 and 3/4, and found the Virgin platforms comfortably taking my window seat. The journey took around 2.5 hours.
Upon exiting the train station I took a left turn and walked up to the City Walls and followed the path around the tiny city. I took an exit and walked up to Clifford’s Tower, which is some of what remains of York Castle. After paying a small fee I climbed to the top to get a panoramic view of the surroundings. It was a beautiful sunny day in York.
I climbed back down making my way towards the city centre. Another landmark on my must see list was the Jorvik Viking Museum. This line was really long and after 35 minutes of shifting from 1 foot to another, only moving a few steps forward at a time, I paid a (slightly) higher amount than the Tower to enter the museum. There was an underground excavation site with video logs explaining what the marked areas were, as well as the important finds. This room led to another line for carriages. I managed to get my own. The Jorvik museum has taken an interesting and unique approach to how visitors navigate the building. It is both fun and educational. I sat in my carriage watching animatronic scenes of what we believe the Vikings looked like and did. The ride took around 20 minutes and each was eerily realistic. Once off the ride I followed the staircase up to the souvenir shop and out onto the street.
It was about lunch time and I was starving. I walked past market stalls and found myself on The Shambles; possibly the most narrow and winding street in the UK. To my delight I soon found out this street was the filming location for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter films. Some stores had the wanted posters for Sirius Black and Harry Potter’s own No1 Undesirable poster. The book and movie geek in me was jumping up and down (on the inside). I came across a café called The Flax and Twine where the menu was made up of goodies from Hogsmeade. I ordered the buttery beer and sorcerer’s cheese scone.
With my high spirits returned I wandered into The Shop That Must Not Be Named for some wicked souvenirs. Each of the famous wands were on the wall, The Weasley Twins confectionary took up an entire corner of the shop. But it was a mug that caught my eye, simply reading ‘Always’. The same mug is sitting just to my left as I type this.
After the emotion subsided of walking the streets of 1 of my favourite franchises, I glimpsed the York Minstry before sitting down and people watching in the Museum Gardens. Watching the ripples on the water was hypnotic. I could’ve easily fallen asleep on the grass. I had 1 more thing to tick off my list before getting my train back to London.
Hubby had made me a reservation at 1 of his favourite restaurants; Rustique Bar & Bistro. For 17 pound I got a 2 course meal plus a glass of prosecco. I ordered the crab croquette for my starter and had the creamy chicken breast for my main. The French bistro impressed my taste buds. What a way to end my Northern adventure.
I boarded my Virgin Train back to King’s Cross, I nodded off straight away and when I woke we had pulled in to our platform back in London. This muggle had had a most magical day! It was time to tumble into my closet under the stairs.