York Castle Museum
Originally opened in 1938, York Castle Museum can now be accessed for free as part of some city pass packages, alongside a whole host of other attractions—like York’s Chocolate Story—both in and around York. Whether visited independently or as part of an organized tour though, strolling the cobbles of Kirkgate, exploring the reconstructed stores—like Terry’s sweet shop or George Britton’s Grocers—and snooping around the prison cell which once held highwayman Dick Turpin are musts.
Things to Know Before You Go
- York Castle Museum will especially appeal to families with children.
- Children aged 16 and under enter free with a paying adult, so consider this an affordable rainy-day destination.
- There are often rotating, themed exhibits on display at York Castle Museum.
- York Castle Museum offers two gender neutral bathrooms, although not all the exhibitions are fully accessible for all.
- Talks are held at Kirkgate at 11.45am and 3pm daily.
How to Get There
York Castle Museum is situated in the center of York, close to Clifford’s Tower and Coppergate Shopping Center. Visitors arriving by train should depart at York Station, roughly one mile from the museum, while the closest bus stop is on Tower Street. If you’re driving, there are paid car parking spaces outside the museum, although they can fill up fast.
When to Get There
Open to the public almost every day of the year—barring Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day—York Castle Museum is a year-round option for travelers in York. However, due to the family-friendly appeal of this museum, you may want to plan around the Easter, summer, and Christmas school holidays.
The Best Exhibits at York Castle Museum
Kirkgate street, which was revamped in 2012 and faithfully depicts Victorian-era Britain, often steals focus in discussions about York Castle Museum. However, there are plenty of other excellent permanent exhibitions travelers may wish to visit, including Toy Stories—perfect for children—and The Sixties, which references everyone from The Beatles to Mary Quant.