This morning the kids were bouncing on their beds super early for normal people’s time, it was the usual lucky 05:50 wake-up call for yours truly. Perhaps we need to do something about it, in fact, they were up before the CBeebies children’s television station had even started. They do actually go to bed early, Lachlan still gets twelve hours a day. Darryl was also up bright and early and could not help himself with a leisurely fly over Killington Reservoir.
The King was feeling refreshed as he limbered up while his servants ordered his royal muffin. Breakfast was Maccas with a view.
Once the walrus was done with her porridge, the King managed to find a games room.
It was a couple hours’ drive east into unknown territory. After a fabulous catch-up with Flossy’s crew yesterday we spontaneously decided to keep the party going. Lachlan had led the way through Leeds before, but today the King was being chauffered even further to York.
It had been extremely wet all morning, a stark contrast to yesterday. Luckily, wet is our bread and butter and Super Mum whipped the puddle suits out of her back pocket. The rain is Eloise’s favorite weather and she was upset she could not jump in puddles from the start. We had not done our usual city research before arriving in York and had no idea what to expect. The York City walls instantly jumped out to us, they were pretty cool.
Even for us Glaswegians the rain was becoming a bit much, we sought refuge in York Station. Just like magic, it turned out to be where the real Platform 9 and 3/4 from the movies was filmed, the whole King’s Cross Station is a lie.
Once the torrential rain had mildly calmed to just below torrential rain levels we made a break for it, we followed the York walls a wee further before passing through them.
There is a walking track along the top of the wall around the city, which would have been brilliant on another day, unfortunately, the weather was not conducive for it.
We crossed the River Ouse when Super Mum’s shop jumped out at us. Eloise who loves to point out the letter ‘E’ in random words around cities had a minor meltdown that there was not an ‘Eloise shop’. We moved on swiftly, shouldn’t have pointed that one out.
We had made it to Lachlan’s home, the Shambles, how appropriate for day 2 of his Royal Coronation Parade. The kids had been in the car and pram for almost three hours so were in great spirits when it was time to let them loose.
We headed into the Shambles Market, the kids instantly locked onto the large puddle at the entrance. Neither of them had waterproof shoes on and were both wearing socks. When you are traveling with kids, you have to know when to pick your fights. To be honest, we had little chance of stopping them. Wet socks it was going to be. This entertained them for a good twenty minutes. At least they put a smile on a lot of Yorkers’ faces.
The Shambles Market was interesting but we were keen to check out the actual Shambles, the photos Super Mum had researched on the way in looked fascinating.
The Shambles is a historic street in York, England, featuring preserved medieval buildings, some dating back as far as the 14th century. The street is narrow, with many timber-framed buildings with jettied floors that overhang the street by several feet. It was once known as The Great Flesh Shambles, probably from the Anglo-Saxon Fleshammels (literally flesh-shelves), the word for the shelves that butchers used to display their meat. In 1885, thirty-one butchers’ shops were located along the street, but now none remain… The Shambles is one of a number of locations, along with streets in Chepstow, Edinburgh, Exeter and London, for which claims have been made to have been the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter franchise. Since 2017, four wizard-themed shops have opened in the street; however, the author, J. K. Rowling, has denied this, stating that she had never been to The Shambles.
The King is quick and nimble and got away from us down the Shambles, we eventually managed to catch him. We were quite amazed by the city of York. It was incredibly friendly, York had recently banned cars within its city walls, the King took this as his rite of passage to zip through the streets, up and down the footpaths and between drain covers, this really was his city.
York certainly had no shortage of alleyways, you never knew what was around each corner.
Barley Hall is a reconstructed medieval townhouse in the city of York, England. It was built around 1360 by the monks of Nostell Priory near Wakefield and extended in the 15th century. The property went into a slow decline and by the 20th century was sub-divided and in an increasingly poor physical condition. Bought by the York Archaeological Trust in 1987, it was renamed Barley Hall and heavily restored in a controversial project to form a museum. It is open to the public and hosts exhibitions.
The colourful shop windows, full of what seemed like endless widgets, kept the kids alert.
For the last hour, we could hear loud bells continuously ringing and we followed our ears until we found an impressive cathedral, York Minster.
As we got closer Eloise was not much of a fan of the loud bells and asked if they could be turned down because “they don’t need to be that loud Dad”.
By this stage, we were absolutely starving and wanted to get out of the rain again. Super Mum and Eloise located Thai tapas in a nice and cozy restaurant.
The entrée pork belly was delicious, well, so I am told, the half of one bit that Dad managed melted in his mouth before Eloise unbelievably devoured 7/8th of the plate. “Oh no, Dad, look, Dad, I left you lettuce, see look”.
After our bellies were full and we had dried off we headed back out into the weather in search of more puddles. Turns out you can run but you cannot hide from the British weather.
In the afternoon we teamed up with Flossy’s family again, starting with a nice warm coffee.
The King retired to his carriage for his afternoon nap. Eloise and Flossy just clicked and were best pals touring through York. Jess mentioned that when she met Sophie in year 8 never did she imagine their children would be touring through the United Kingdom together, small world.
Eloise grabbed an ice cream to go. Surprisingly it was not actually cold, just Wet with a capital W. There was an incredible moment when Eloise knocked her ice cream off the cone and as it was falling to the ground in what felt like slow motion, Super Mum somehow managed to catch it in her hands while on the move, it was like proper Neo stuff.
York truly had some incredible architecture, it was a beautiful city, we thought it felt very European. We would certainly recommend a visit.
This afternoon we all had tickets to the Jorvik Viking Centre. We were all starting to tire after Lachlan’s big Coronation Parade, the kids were just hanging in there.
In the waiting room, you could walk about the transparent floating floor above the Viking ruins. Just like at the Hill House, Lachlan was completely confused by seeing through the floor and was doing a strange awkward walk around the room.
We then went on a long ride, which took you through a number of Viking animatronic scenes. It was a similar setup to the Titanic Museum in Belfast. The King absolutely loved it, the animatronic people looked realistic and Lachlan waved to them all, he lost his mind when he spotted the cat. Lachlan loves cats. However in the front row, poor Eloise was terrified, she does not like mascots or strangers up in her face.
We passed through a small gallery that featured a number of Viking artifacts. The kids were ready for home though by this point, fair enough. It had been a big weekend.
Flossy got a commemorative Viking coin made to remember a fantastic day, the kids enjoyed watching the Viking pump them out.
The Jorvik Viking Centre is a museum and visitor attraction in York, England, containing lifelike mannequins and life-size dioramas depicting Viking life in the city. Visitors are taken through the dioramas in small carriages equipped with speakers. It was created by the York Archaeological Trust and opened in 1984. Its name is derived from Jórvík, the Old Norse name for York and the surrounding Viking Kingdom of Yorkshire.
It was then a sad farewell with Flossy’s crew, we had such a great time with them. Have a safe trip back! We made our way back out through the York city walls, with a quick peep up top. Even with the weather it had been a memorable day.
York has, since Roman times, been defended by walls of one form or another. To this day, substantial portions of the walls remain, and York has more miles of intact wall than any other city in England. They are known variously as York City Walls, the Bar Walls and the Roman walls. The walls are generally 13 feet (4m) high and 6 feet (1.8m) wide. The original walls were built around 71 AD, when the Romans erected a fort (castra) occupying about 50 acres or 21.5 hectares near the banks of the River Ouse. The rectangle of walls was built as part of the fort’s defences.
We then made the long leg home to conclude King Lachlan’s Coronation Parade. Funnily enough, the sun was shining stronger as we crossed into Sunny Scotland.