Luxury Leeds: Crowne Plaza Leeds Hotel Review

Luxury Leeds: Crowne Plaza Leeds Hotel Review: June

Crown Plaza Leeds on Wellington Street, a real jewel in the city, a lovely luxury hotel for you to explore all the city has to offer.

Ideal for both business and leisure, and if you don’t want to venture out the hotel has plenty to keep you busy.

First impressions count, amazing Alex at check in welcomed us warmly and along with Katie in the management team, both went out of their way to ensure a smooth stay.

Enjoy some lovely Leeds Luxury, join the club and treat yourself to an upgraded Club Room.

The fully air conditioned Club room had a nice lounge area, that allowed you to relax and refresh, along with some complimentary water to quench your thirst.

Enjoy the perks with a wonderful work desk, spacious and an ideal spot to sit back, watch the flat screen television and catch up on all the newsy happenings. Well received, was an extra special welcome gift, including some fab fizzy stuff which my plus one enjoyed and a lovely Leeds skyline card.

Bathroom with sunken tub, overhead shower and large mirrored sink area stocked with plush Temple Spa toiletries.

The dressing area, with full length mirror, a well-appointed tea tray with Nespresso coffee machine and a wardrobe stocked with everything you could need during your stay.

Grab your robe and slippers and head down to the onsite Spirit Health Club for a little you time.

Indulge yourself and take full advantage of their super large heated swimming pool, with jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.

Focus on you, make use of the lazy loungers, and escape the hustle and bustle of Leeds City Centre, and drift off as you enjoy your latest read.

Hit the gym and work up a hot sweat on a range of quality training equipment.

Spruce yourself up and prepare to indulge in another Club room Perk, Exclusive access to the Club Lounge.  Take the lift from the Club floor or head up the opulent staircase.

The Club Lounge is a sensational space which serves complimentary continental breakfast, all day soft drinks, tea and coffee.  Also, a range of board games and reading literature are provided.

In the evening the Club Lounge becomes a social hub, a place to mingle where complimentary alcohol and canapes are served.

Richard, the Club Lounge host, did a perfect job looking after us throughout the evening and the following day.

After evening time in the Club, head to the hotel Bar & Kitchen LS1 for a delightful delicious dinner and drinkies.

A chic contemporary city hub serving up British food, cooked with care, creative flare and with a yummy Yorkshire twist.  A warm Yorkshire welcome from Adriana got the evening off to a super start.

To begin, we opted for some snacking olives, a quinoa super salad with avocado, water melon, feta cheese and sprinkled with pumpkin seeds.  Along with the Cheese board, with the fabulous fine Cryer & Stott cheeses, which turned out to be a first-class choice.

Mouth-watering mains included the yummy vegetable wellington, a real winner, served with a ratatouille sauce, but my obsession for peppercorn sauce took over.  My dining companions steak offering was served with tasty triple cooked chunky chips, mushroom and roasted cherry tomatos.  All washed down with a well-balanced berry mocktail.

A sweet finish included homemade sticky toffee pudding with vanilla pod ice cream and toffee sauce, the triple chocolate melt brownie with slated ice cream and a passion fruit mocktail martini.

On the evening it was a pleasure to meet resident Head Chef Lee Miller. Living in Leeds for over 20 years, using his knowledge of the local area in conjunction with his natural flare, passion and drive, Lee has excelled to produce homely, flavourful regional dishes using only the finest quality ingredients and where possible with locally sourced produce.

Accountable for his kitchen, Lee ensures tractability, sustainability and authenticity, are key criteria when menu creating.   A lovely lad, Lee loves Leeds, and this is clearly demonstrated throughout his culinary creations.

Wind down the evening back in Club room heaven, make use of the brilliant bedside units, charge your phone, plug in the laptop or switch on the reading light to enjoy your fav novel.

Reflect on the days activities, pop on the kettle for a brew, hit the sheets and enjoy the chocolates provided for that lovely sleep feeling.

Enjoy a breakfast boom in your room.  Enjoy a full brilliant British breakfast or opt for the impressive vegetarian offering, along with a pot of tea.

Perhaps chill out in the lounger with cold continental breakfast offerings including fresh melon, segmented grapefruit, pastries, cheese and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Stay in the #JEWELINTHECITY enjoy Leeds luxury with a first-class team.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



Hotel Football Class of 92 Room and The Manchester United Theatre of Dreams Stadium Tour – One for the Fans

Hotel Football Class of 92 Room and The Manchester United Theatre of Dreams Stadium Tour – One for the Fans: June 2018

Hotel Football is just a dribble away from the magnificent Manchester United Football ground.  Having stayed at Hotel Football previously, the hotel is not just for the mega Manchester United fans, as the place has something for everyone.

However, this visit was an all-star pitch perfect performance, which would see fans dribbling with excitement, as they live the ultimate Manchester United dream.

Kick off began in the Class of 92 room, a chic custom designed bespoke room which includes unique Class of 92 memorabilia, that pays homage to its class of 92 owners, Gary Neville & Ryan Giggs.

Above the bed was a signed Ryan Giggs shot and if that was not enough quotes from Zinedine Zidane, Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and the man himself Sir Alex Ferguson.

The well-appointed entertainment area, with desk, mini bar and a flat screen television,  had the ultimate fans dream, a Gary Neville’s signed shirt hung on the wall.  Along with a class of 92 timeline which included the players individual score tally’s.

In the mini bar the boys have left a stash of tasty treats including some good old retro classics along with two bottles of Café Football beer.  Ooo and some lovely chocolate balls of brilliance, as a wonderful welcome gift.

Choose a front row seat, chillax, read the in room class of 92 book, and enjoy the breath-taking view which has a direct vantage point overlooking the Manchester United Old Trafford Football Stadium.

Fancy a refresh, hit the showers or take a soak in the bath, using the fun player themed toiletries.

Grab your snug Hotel Football monogrammed robe and slippers, out of the well cool wardrobe, and maybe read a book using your complimentary class of 92 bookmark.

Need some fuel, head down to Café Football Old Trafford, and enjoy a reds Afternoon Tea which includes a range of sandwiches, yummy scones, cakes with unlimited tea or coffee.  Oh and yes…the view of the Manchester United Old Trafford Stadium is thrown in for free!

Why not keep things sweet, and try the pre-concert Billy Joel Afternoon Tea, on Saturday 16th June at Cafe football Old Trafford.

Walk off the treats along the canal way or why not hit the gym, get fit and keep hydrated with the complimentary water provided.

After all that training, head down to Café Football for some delicious dinner.  Ben, Terpsi and all the Café Football key players, did an amazing job looking after us, as usual.  Dinner was a game two halves Savoury vs sweet.

The menu offers a good range including nachos, halloumi burger with fries and the sensational steak.  Why not wash them all down with the Café Football beer.

A sweet stay highlight for me, is always the sweet shop stop! After enjoying sticky toffee pudding and bubble gum desserts, it is so much fun to pop to the shop for some ‘penny’ sweets. A perfect end to the evening.

Wake up well and kick start the day with a brilliant breakfast. Go hot, and have breakfast in bed, with Giggs. A lovely full English with bacon, banger, beans, egg, mushroom, black pud and tomato.

Fancy something chilled, well go cold continental with Neville.  Enjoy a fabulous fresh fruit platter, with pastries, yogurt, toast, freshly squeezed orange juice and peppermint tea.

Having trouble deciding, well let’s call it a draw and go for both!

Why stop there, continue to live the dream, roar for the red devils and book onto the legendary Manchester United Theatre of Dreams Stadium Tour.

Prior to the tour, you have access to the museum, for me the highlight of this was the eye wateringly impressive Trophy room. Not just because of the shiny items, but the sheer volume of trophies achieved – incredible!

A fun interactive activity, that included silly selfie moments, to warm you up for the exciting stadium tour.

Brilliant Ben our guide made his introductions, along with security team Kevin and Dave, who provided a friendly and relaxed tour with lots of fun thrown in for good measure.

Get the behind the scenes scoop, and feel the atmosphere, as you look out onto the stadium from the dreamy director’s box, VIP area!

Both the home and away fitting rooms are included within the tour and you can only begin to imagine the buzz and focus, of the players prior to play, on match day.

Walk in the boots of your favourite player, imagine 76,000 fans roar, as you emerge through the tunnel like a pro, and prepare to clinch victory.  A fun moment of the tour, but no spoilers, you will have to just wait and see!

Back the home team, take in the view, and yes the lovely lanyard you do get to take this home!!

Also, take time to visit the Munich tunnel to pay homage to those in the tragic Munich Air Disaster on 6th February 1958. As, Manchester United’s players of the past have contributed to the greatness of the Club we see today.

Go on be a devil, live the dream, with the Class of 92 team!

Thanks for reading 😊

Melanie xx


Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester City Centre Review

Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester City Centre Review: May 2018

The 5-star iconic Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester is located in the home of Manchester’s historic Free Trade Hall and is the original home to the Hallé Orchestra, which is steeped in history and old school decadence and charm.

Originally, built in 1853 to commemorate the repel of the corn laws and sympathetically refurbished in 2004, retaining original features such as the façade, to create this stunning five-star hotel, with spa, restaurant and a bar.

Make your way through the airy, impressive and exquisite lobby, which hosts a mix of eclectic contemporary décor including a giant cockerel, bold Buddha head and some interesting wall art.

As you sweep through the lavish lobby, you will notice the Manchester iconic Bee wall art which will lead you onto the opulent hotel bar and restaurant.

Welcomed warmly by the charming Jack and Joe, our concierge and desk check in attendants, who directed us to our room.  Décor was a calming chic mix of neutral shades with splashes of gorgeous gold.

The room had the wow we factor, the view over Manchester’s industrial city skyline was wonderful, and just as things could not get any better along arrived the most marvellous macaroons!

To the right of the cosy, comfortable and snug bed, slide back the wooden door to reveal a fabulous vanity area which has all the must haves such as mirrors, a hair dryer, a larger wardrobe unit, robes, to make your stay a smooth one.

The bathroom included a hot towel rail, spacious tub, stand up wet room style shower with a handy inclusive mirror for all those singing in the shower moments!

Residents have inclusive use of the sensational Sienna Spa and health club.  Facilities include an air-conditioned gym, 12-metre deck level swimming pool, the poolside relaxation area along with facilities such as the whirlpool bath Nordic sauna and steam room sets a high-end tone which oozes quality and 5-star luxury.

After working up a sweat or simply soaking up some lovely leisure time, swimming, enjoying the whirlpool bath and turning up the heat in the sauna and steam room why not opt for a treatment to balance your inner mind, body and soul.

Available for those who have booked treatments, the relaxation room, decorated in opulent gold, with subtle cream tones, along with subdue lighting, peaceful music and relaxing recliners, is a place to relax and channel your inner calm.

The hydration station offers complimentary herbal teas and filtered water to keep you body hydrated, as you refocus and escape the city hustle and bustle.

The marvellous Moroccan mud ritual for two is a perfect treatment to share some relaxed R&R time with a loved one. A therapist will guide you through the treatments, which include a scrub, mineral clay and a face mask, and then you are left to carry out each step of the treatment in your own intimate private Rasul chamber.

The detoxifying and stimulating nature of the treatment, left us both feeling refreshed, cleansed and nourished. Once finished head back to the well equipped changing rooms with high spec hair dryers, straighteners and coded lockers.  Change there or throw on your robe and head on up to your room.

Steak and Lobster for dinner was perfect, Ana and Robert provided us with the most perfect service throughout the evening. Starters which included chilli cheese bits, cayenne peppered onion rings, Parmesan fries and my personal fav the wonderful warm veggie mince lettuce cups, speedily left the plates in no time.

The lovely Veggie Philly cheese steak with creamy spicy mayo was yummy. My plus one loved the ‘Bring it together surf and turf’, a huge serving which included grilled steak and half lobster with spicy roasted garlic chimichurri butter with chilli ginger dressing and a side of peppercorn sauce. The salted caramel cheesecake provided a sweet finish.

The hotel bar, was an ideal end to the evening, not only were the staff on point as usual, the lush raspberry & lychee sling and the kiwi ginger addiction mocktails hit the spot, but we also had the pleasure of meeting the resident llama lovelies!

Breakfast in bed began with room service of course.  With a delivery of a fully cooked English breakfast and a continental offering with fresh fruit and pastries.

Start the day relaxed and refreshed, pop on your robe, make that breakfast call and enjoy the amazing Manchester skyline, as you chow down.

Manchester Five Star Style and service, make sure you stay at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester and experience it for yourself.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx


The Principal York Hotel Review

The Principal York Hotel Review: May 2018

Located in an enviable postcode in the heart of York, with views of the Minster, only a few small steps away from York Train station, the Principal York is the place to stay, play and enjoy your stay the Yorkshire way.

The breath-taking building with grandeur and grace stands dominant and proud, awaiting to welcome visitors to enjoy a first-class experience.

The gorgeous grounds have that secret garden feel.  These vast sprawling gardens are an ideal hub in which to escape the hustle and bustle of York and have some rest and relaxation time.  You may not be the only residents taking advantage of the greenery, you may be lucky to see a ducky.

Warmly welcomed at reception by Alex and his team, we knew the stay was going to be rememberable for all the right reasons.  The perfect balance has been struck, with their choice of bespoke décor, between the opulence of late-Victorian architecture and contemporary charm which suits the discerning and modern traveller.

The restorations and refurbishments, carried out by award-winning interior architects Goddard Littlefair, have remained sympathetic to the original period features retaining the buildings elegance and natural charm.

Take the sensational staircase or catch a ride in the lift up to your room.  The décor is well balanced using natural tones and textures to create an elegant space to revitalise and relax.

Useful features at the bedside brilliance included enough plug sockets to charge all your gadgets, reading lamp, notebook, pen and a cool quirky red usable telephone.

The spacious room included two full length mirrors, one suspended on the wall and another behind the grey doors to the right, in a wonderful wardrobe with plenty of space to hang all those fancy outfits.  Also, a flat screen television tastefully fitted above a fabulous fire surround. Particularly nifty was the table which had a fold out mirror feature, which was ideal to beautify located where natural light was plentiful.

The solid wood unit provided additional garment hanging space, a safe, mini fridge, tea tray, and a complimentary tuck box.  An extra super surprise, just for us, came in the form of this wonderful wicker hamper packed with Yorkshire treats.

Fantastic, fresh and fabulous, the bathroom was stunning.  Fully tiled, including a top of the range standing shower unit, a vanity sink area, with a super large mirror, and exquisite Elemis toiletries.  Bathrobe on the door ready for you to get all snuggly.

After some in room pamper time, strut your stuff, make an elegant entrance and walk your way down the opulent sophisticated staircase like a movie star.

Delightful dining can be enjoyed at the Refectory Kitchen and Terrace, where they celebrate seasonal local produce by using some of Yorkshire’s finest ingredients.  Along with Yorkshire’s finest staff, as George and Richard did a fab job looking after us throughout the evening.

Meaty Main and a vegetarian option both went down a treat, which included the roasted cauliflower risotto, with watercress, ginger and toasted sunflower seeds.  Also, the sensational Sirloin 10oz served with hand-cut Maris Piper fries, vine-on cherry tomatoes, a Portobello mushroom with lashings of peppercorn sauce.  Why not go all out an add on some tasty truffle and parmesan fries.

Mains and Mojito mix well, so why not pair them up with a refreshing mouth-watering virgin blueberry Mojito shaken up with blueberries, mint, sugar syrup, apple and soda.

Devine desserts included the delicious dark chocolate cheesecake, pistachio crumb and steeped blackberries.  Also, a trip to Yorkshire would not have been complete without trying the cheeseboard, that includes a variety of regularly changing cheeses from Yorkshire and across the UK.  Served with honey, Netherend Farm butter, caramelised walnuts, home-made chutney and Peter’s Yard rye crispbread.

Make things even sweeter with a brilliant berry fizz, a non-alcoholic mocktail made with a mix of blackberries, blueberries, apple, cranberry, elderflower, vanilla syrup and lemonade.

After dinner why not chill in many of their lovely lobby areas, or if you need to get online the free wifi throughout the hotel worked wonders, without a device, well head to the business centre for all your online needs.

Luxury for me don’t get better than breakfast in bed, the continental offering included fresh juice, fruit, pastry’s, toast with preserves and tea/coffee.

Feel like something hot to start your day, well pop on your fluffy robe, and why not opt for the full English breakfast or go for the hot vegetarian option.

Work off some of your indulgences, by heading down to the leisure club which includes a gym with a range of cardiovascular and resistance training equipment.

Take a dip in the heated swimming pool, then chill out in the steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi.

Have a fabulous finale to your stay and conclude in the gorgeous grandeur of the Garden room.  Served between 5 – 8pm, enjoy a tremendously tasty twilight Afternoon tea, in this sensational setting.

Wyatt and Sebastian provided a wonderful welcome and provided sensational service throughout.  There was even a game station if you fancy challenging someone to a game of scrabble.

Twilight tea, as you gaze over the grounds with the marvellous Minister in the backdrop, made for the most perfect early evening.

Twilight time includes two finger sandwiches, delightful home-made scones with clotted cream and jam, along with some lovely cakes and pastries.  Also included, a bramble cocktail which they were more than happy to make a non-alcoholic bramble mocktail for those who do not drink or are the designated driver.

There was even a delightful departure, with the lovely Carolyn on check out and super Steve the door porter, who directed us through the building to a door, that lead directly onto the train station platform, to ensure smooth and safe onward travels.

I love the people of York, Love York and Love The Principal York.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx


Novotel Manchester Centre Review

Novotel Manchester Centre Review: April 2018

Located within an enviable postcode, near to all the main transport hubs such as Manchester Piccadilly & Oxford Road train stations, the Novotel Manchester Centre, is the ideal place to enjoy all of the city action, from a convenient and central 4 star base.

Make your way through the revolving doors, into the bright airy reception area, and prepare to check in for a sensational stay.  Make use of the interactive touch screen system that provides helpful tourist information.

Executive rooms immediately have that wow factor, focusing on your needs to provide a relaxed experience.  An open plan arrangement, with a super cosy comfortable bed, with amazing artwork above the bedhead, a flat screen television, and a cleverly designed modular bathroom.

The adjoining lounge area, with a second flat screen television, comfortable sofa, relaxer chair set within a Manchester city artwork background scene, along with a Nespresso coffee machine, Bose Ipod dock, complimentary broadband, and mini bar stocked with water was an ideal place to kick back, relax and chill out.

Bathroom brilliance comprised of a tastefully combined bathroom built within the room in neutral colours, which included a fully enclosed stand up power shower, separate toilet area, a spacious sink area and plenty of mirrors to beautify yourself.

The over sink marvellous mirror was fully illuminated with the additional extendable mirror, that also magnified, which took the faff out of getting ready for the evening.

Additional complimentary bathroom goodies included the fabulous Fairtrade Shampoo, shower gel, body lotion, conditioner and soap.  Also, essentials such as a comb, dental set, shaving set, shower cap, vanity set, shoe shine sponge and a sewing kit which definitely cuts down on the baggage, and the need to pack extras.

Fancy a workout, well pop on your fluffy robe and slippers, included within your executive room, and head on down to their modern fabulous fitness centre to let off some steam.

Relax, refocus and recharge in the sauna and steam room, with towels and water already provided you can have a little you time without any stress.

Why head out into the city for dinner, when you already have the excellent Exchange Food and Drink Lounge on the ground floor of the hotel.  Unwind in a casual setting, and only a 1 minute lift ride away.

Taking inspiration from their local heritage, being allegedly located on the site of the first public telephone exchange, “The Telephone exchange” in 1847.  Décor is a mix of aged industrial chic with contemporary collections including telephone paraphernalia, open bulb light fittings, stripped wood, metal mirrors, bar style stools, cosy booths and soft plush sofas.

Take a seat at the buzzing bar and absorb the awesome atmosphere, while enjoying a range of wines, beers and cocktails.  Requesting an off menu mocktail, the team had no trouble rustling me up a delicious drinkie.

Delightful Daniel welcomed us, as we settled in for a relaxed evening of simple international cuisine.  Super scrummy starters of brilliant baked mini camembert with celery, carrot, bread sticks, and the sensational superfood salad with edamame beans, lettuce, pumpkin seeds, blueberries with generous amounts of avocado, went down a treat.

Mouth-watering mains included some yummy home cooked comfort food including the battered Haddock with thick cut chips, and a good dollop of tartare sauce.  Also, the sweet potato and spinach curry with rice and nann bread.

The delicious delightful desserts did not hang around along, Chef Chris’s chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce, salted caramel ice cream and strawberries was polished off in record time.  Along with the bread and butter pudding with custard, a proper yummy pud.

    It was also nice that both Daniel and Attila, who looked after us throughout the evening, showed a genuine interest and made effort to chat and provided a lot of laughs and giggles throughout the evening.

The wonderful welcome tray, that included some Strangeways drinks, Pringles crisps, and a Novotel Card, that featured an image of John Rylands Library, was just lovely, and much enjoyed while winding down on an evening in the relaxer chair.

The bedside station was useful with a reading light, usb charger ports, and ideal to chill out in an evening with a biscuit and a coffee from the in-room Nespresso coffee machine ready for a good nights sleep.

Head on down to breakfast and enjoy in a casual contemporary space with an array of options or like me dial room service for breakfast in bed, for some ultimate rest and relaxation.

Go all continental and order some fresh pastries, a vibrant fruit bowl, some scrummy porridge with syrup and fresh strawberries and some pure orange juice.  Enjoy in the lounge while catching up on the latest news, or in bed, why watch one television when you can watch two.

Feeling full on, why not order yourself a fully cooked English breakfast with bacon, bangers, mushrooms, egg, tomato, hash browns and toast.  Then wash it down with some English Breakfast tea. Catch up on work at the desk or chill on the sofa and enjoy.

What can I say…What a stay, perfect from end to end, four star genuine service.  Manchester Novotel Centre, thank you for a perfect mini Manchester city break.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx


Premier Inn Hotel York City Blossom St North Review

Premier Inn Hotel York City Blossom St North Review: March 2018

Located within walking distance from York train station and a short walk to York’s major attractions and activities Premier Inn York North on blossom Street is a perfect place for families, couples and friends to stay while playing in York.

Relaxed environment, offering new modern rooms with all the mod cons required to make your stay cosy and comfortable, the Premier Inn North was a homely hub and ideal for city sightseeing & exploring.

Dive into the luxury king-size dreamy hypno bed, with over 1000 individual pocket springs and a wonderful wool rich comfort layer, along with their plump pillows your pretty much guaranteed a snug, settled sleep with plenty of snooze’s.

Continue reading

Make York your Destination for 2018

Make York your Destination for 2018

Founded at the confluence of the rivers Foss and Ouse, with an eclectic mix of Georgian, Medieval and Victorian characteristics, the wonderful walled city of York, with winding quaint, narrow streets and snickleways, has been perfectly preserved making it a picturesque location which combines historical heritage with sophisticated, contemporary amenities.

Known as Eoforwick to the Saxons, Eboracum to the Romans and then invaded by the Vikings who coined the name Jorvik, York is a city steeped in history and charm, an architectural Aladdin’s cave of all things historic, but is an ever-evolving city which offers a range of exciting events, activities, museums and restaurants.

Travelling by rail to York could not be easier and the station is less than a 5-10 minute walk into the heart of all the historic action.  Perhaps you already have an organised itinerary, or maybe decided on a spontaneous trip away, either way, if you have already pre-purchased your yellow York passes then you are good to go, if not just pop over to the Visit York office and the fabulous friendly team will get you on your way to exploring York.

The York Pass offers you a choice of free entry to over 30 York tours and attractions.  You can buy a one, two or three-day pass, making your York Adventure fuss free, fun and cost effective.  During our visit, we used the pass for JORVIK Viking centre, York Castle Museum, Clifford’s Tower, York City Cruises, York Minster and York chocolate Story.

JORVIK Viking Centre

Transported back in time, during our visit, the city was hosting the Viking festival which sees a range of exciting events taking place throughout the city, such as re-enactments, along with an array of colourful characters dressed in attire befitting of York’s historical past.

JORVIK Viking centre is now a super state of the art attraction, located on the site of the original 1976 dig, providing an interesting, imaginative and immersive experience.

Begin your journey at the epi-centre of the Coppergate dig, that unearthed and evidenced key historical moments within this bustling trading hub, such as the Viking invasion in 866AD and the Norman Conquest of 1066AD.  Exciting excavations revealed a well-preserved Viking village, where over 15000 objects were recovered, including an Anglo-Saxon helmet which resides in the York Castle Museum.

Step into the shoes of the inhabitants of 10th-century York and prepare to experience the sounds, sights and smells – yes smells of the Viking-Age.  With the latest in state of the art animatronics, their new ride, places you at the centre of the action using touch screen technology and interaction for you to re-discover and re-live life like a Viking.  Listen out for Old Norse, Old English and even ancient Arabic and let the 22 characters, authentically presented, guide and educate you about the York way of life in the Viking ages.

York Castle Museum

Dr Kirk lived in an industrial era of change, with the introduction of steam travel, motor travel, historical traditions and ways of life could easily have just been forgotten.

  Dr Kirk began collecting key artefacts and in 1935 he agreed to give his private collection to the City of York and on St Georges day 23rd April 1938 the Museum was officially opened.

Kirk remained personally invested in the museum, importantly wanting his historic objects to be displayed in their original context, as a way of transporting people back in time.  His legacy lives on within the museum, by adopting Kirks approach, it has enabled visitors to authentically experience York’s past way of working and living.

Incredible displays and exhibits, that include perfectly preserved artefacts, which take you through the eras including; Kirkgate, The Victorian Street, York’s sweet historic past, 1914 when the World Changed forever, Shaping the body, The Sixties, Toy Stories and York Castle Prison.  Museum staff such as the delightful Denise, are on hand to help you delve into the detail and explore the exhibits to the full.

This year also marks the 80th Anniversary of the museum where you have a chance to make your mark on history, that could see an object you provide, being on display within the museum.

Clifford’s Tower

Who is the king of the Castle?  Well, make the climb up the steep steps to the top of the ancient mound to find out.  Built by William the Conqueror in the reign of Henry II, York Castle has once been a royal mint and a prison in years past.  Famous prisoners included highwayman Dick Turpin, who used the alias “Palmer”, before is execution on 7th April 1739.  Also, in 1665, the Quakers founder George Fox, spent two nights imprisoned here.

Feel the bold brilliance of battle, stand where castle guards once stood looking out for enemies, by taking the self-guided wall walk tour which offers panoramic views across York with a fabulous view of the marvellous Minster and on a clear day you can see as far as the York Moors.

On the other side, there is a great vantage point to take a snap of the “Eye of York” which includes the female prison, Debtors’ prison and the Assize courts.

The two prison buildings now house the Castle museums exciting exhibits and collections.  The courtyard Castle hub is the central point to begin your exciting adventure.

York City Cruises

We boarded at the King’s Staith landing location, for a cruise down the river Ouse, with York city Cruises.

Opting to take a seat on the top deck, our Captain’s commentary entertained and educated us, about York’s famous floods, the Millennium bridge, the Clifton Bridge and much more.

Also, if things get chilly either bundle up or head down to the lower covered deck for warmth and perhaps some refreshments from the bar.

Our trip was actioned packed, highlights included seeing the York University rowing team in training and an authentic traditional Viking ship.

York Minster

An iconic York landmark, the York Minster Cathedral with its Gothic architecture, is a breath-taking sight and the beating heart of York.

Marvel in the Minsters magnificence, a sanctuary of worship, a place of calm, peace and tranquillity.

However, more turbulent times at the Minster, have nearly seen the building burnt down, deliberately in 1829 by Jonathan Martin and the mysterious fire of 1984, where there was possibly a fault or a deliberate act of arson, to this day the outcome is still inconclusive.

Meticulously restored, the Minster basks in all its glory, where visitors can view key highlights including the nave, medieval stained glass, the under croft, chapter house, memorials, the kings screen and the central tower.

Seeking solitude, time to reflect or a moment of prayer, the Minster provides perfect places to pray, reflect and light a candle in memory of others.

York’s Chocolate Story

Entertaining, educational and engaging, the exhibit enables you to embrace your inner child and get creatively chocolatey at York’s Chocolate story.   Discover the origins of chocolate from cacao bean to bite and explore how York’s industrial and chocolatey historic past intertwines and evolves, with the likes of big name brands Rowntree’s and Terry’s.

Thomas our fabulous fun guide, along with historical characters from the past, brought chocolate to life with the addition of some chocolatey samples to keep things sweet.

Prepare to mix things up in the kitchen, as you get to make your own chocolate lollipop, with sprinkles and toppings galore let your imagination run wild and create your own piece of chocolate history.

Watch the experts demonstrate how it should be done, and enjoy their results – exquisite handmade chocolate loveliness.

Where to Eat

Betty’s Tea Room

A York institution, a visit to Betty’s famous tea rooms on St Helen’s square is a must.  First served in the 1920’s Betty’s have refined and evolved their exquisite Afternoon tea experience.

Lavish in the Lady Betty Afternoon tea served in the tranquil setting of the Belmont room, with interiors inspired by the Queen Mary Ocean liner, and a perfect pianist playing, you would be mistaken for stepping back in time to a bygone era of elegance and opulence.

Delightful, delicious and dainty offerings included an amazing pea, cucumber & tomato cocktail appetiser, the sensational savouries, range of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream & jam. lovely pretty pastries all perfectly presented.

Streamlined service, employees that excelled and the tastiest of offerings, book Betty’s for an unforgettable experience.

Grand Hotel

Experience the grandeur of the Grand and enjoy their signature five-star Afternoon tea served in the relaxed Rise restaurant & bar.

Let staff attend to your needs, as you catch up with friends, family & loved ones, over fabulous finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and lovely pastries & sweet treats.

Add on a glass of the fizzy stuff or a handcrafted mocktail to make your Afternoon tea super special.

Carluccio’s for Lunch

Escape the hustle & bustle of York’s St Helen’s square and lavish in some lovely lunchies Italian style at Carluccio’s which was once home to the iconic Terrys chocolate shop.

Interiors mix traditional and contemporary styles and combined with the fabulous food offerings, you can grab your own slice of the dolce vita lifestyle.

Bills Restaurant – Dinner

The bright lights of York led me to brilliant Bill’s which offers a delicious and delightful dining experience with genuine and authentic service, home cooked food, and smiles are plentiful.

The place oozes charm with the rustic and shabby chic interiors eclectically, but tastefully mixed to create a homely relaxed feel.

The marvellous mocktails along with sensational seasonal dishes makes for a perfect dinner with friends, family or loved ones.


The Grand Opera House

With its opulent and ornate Edwardian décor the Grand Opera House York, located in the centre of York, is a real gem.

Headlining that weekend was David Walliams’ Awful Auntie, an eccentric, exciting, engaging and entertaining live performance where a young girl named Stella visits London with her parents Lord and Lady Saxby, only to be in grave danger.

 A creative cast that charmed and captured the audience, an imaginative, innovative and intoxicating script, and a giant owl, what more could you want from an evening out! A personal escape back to childhood, which was simply frightfully funny and fabulous.


An exciting, electric and engaging experience in the centre of York, escape room brand “canyouescape” provide you the opportunity to become a super hero legend in their new game Operation Hero.

Our game master James the Flush prepared us for battle to use our skill, strength of mind and inner super hero powers to complete our mission, save force four and grab our slice or victory.


Unlock your imagination, with escape room brand, GR8Escape in the centre of York.  Do you want your very own NYPD badge and a place on the New York Police Department Force?

Well, there is only one block in your way, master diamond thief Bugsy Bronxton! Alleged to have stolen the famous Manhattan Star Diamond its up to you to find it.  Issued with a rookie warrant use your detective skills to solve clues and puzzles to find the Diamond, before your one-hour countdown hits zero

Where to Stay:

Premier Inn York

Located within walking distance from York train station and a short walk to York’s major attractions and activities Premier Inn York North on blossom Street is a perfect place for families, couples and friends to stay while playing in York.

Relaxed environment, offering modern rooms with all the mod cons required to make your stay cosy and comfortable, the Premier Inn North was a homely hub and ideal for city sightseeing & exploring.

How to get to York:

By car – York is situated only 20 minutes from the M1/M62 motorway network. Frequent Park and Ride bus services operate into the city centre.

By train – York is on the East Coast mainline. It takes less than two hours to get to York from London. York is served by East Coast and Grand Central Trains. National Rail enquiries call 08457 48 49 50 (in the UK) or +44 (0) 20 7278 5240 (overseas) or visit

Virgin Trains East Coast runs fast, frequent train services from stations along the London-Scotland East Coast route.  VTEC operates 72 weekday services between London King’s Cross and York, including a non-stop service each hour through the day, taking as little as 1 hour 49 minutes to complete the journey. VTEC also has direct trains to York from Scotland, North East England and the East Midlands. York Station is a short walk from the city centre.  Visit

Grand Central runs train services between the North East of England and London, calling at Sunderland, Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk, York and London. For information/reservations: call 0345 603 4852 or visit

By coach – If you are travelling by coach, you will be able to get a direct service to York from many UK cities. National Express coach services call 08717 81 81 81 or visit

Car Hire –

Europcar – call 0871 384 1087 or visit

Sovereign Chauffeur Company – call 01937 541881 or visit

By Air – York is served by three key international airports: Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Doncaster with superb routes across Europe and the rest of the world.  A direct rail service operates from Manchester Airport into York. Leeds Bradford Airport: take a taxi to Horsforth, then direct train to York (1 hour).

By Ferry – Hull is the nearest ferry port served by P&O Ferries with daily overnight crossings from Rotterdam and Zeebrugge (

For any further information and your free guide to York, please contact: York Visitor Information Centre, Tel: 01904 550099, email: or visit the website at or visit

Easy to get to, exciting attractions, activities, tours, excellent eateries, have your own York Adventure and, Make York your Destination for 2018.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



Twitter: @visityork

Instagram: @visityork