From fossilised Viking poo to the street that inspired Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, York has over 2000 years of history to enthrall the whole family. Here are five history sites not to miss.
York minster took 200 years to build and has one of the largest medieval stained windows in the world. Built over a roman fort, the original roman mosaics are on display in the undercroft. Here you can also see 1,000 year old Viking elephant tusk, known as the Horn of Ulf. If you’re visiting with kids, the Doom Stone in the crypt is also worth a look – this Norman colunade is carved with gory depictions of lost souls being boiled alive!
For the fittest among you, the central tower is worth the climb for its unrivalled view of York’s skyline.
In the 10th century York was a Viking City, named Jorvik. Built on one of the world’s biggest archealogical excavation sites, the Jovik Centre recreates the sights and smells of this Viking town via an interactive train ride through unpaved, rubbish-strewn streets. However, you may want to hold your nose as you journey past the Viking loo. After the ride there is a chance to handle real artefacts like Viking ice skates and even see a fossilised Viking poo!!
Built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, Clifford’s Tower has a haunting past. In 1190, it was the site of one of the worst anti-semitic massacres of the Middle Ages. A violent mob trapped York’s entire Jewish community here. Rather than face death at the hands of the mob, the jews set fire to the tower and 150 people lost their lives to the flames.
This charming 14th century walkway was once York’s most prominent butcher’s market or ‘Great Flesh Shambles’. Today it is famous for being the inspiration for Diagon Alley in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. At night, it’s said the headless ghost of Thomas Percy (who was beheaded by Elizabeth 1st) can be seen wandering the street desperately searching for his head.
A five minute walk from the Shambles, is Barley Hall. Constructed in 1360 by monks, this magnificent tudor townhouse was once the home of the Lord Mayor of York and is a rare example of medieval architecture.
So, if you are visiting York there’s plenty of history and gore to enthrall the whole family.
At The Bungalow we understand that dogs are part of the family and so we want you to know you are welcome to bring your pooches with you when you come. Whether you want to enjoy the Yorkshire countryside, visit the seaside, or just explore Pocklington’s amazing shops, we want you to enjoy your holiday with your pooches by your side and so we’ve put together this guide of dog-friendly places to visit.
Dog Friendly Cafes
A stunning walk from the Bungalow is the World Peace Cafe. Here they don’t just offer fresh water bowls for four-legged customers, but there is also a furnished hut just for dogs and their owners to use if it’s cold or raining. In winter time this is heated by a cosy log burner and is the perfect place to revive before your walk home.
In town, one of the most welcoming spots for pets is the Wolds Cafe & Coffee House. Pop in for delicious cake and a cuppa whilst you’re out shopping or go for brunch – they do a mean full English! Another fabulous spot that welcomes dogs is the Smile Cafe on The Mile. There’s always a fresh water bowl outside and you can even top up your groceries in the shop whilst you’re there.
Pet-Friendly Pubs & Restaurants
Judsons wine bar serves excellent meals for two-legged members of the family and welcomes four-legged ones to sit alongside you. Just be careful if you decide to dine from their comfy leather sofas and your dog can reach the table – you might find you’re sharing more of your meal than you meant to!
If you just want to pop into town for a drink, the Cross Keys pub has a garden where dogs are welcome.
There are two circular walks right from the front door and the good news is they both take you past a dog-friendly cafe where you can refresh whilst you offer your pooches a drink. Head up the hill along the path along the left side of the wood and keep heading uphill until you reach the top. Then, either turn left, then right, through a gate and through woodland until you reach the far corner of the golf course, then take a left down a dirt track road until you hit the main road. Here turn left back along the Mile into town. On your right is the Smile Cafe.
Alternatively, at the top of the hill head straight on and follow the nature trail through a woodland skirting the golf course until you reach the entrance to Kilnwick Percy Golf Course. Here you cross the road and head for the Madhyamaka Buddhist Centre where the World Peace Cafe welcomes dogs and tired walkers. Head home along the lakeside.
If you don’t mind travelling a bit further, then Allerthorpe Woods is the perfect place to let your dog off the lead to enjoy a good run. Watch out though, the sandy woodland floor here is crisscrossed by streams slick with black mud that sticks like tar. Bring a towel to wipe down your adventurous dogs at the very least!
Doggie days out
Another great place for dogs is Allterthorpe Lakeland Park. There are three lakes to walk round and the ones further away from the cafe are quiet if you want to be able to enjoy a peaceful walk. This is also perfect for families who enjoy watersports. Further afield, but well worth the effort is Castle Howard. Dogs are allowed on leads throughout the landscaped gardens and there are water bowls at the outdoor cafes. Burton Agnes Hall, an Elizabethan manor house built in 1600’s, also welcomes dogs in the grounds and woodland walk. Spend the day playing giant chess and other board games in its walled gardens then enjoy a coffee or wood-fired pizza for lunch in the outdoor courtyard.
Of course, the best place to let your dogs run free is on any of East Yorkshire’s wide-open beaches. Fraisethorpe has a car park and the Cowshed Cafe allows dogs all year. Bridlington’s south beach also allows dogs along its southern section all year.
If you’ve forgotten to pack their favourite toy, or just want to treat your four-legged friends, there is a choice of two shops in Pocklington just for pets. From dog leads to dog blankets, either Pocklington Pet Store or RM English have everything your pooch could ever want.
We hope you won’t need them, but just in case, we recommend Battleflats just at the bottom of the hill from the Bungalow.
So, if you are bringing your dogs on holiday with you, we hope you’ll agree that Pocklington has everything you need for a pet-friendly holiday.
Burnby Hall Gardens‘ claim to fame is that it is home to a national collection of hardy water lilies. From mid-June to August, its two lakes are ablaze with 100 plus lily varieties. But, as gorgeous as these floating carpets of colour are, they are only a fraction of what this public garden has to offer families visiting Pocklington.
From woodlands, to a walled Victorian garden, there’s something here to delight every age and taste. And, with an ornamental bridge, summer house, and a ‘stumpery’, this is a place to let imaginations run wild. There’s even a hobbit house in the stumpery.
Informal garden style
For years Burmby Hall Gardens sported a formal, municipal, look, but recently this has been updated. Whilst there are still loud stripes of colour lining the main paths, there’s also a much looser, informal style going on which is a lot easier on the eye. In spring, small sparks of candy-striped red tulips light up the woodland floor, replaced by soft wildflowers in summer.
Garden family fun
There are events at the gardens all year round, including an annual tulip festival, brass band concerts, and live outdoor performances. But even when there’s nothing going on, this is a fun place to visit with families. Children can feed the carp in the lake and there is an adventure playground as well as an ice cream stand. The cafe serves wholesome lunches and snacks too.
Burmby Hall Gardens belongs to the people of Pocklington. A gift from Major Percy Stewart, a wealthy explorer, it’s an important example of Edwardian garden fashion. Major Stewart and his wife, Katherine, lived in the adjoining house, Burnby Hall, between 1901 and 1962. When they laid out the garden, anyone who was anyone had a rockery designed by the famous nursery, ‘Backhouses of York‘, and a lake planted with water lily collections from around the world.
In keeping with their fashionable lifestyles, the Stewarts enjoyed travelling. They made eight world tours between 1906 and 1926. On show in a special museum attached to the cafe are some of the weird and wonderful things they collected on these tours.
From a Maori cloak made of kiwi feathers, to African drums, and the fascinating diaries of Herbert Stewart, who taught the last Russian Tsar’s children, it is a mesmerising, if sometimes disconcerting, exhibition.
There are doll-sized Chinese slippers, relics of an era when mothers would break their daughters feet to keep them fashionably small, and a collection of stuffed hunting trophies. Seen through modern eyes, these artefacts are a little creepy. But the museum curators have taken care to present them in a way that allows children to question the ethics of hunting.
If you’re staying at The Bungalow, then don’t miss out on a day at Burmby Hall Gardens with the family.
Planning to visit Yorkshire with family this summer? Ideally located between York and the coast, Pocklington is the perfect base to explore the region. And its self catering properties are the best places to stay if you are budgeting for a family.
Best of town, coast, and country
On the edge of stunning Yorkshire Wolds countryside, postcard-pretty Pocklington is just 30 minutes from the historic city of York and 40 minutes from the sandy beaches and white chalk clifftops of Yorkshire’s scenic coastline. A quiet, but active town, it has a cinema, quirky independent shops, two supermarkets, and a weekly market. With water sports and walks nearby, this really is one of the best places to stay in East Yorkshire.
A 20-minute drive, or a 30-minute bus journey, from Pocklington and you are in the centre of York. Here you can walk the city walls, where the treasonous Duke of York’s head once hung on a spike, have lunch in any one of the city’s fine eateries, visit its world class museums, and be back for dinner. Don’t miss the gothic splendour of its cathedral, York Minster or the National Railway Museum, an absolute must for families with children.
If history is your thing, Pocklington also has a fascinating past. This is where archaeologists uncovered the most important iron age find in Britain – a magnificent Celtic shield and an iron age chariot dating back to the 4th Century AD. The chariot was found hitched to the skeletons of two ponies that had been buried upright to look as though they were leaping out of the ground.
Family fun at historic homes
If you and your family like fun and games then Burton Agnes Hall, has an intricate Elizabethan garden laid out with life-size games where you and your children can while away a summer’s day playing giant chess or getting lost in an intricate maze.
Pocklington is perfect for gardeners
But garden lovers don’t need to leave Pocklington to enjoy rare and beautiful plants. Burnby Hall hosts the national lily collection and in the summer its ponds are ablaze with these rare species. While you take in the splendour, the children can feed the fish, sample delicious ice cream and play an African thumb piano or see a stuffed lion in its quirky museum!
Pocklington is in the heart of stunning Yorkshire Wold’s countryside. Two national walking trails, the Minster Way, and the Yorkshire Wolds Way, run close to the town and it is also a stop on the Way of the Roses cycle route.
Short walks around Pocklington
There are also numerous, idyllic short walks to enjoy. Millington Woods is a rare, wooded valley that offers a shady haven for families on sunny days. And there are spectacular circular walks from the town itself. One of them leads through ancient woodland to a former country home now a thriving Buddhist centre. Take a stroll around the ornamental lake before coffee and cake in the World Peace Cafe.
A 40-minute drive from Pocklington and you are dipping your toes in the shallow waters at Fraisethorpe or Bridlington beach. These long, wide stretches of sand are ideal places if you are visiting with a dog – watch out for horses galloping! A short drive from Bridlington is Flamborough Head, famous for its Victorian lighthouse. Look out for seals on the chalk-white beaches below. The chalk caves at nearby Thornton Bay were once used by pirates and are fun for children to explore at low tide.
The clifftops at nearby RSPB Bempton host the country’s largest mainland seabird colony where every summer you can see puffins. Recently a black browed albatross has also been spotted here. And, if you enjoy wildlife, seeing the live animal nest cameras and wildlife paintings at The Robert Fuller Gallery is like visiting the set of Springwatch.
Places to stay in Pocklington
The Bungalow, five minutes from Pocklington’s glorious woodland walks, and a 10-minute stroll into town, is an ideal base for families who want to enjoy the best of what Pocklington has to offer. In fact one of the town’s most beautiful walks starts right from its front door. Affordable and well-equipped, this property sleeps six, in a double, a twin bed room, and a bunk room. It also has ample off road parking for families who want to leave the car and take the bus into York.
Places to eat
Pocklington also has a choice of restaurants and pubs to savour, from fine-dining spots including Judsons, Woody’s Cookhouse or Stamfords, to excellent curries (try Sonali for delicious Bengali cuisine). And if you are staying in town at The Bungalow, the finest pizza in town, Pan e Vino will even deliver!