An impromptu afternoon in York


July 21, 2013 by talkaboutyork

That feeling you get when you come home from your two week long sunny holiday, bags of filthy washing bulging, overcast skies and light drizzle blotting out all memories of sunshine, chores to do, fights over the x-box to break up, a cat to collect, an empty fridge to restock, dead plants to water. It’s enough to make you want to turn around and go back. 

After plodding through the dull stuff, I chivvied the children outside after letting them stare at a screen (they’ve had two screen free weeks, they need their fix) saying, ‘There’ll be loads of fun stuff to do in town….’ while wondering just what exactly. The promise of a treat from a coffee shop is as far as I could think.

Thankfully York is a bloody marvellous city and it never lets me down.

As we passed under Bootham Bar towards the Minster, we noticed a giant TV screen and hoardings lining the road. Turns out, it was the British National Cycling Championships (or something like that) taking place. A race track had been set up right through the heart of town. With a women’s and men’s race scheduled for later in the afternoon, before the big screen flicks to the final stage of the Tour de France, I was presented with ready-made entertainment. Did I mention it was free entertainment? This is all part of the build up for the start of the Tour de France 2014 – Le Grand Depart which starts in Yorkshire. (Something for next summer’s diary then.)

So to pass the time, we got a chocolate brownie and lemonade, browsed a few shops and bought the boys an analogue watch each, something they have been nagging for forever. I see them as an educational investment, so that they can learn to tell the time properly AND get ready for school on time. A worthwhile expense. (Since their purchase, I have been appraised of the time every two minutes. It’s now ten to five in case you are wondering).

Then we popped into the library to update our York cards, which give York residents free entry into a bunch of places. While there, we picked up the forms for the summer reading challenge and the boys grabbed a few books (more free entertainment).

Armed with our shiny new York cards, we decided to do a fly by visit of the Yorkshire Museum to see King Richard III’s head. Not his actual head, but the model that was reconstructed based on the bones found in Leicester. The boys agreed that we would go back this week to see a bit more, particularly as the summer holiday programme kicks off this week with boar badge making and in August you can actually get to meet the King (I am hoping again that this is NOT the real one). Click here for details.

On our way out, we saw a poster for The Taming of the Shrew, an abridged version and a sort of amalgamation of several of Shakespeare’s funniest comedies, taking place outdoors in the Museum Gardens this very evening. A quick text to the babysitter, and we were sorted. We’re setting off for that in about twenty minutes. I love an impromptu, al fresco bit of Shakespeare.

At last the bike race started and we stood alongside the crowds watching as the cyclists sped past the minster in a blur. The boys enjoyed seeing people fall off.

Just like that, a ‘what are we going to do’ afternoon turned into a fantastic afternoon of impromptu shopping, culture and sport. And then I remembered why it was good to be home.

Thank you York.


One thought on “An impromptu afternoon in York

  1. Michael says:

    I agree. York is a fabulous city, and I envy you for living there. I only live a short train ride away in Harrogate, but I would trade that to live in York any day

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