I took advantage of a rainy day recently to head off to one of my favourite museums in York: The Castle Museum. On the site of the old Castle and prison, this eclectic museum houses such different exhibits as period rooms, a Victorian street, a 1960s gallery, a history of toys and a tour through the underground prison cells which housed local criminals, such as the highwayman Dick Turpin.
The Victorian street, Kirkgate, is full of shop fronts packed with genuine items, posters and advertisements. The street has several carriages and there is also a Police station, a school room, a sweet shop and hidden backstreets to explore. It is a great place and if you stay around long enough, the lighting and weather changes, so you can experience a sunny day or a rainy, dark evening, where the street is lit with lamps.
Although my personal favourite area is the Victorian street, other exhibits are done very well. A temporary exhibition about 1914 and the First World War was well done, and the prison cells are always very atmospheric. The collections are informative and there is a lot of audio-visual on show as well - the prison cells come with their own narrators, cunningly projected on the whitewashed walls, telling you their sad stories.
Finally, after my stroll round, I settled down in the Castle Cafe and had an excellent piece of chocolate cake and a passable hot chocolate to revive me.
I would recommend the Castle Museum in York very much, as it really is an excellent collection. There is plenty to interest adults and kids - if they don't like one part, there is much more to see.
Prices are around £10 for adults and kids go free with a paying adult. I personally bought a York Museum's Trust card, which for £22 will get me into the 3 main York museums for the rest of the year for free. Plenty of chance to wander around at my leisure.
Check out the Museum's website here.