The Grand Tour – Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, & the United Kingdom, July 2019 – Trip Report – Part 4

Part 4 The United Kingdom

York Minster from the wall York, UK

Part 4 the United Kingdom

This is a continuation, and final installment, of a 4 part trip report, covering our 2019 Grand Tour. In this installment, we will cover our travels in the United Kingdom.

If you missed part 1 about Germany and Austria click here:

If you would like to read Part 2 about our travels in Switzerland you can do that here:

Additionally, if you need to go back and read part 3 first about France you click on this link:



The Shambles York, England

Old timber-framed buildings, stone gates, and gothic cathedral (Minster),  all surrounded by an ancient wall.  

We arrived late in the afternoon and before we could get to the hotel from the train station I got ensnared into participating with a street performer.  That’s what happens when you are curious, and stop to look. So a bit of fun when we first arrived. Additionally, we came via the Eurostar so that was a real treat since I have long wanted to go under the channel.  Finally, we got checked in, and had dinner in the pub downstairs.

The next morning we were off to the shambles, after a full English breakfast, of course.  I love little medieval streets with closed in timber-framed architecture, and if you do too, this is the place to go. There’s candy, fudge, trinkets, and an entire market with all sorts of goods behind.  It was great to visit in the morning before all the crowds. Then we toured York Minster. The structure is amazing, so beautiful. We even climbed the tower. The Undercroft Museum under the sanctuary is also very interesting, with historical displays dating back to the Romans. Later that evening we walked to town walls with views of rooftops, gardens, and the Minster.

The following day we visited Clifford’s tower in the morning.  It’s part of the old, now gone, York Castle. There are great views from the top.  Then, we went shopping for clothes near the Shambles market, this made the girls happy.   Later we had an early afternoon tea. This was one of my daughter’s requests and we all loved it.  We got the classic cream tea – tea with milk, scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, yum! That evening we took the ghost tour from the Kings Arms pub.  Our tour guide looked like Alfred Hitchcock and was just as mesmerizing. Everyone was fine with the spooky stories, until, on the dark walk back to the hotel, a city bus put on its breaks on the street just behind us.  We all about jumped out of our pants. Good fun!

We had one more day of touring and we made the most of it. That morning we visited the York Castle Museum.  They have a street scene from the Victorian Era that you can walkthrough. Complete with lighting, sounds, and pumped in smells.  Yeah, they have all sorts of historical artifacts, but the street scene alone is well worth the cost of admission. After lunch in the museum cafe, we headed towards the Yorkshire Museum.  On the journey, the girls spotted owls in the park. They let you hold the birds for a small fee. So my wife and one daughter had to try this out. It made their day! The Yorkshire Museum has interesting and interactive displays about the history of the area, including Romans, dinosaurs, and medieval times. We had a train to catch to Manchester, for a plane back home, the next morning. So we had to end the day in York early. We did get a chance to peek into a graveyard that was part of a spooky story from the night before (it was closed when we were on the ghost tour), on our way to the hotel to get our bags.  Train to Manchester in the rain, then dinner at the hotel, before resting for the trip home.    

Best memories – Cream tea, owls, spooky stories, 2 shots of Baileys, and full English breakfast.

This was an amazing trip.  We got to see masterpieces of art, hike the Alps, tour castles, ride bikes through vineyards, row under a chateau, eat great food, and spend time with our growing daughters.  Memories that we made will always be with us. I hope you enjoyed my 4 part summary, and it gives you ideas on traveling. There is so much to see and do. You can make a trip like this too!  Go Artway Today!

Walking the City Walls York, UK

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