Sorry for the radio silence, but I’ve been working 20 hour days in an English summer camp in Nottingham, England. Wow! I’ll have to tell you all about that another time, but for now I want to share with you a little of what my role entailed while I was there…
…organising excursions around the country for students…
On this occasion I’ll start with the first excursion I had to organise. It left me feeling hot and sweaty; more than a little stressed, and I did have to apologise later on for making an error. But, on learning from my mistakes, I would love to share with you a little about York and what I would recommend for a good day out. Once you’re done reading, I would love to hear your thoughts and learn some more about what you’ve been up to in York. Let’s get going, shall we.
York is in the north-west of England, and is an old Roman, walled city. It is very well equipped for tourists and people in general, with the shambles, an area of old shops and quaint little coffee shops. All roads appear lead to the Minster, the highlight of the city. If you’ve seen Harry Potter, you’ll remember Diagon Alley, then you’ll find yourself in the middle of your wildest dreams here.
Hopefully, you can see the similarities between the two. These dark and mystic streets are fit for the Harry Potter movies and I can see why it evoked such need to be included. Walking up the shambles, it feels as if all roads lead to the Minster.
It feels as if it is hidden in amongst the surrounding buildings, but still manages to impose itself on you once you get to it. It’s big and strong as well as being delicate and intricate. I feel as if you can stare at it for hours and still not see everything. My parents have been a few times and still find new aspects of it when they go. Walking inside, you’ll find yourself going from the big, bright building to this dark, comforting building inside. It’s huge, and yet peaceful. We allowed the students to have some free time, and they found out some interesting facts. Most were fascinated by the stain-glass windows. They are mind-blowing! Just go! Look! See for yourself.
After being cultured it’s great to just get out into the shops and fill your mind, eyes and belly with all there is to offer. The local markets offer good quality, homemade knickknacks. As you walk the streets, you’ll smell gourmet fish and chips, burgers out of a burger van, Arabic fish sandwiches, and cream teas. During their free time, a lot of the students made it to Betty’s Tea Room for cream teas and shopping.
I mean, look at that! It’s such a quintessential aspect of British culture and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t enjoyed it! After they finish, they usually end up spending a lot on gifts for friends and family, including biscuits, scones and different types of tea.
Other Things to do in York
I’ve told you a couple of things we managed to do with a group of 280 foreign students, but there is so much more to get your teeth into, check out the city’s website for more day-by-day, week-by-week information. For example, there’s the Yorvik Centre, a Viking centre showing off the history of the city in a fun and engaging manner. It’s been flooded this year, so we weren’t able to visit, but I have only heard good things about it. It’s reopening in 2017, so go and see for yourselves.
Everywhere you turn there is another church or an old building to see. You don’t have to pay to enter a lot of these places, but each one will offer you something different from the last. If the weather is good, take a stroll over to the York Museum Gardens and fill your senses with 10 acres of greenery. The River Ouse is nearby, so you can take your packed lunch and a Pimms and enjoy life as it passes you by. There are garden tours every Sunday and the observatory is open every Thursday and Saturday between 11:30am and 2:30pm. Such a shame these days don’t coincide with you the tours, but if the weather is good, a stroll will suffice.
Right, well, I believe I’ve given you more than enough to do on your day out, apart from a good pub to visit – but I’ll need some of your own suggestions for that one! Being on an excursion with teenagers doesn’t give one much time for frequenting pubs; but I’m open to suggestions for next time!
Have you been to York, where else would you suggest? Did you have a particularly good experience? Or, a rather nasty one? How did you find the weather? What was your favourite part? Do share…