Telling an interesting story about the local mining history with guided underground tours and a vast collection of mining machinery and tools, the National Coal Mining Museum for England may be the closest you can come to experience the heritage of Britain. It opened in 1988 as the Yorkshire Mining Museum and was granted the National status in 1995. The collections in the museum have been assembled by the National Coal Board. Apart from the artifacts, the museum houses pictures and various books and documents relating to the mining history of the country. The underground tour puts you into a miner's shoes and takes you inside the mines for a first-hand experience.
Opened in 1996, the spectacular building, which is the home for the national collection of arms and armor, is situated in the rejuvenated waterfront area, just a five-minute walk from the city center. The Royal Armouries provides display case upon display case of guns and weaponry in five separately theme galleries covering War, Tournament, Self-Defense, Hunting and the arms and armor of the Orient. Dynamic live action displays, interactive demonstrations and thought-provoking historical interpretations guarantee an enjoyable and educational day out. If you can, visit in summer when you will see thrilling displays of jousting, falconry, and horsemanship, along with the opportunity to get up close to the animals in the Menagerie.
Opened in 1908 as a hotel, the Hyde Park became a cinema in 1914 and remains one of the few picture palaces in Britain battling the growth of multiplexes with the help of its determined supporters. A listed building, the Hyde Park has been lovingly preserved and maintains its original features, such as the exterior façade, gas lighting and its stunning Edwardian balcony. The only cinema hall in Leeds to offer 'art house' films, in addition to mainstream and classic films, the Hyde Park is the most unique cinema experience in the city. There are regular matinees during weekends.
Settled along the banks of River Aire, Kirkstall Abbey is a marvelous amalgamation of scenic greens and historic architecture. One of Leeds's key historical landmarks, this sprawling abbey remains remarkably well preserved despite the ravages of history. Situated in an area of open parkland west of the city center, Kirkstall Abbey still stands to its original height, lending a true sense of its former scale and spiritual resonance. Its ruins are a muse to many artists, whispering secrets of its storied past through the high arches and narrow alleys. A moving relic of the 12th Century, the abbey bears many more spectacular architectural elements like vaulted cellars, ancient quarters and an idyllic cloister. A soulful embodiment of the Cistercian design, Kirkstall Abbey is an insightful nod to the glory of Henry de Lacy, its master, and the monks who flourished in its fabric.
Proudly sitting on rolling, landscaped grounds, the stately Temple Newsam is steeped deep in history. Having been under the ownership of several notable personalities and organizations including the Knights Templar, this house is today under the watchful eye of the Leeds City Council. The house bears incredible influences of Tudor and Jacobean styles of architecture and is home to dense drapes of woodland, farms, charming open spaces and a walkway lined with blooming rhododendrons. Part of what makes the site so absorbing is the wealth of artworks and cultural pieces which are wonderful remnants of its artistic phase, including decorative artifacts by the Department of Culture and stirring exhibits by the Chippendale Society. The estate comprises large acres of parkland which is used in the summer as a venue for high-profile pop and opera concerts. An exuberant representation of the English countryside, Temple Newsam is a timeless edifice portraying rich cultural nuances stringed together with an indelible history.
Ever since its opening in 1872, the Roundhay Park has served as a spectacular venue for music and cultural festivals in the summer, while also offering wooded walks, horticultural displays and sports facilities. Boasting a stunning tapestry of woodlands, parkland, lakes and charming gardens, this gigantic park is spread across acres and acres, frequented by about a million people each year. Hemmed by the Roundhay suburb, the park is one of the most favored in Leeds, not just for its unbridled natural beauty and magnificence, but also because it has plenty to offer to its patrons. 'Tropical World' is a canvas of wilderness, which shelters exotic tropical plants, and a marvelous nexus of glasshouses, aquariums, a desert house and a butterfly house. Interspersed with winding and wooded alleyways, the Roundhay Park also shelters a tracery of delightful gardens like the Monet Garden, Alhambra Garden and the splendid Canal Gardens which harbor aged trees and carpets of flowers. Other attractions in the park include a grandiose Mansion House, the magnificent, bird-laden Waterloo lake and the Arena studded on the rolling Hill 60, making it an idyllic, undisturbed oasis in the heart of the city.
In the beautiful Aire valley Skipton's position at the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park has earned it the moniker Gateway to the Dales. It is indeed perfectly located for those seeking to explore the spectacular local countryside. An attractive market town, it secured its place in history as the last Royalist stronghold in the north after the famous Battle of Marston Moor. There's a host of shops, cafes and restaurants to discover but the town's major attraction has to be its medieval castle an imposing structure that has survived the ravages of history to remain remarkably well-preserved. A stroll along the lovely canal is highly recommended.
The gallery is on the first floor and centers around two main rooms. The gallery boasts of original prints, etchings and paintings by contemporary artists and in addition to this, the gallery houses wonderful glass and ceramic objects too. Vibrant colors surround you, the beauty of the objects takes your breath away, the whole gallery is full of interesting and diverse items. It's definitely worth a visit, not just for the paintings and prints on view but for the objects on sale. Downstairs is a shop, which sells the artists' ware. Among the beautiful objects for sale are many ceramic cats! Cats in weird positions, stretching, sitting, lying on their backs; if you like cats they're just irresistible.
One of the most interesting parts of the building within the York Minster is the 13th Century, octagonal Chapter House with its extraordinary roof vaulting. Visitors will note that despite its huge size, the Chapter House has no central pillar to support the roof. Details of just how the roof was constructed are shown in a scaled down model. The Chapter House is one of the best examples of its kind and not to be missed. Check the site for timings.
The erstwhile parish rooms of nearby Holy Trinity Church can be found here, situated in a fine medieval timbered house with a beautifully preserved canopied wooden porch dating from the 15th century. Nowadays Jacob's Well is hired out for meetings and private functions. The interior has been fully renovated and refurbished under the watchful eye of English Heritage. Two rooms can be rented but are charged for by the hour. The whole building is available for larger functions.
York's oldest non-conformist church was initially built for Presbyterians only to become Unitarian in 1756. You will find it within the York City Walls, set back from the street behind railings. Of particular historical interest is a portrait of Charles Well beloved, who was minister of the church from 1800 until 1858. He is also buried here. The church also boasts a Georgian pulpit. The present minister is The Reverend Margaret Kirk. Sunday services start at 11:00a.
Upper Poppleton is a village on the western edge of York by the River Ouse. The village has the distinction of being named in the Domesday Book, a survey that was completed for William I in 1086. Although you may visit Upper Poppleton for its history, the village has become known for its shopping and restaurants.