Home Travel Attractions Guide Eleven New Reasons to Visit York, UK

Eleven New Reasons to Visit York, UK

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A Painting at the China Now exhibit

Visit York in the UK this summer to see and experience all that York has to offer! Read on to find out about events, festival, museums, arts, shows, entertainment, food and festivals and more.

1) Go Chinese

York Goes Chinese: February 2008 – July 2008
York goes Chinese in 2008 with a programme of city-wide events to mark the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and co-incide with CHINA NOW – the largest festival of Chinese culture in the UK showcasing the very best of modern China.

At Fairfax House, a series of Chinoiserie Decoration tours will take place exploring how British artists and decorators used examples of Chinese Art to inspire designs for porcelain, furniture, silver and wallpaper. Visitors can also view the House’s collections of 17th and 18th century Chinese ceramics.

The Last Days of Chinese Steam Exhibition: 19 March – end August 2008
This special exhibition by railway photographer Michael Rhodes brings together portraits of locomotives, landscapes and people in China taken since 2003. Visit China in York for more information: www.chinayork.co.uk .

2) Discover hidden treasures at the National Railway Museum…and take a nostalgia trip with the Railway Children . . .

National Railway MuseumDiscover the National Railway Museum’s hidden treasures… New for 2008!

Visit Search Engine – the National Railway Museum’s brand new library, archive and special exhibition area. Search Engine opened in January 2008 and provides hands-on access to the Museum’s vast collection of photographs, film, objects, sound archives and much more for the first time ever.

Magical New Production of the Railway Children – 18 July-23 August 2008, a new professional theatre production of this much-loved book, written by children’s playwright Mike Kenny. For more info, please visit www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk .

Castle Howard3) See the new sets for Brideshead Revisited and much more at Castle Howard . . .

Castle Howard‘s season begins on 1st March, when the House opens with a new exhibition on Henry VIII and the Howard family. Under the glowering image of Henry VIII (one of Castle Howard’s most celebrated portraits), and in the shadow of the executioner’s axe, Henry and the Howards recounts the topsy-turvy fortunes of the Howards in the 16th century and beyond.

In the late spring, a brand new children’s adventure playground will be open, with giant play structures. The playground will be perfect for children of all ages – from babies of 6 months to mums and dads. Children will be able to play on a huge tangle net, sound cushions a giant pyramid tower with slides, and much more.

4) Get Quilting

Quilt Museum and Gallery To Open in York
Europe‘s first museum dedicated to quiltmaking and textile arts opens in June 2008, in historic York’s medieval landmark, St Anthony’s Hall. The Quilt Museum and Gallery will be a new home for the Quilters Guild of the British Isles and their world-famous Heritage Collection, together with special exhibitions of contemporary textile artists, and spaces for seminars and workshops.

5) Visit ‘Against The Odds’ at the Yorkshire Air Museum

Yorkshire Air MuseumNew At Yorkshire Air Museum…
New for 2008, the Yorkshire Air Museum will be opening the dramatic Against The Odds exhibition. Opening on March 19th 2008, we are delighted to announce that Sir David Jason OBE, (alias Inspector Frost) will officially open this new national exhibition about RAF Bomber Command in the Second World War.

Against the Odds has been created in association with the Imperial War Museum and is a hard hitting story of the people, places and events which still echo to this day. Unique and controversial pictures, stories and film footage combine with dramatic displays to make this an unmissable experience. Further information available at www.yorkshireairmuseum.co.uk .

Great East Window6) Discover the secrets of York Minster’s glorious Great East Window

As preparations move forward for the conservation of the Great East Window – the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world; visitors will be able to learn about this masterpiece and the restoration of the East Front. Visit www.yorkminster.org for more information.

7) Shop Till You Drop at the York Designer Outlet – ‘Designer Destination of the North’

In 2008 ‘York Designer Outlet’ offers visitors even more choice than ever. The Outlet now offers over 120 top brand stores including Armani, Ted Baker, Paul Smith, Daks and new additions such as LK Bennett, Hobbs, Jaeger, Fred Perry and many more all under one roof, offering designer gear reduced by up to 50%. Take the bus from the city centre or there is free parking and a range of refreshments to make your shopping trip a relaxing one while you pick up all those bargains! Visit www.yorkdesigneroutlet.com for more info!

8) Visit New Exhibitions at York’s World Class Museums

The Sixties, York Castle Museum
Reel back the years and travel back to a time when the cultural changes were massive but the cars and skirts were mini. Swinging into life in March 2008, the brand new 1960s experience at York Castle Museum will change your perspective on one of the most explosive decades in recent times.

WhistlejacketStubbs and Whistlejacket in Yorkshire, York Art Gallery
One of the most iconic paintings in British art is heading to York for the first time ever next year. Whistlejacket, a life size oil painting of a racehorse by George Stubbs, has been lent to York Art Gallery by the National Gallery and will be the centre piece in the exhibition Stubbs and Whistlejacket in York. The exhibition, including other significant Stubbs’s works, will coincide with the racing season at York Racecourse, where Whistlejacket won his most famous race nearly 250 years ago. Taking place from April 26 – August 31 2008.

The Mystery Files, Yorkshire Museum
Prepare yourself for a journey back in time and get ready to solve some of the Yorkshire Museum’s deepest and darkest secrets as The Mystery Files are prized open for 2008. The museum has opened up the top secret cabinets, unearthed some of the most unusual objects and declassified some curious tales for visitors to investigate.

Everyday people can explore the Cabinet of Curiosity and hunt for clues among Roman ruins, Viking remains and golden treasures on the Mystery Trail. Then each school holiday there will be a new mystery – be it murder, treasure or ancient swords. Only when they are all solved will the visitors be able to solve the greatest mystery of all…

Discover Your Viking Roots, Jorvik Centre
The JORVIK Viking Centre’s latest innovative exhibition, ‘Are you a Viking?’ offers visitors an opportunity to learn about how the Vikings lived and how they shaped the way we live today. The exhibition begins with a computer quiz, enabling visitors to find out more about the Vikings, from what they typically looked like, what they ate and what their hobbies might have been. Visit www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk .

9) Dig like Indiana Jones!

Dig at Hungate
Ever fancied yourself as an archaeologist or modern day Indiana Jones? Take part in the biggest real live archaeological dig to be held in York in the last twenty five years – Hungate York. The site covers four hectares of archaeological activity, with the dig expected to continue for over five years. Speculation has already been high as to what hidden treasures lie hidden underneath Hungate. Could it be the long searched for Roman amphitheatre? Could there be ancient Viking settlements? www.dighungate.com

10) Eat, Drink and Be Merry…

Visit the largest UK Festival of Food and Drink: 19-28 Sept 2008
The York annual Festival of Food and Drink is the largest event of its kind in the UK, and a massive showcase for the restaurants, hotels, shops and food manufacturing companies, which are so much a part of the city, its history and its economy.

For ten days food simply takes over as the city hosts an extravaganza of specialist markets, celebrity chef demonstrations, themed dinners, product launches and any number of special events. More info: www.yorkfestivaloffoodanddrink.com

11) York Is Transformed Into An Outdoor Gallery, The Grand Tour: Until 28 September 2008

Full size recreations of paintings from the National Gallery and York Art Gallery have transformed the streets of York into an outdoor gallery. For the next 17 weeks (from 5 June to 28 September 2008), a total of forty nine works – forty five from the National Gallery and four from York Art Gallery – will be hung around the city in the most unexpected and unusual places as part of ‘The Grand Tour’ in York.

Masterpieces from Monet to Van Gogh, Ramsay to Carracci will be lighting up the bustling streets of York’s historic city centre, celebrating the richness and diversity of the permanent collections housed at both museums. The Grand Tour in York aims to encourage people to visit the genuine works, and many more, for free.

This is the first time that the tour has been re-created outside of London and the origins of the tour date back to the 17th century, when the wealthy upper classes undertook a journey of cultural enlightenment across Europe, in a life changing trip that could last for months. The National Gallery, which is famous for its collection of Western European Art wanted to bring ‘The Grand Tour’ to the public and let them view the paintings in situ – initially exhibited in London in 2007 and now in York in 2008.

The Grand Tour in York has been made possible as a result of the collaboration between the National Gallery and York Art Gallery. The paintings have been reproduced to such perfection through innovative imaging and printing solutions from HP. Each picture will be in a replica frame, and have an information plaque next to it – just as it has in the real Gallery. A map of the entire Grand Tour in York including a selection of ‘mini-tours’ along with further information about the paintings, the story of how the project came about, audio downloads and a picture gallery are all available on the official website of the National Gallery – www.nationalgallery.org.uk and www.thegrandtourinyork.org.uk

For more information visiting York, please visit: www.visityork.org/media

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