Recently myself and Benjamin visited the York Dungeon while Ren took Max and did a spot of shopping. We had a really good time so I thought it was worth a quick blog post…
For a 9 year old boy the York Dungeon is pretty appealing – blood, guts and torture. What could be better? Ben did confess to being a little bit scared as we headed on in (for anyone reading I think the recommended minimum age is 10) but we braved it anyway. The guys behind the counter did say it’s like the TV show Horrible Histories to gauge whether he was ready, to which Ben replied “I don’t like Horrible Histories”. Off to a good start then…
A different type of museum
Let me start by saying that I can’t stand museums. They bore me to tears. Despite the fact that I seem to be getting more interested in history the older I get, I have no interest in slowly wandering around a museum reading boring facts about isolated objects. This is where York Dungeon stood out for me, it’s the total opposite of a boring museum.
The tour takes you through 12 different sets most of which feature live actors who are all good showmen (and showwomen). They all have a story to tell and this is what really involves you in the experience. They pick on people from the tour at random and get them involved throughout – Benny and I managed to avoid this, largely down to the fact that Ben was clinging on to me throughout and the actors seemed to recognise this and left us alone.
I won’t list them all out and ruin the surprise but here are some of the more memorable rooms/sets that we travelled through on the journey: The gunpowder plot, the plague, the torturer and Dick Turpin. The sets are all really well put together and even the sections that don’t have a live actor in the scene are really well done and entertaining. I was surprised throughout by just how polished the whole thing was.
The tour lasted over an hour and was really good value for money at £9.50 for an adult and £7 for a child (online prices) and Ben really enjoyed it once he’d got over his initial fear. Definitely recommended for anyone with kids of around 10 years old!