A trip to York! Tigerlilly Quinn Travels

If you follow me over on IG or my YouTube channel you might have seen we just spent a couple of days over in York. Here's a fun fact about me, I grew up in Humberside, Yorkshire (in Hull/Cottingham/Beverly area) from the age of 1-8. I love Yorkshire and the people there (and the accents!) so have been to York before but only as a child. I didn't expect to feel so nostalgic about an area as I did when we were getting the train through familiar towns and cities and I was excited to explore again as an adult, twenty something years later!

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We were invited by Novotel to stay at their York Centre hotel and it was just the excuse we needed to hop on the train and spend a few days with a change of scenery.

The first thing we noted on our arrival was how immediately family friendly the hotel was. The kids instinctively ran to the play area by reception and were building towers and reading books together within minutes. Such a good idea when you have children tired from a day of travel and you need to sort out checking in. Not only that but the receptionist wheeled out a cart of toys that the kids were able to pick, Wilf chose a funny straw and Mabli a turtle softie. Such a brilliant way of making them feel extra special.

We arrived at around 5 O Clock due to a late running train so we wanted a bit of a chilled evening. Luckily this hotel has a swimming pool so we were able to spend an hour splashing about before chilling out in our room and having an early night. We did intend on getting the kids to sleep then watching a bit of TV but as soon as the light were out we all fell asleep at eight, ha! Must have been the comfy beds.

The children area in the reception, there was also an area with a Playstation and Wii for older children as well as an electronic games table with games like Angry Birds (which Wilf is now obsessed with!). The kids areas reminded me so much of places I'd stayed with my family as a child, the games rooms I'd play board games with my brother with. Some of my fondest memories of trips were actually spent as the accommodation and I got such a sense of that here too. Wilf even made a little friend of his own and they chatted away over the electric table playing together. I love how kids can just do that so easily.

On on our first full day we headed to the York Castle Museum which was brilliant and something I'd definitely recommend if you are visiting the city. I actually didn't know much about it before entering and didn't realise that it covered SO many different topics, from fashion though the ages, a dedicated sixties exhibition, retro toys and play areas and an interactive World War section. The later was so moving that when we reached the end and found a room of messages from visitors I burst into tears. It's so hard to explain to children (as best I could to Wilf) about the horrors these people went through and the bravery and sacrifice they gave. Wilf wrote 'thanky for being brave' and then I cried all over again.

We whiled away an entire morning there and then headed out to wonder the beautiful cobbled streets (passing Diagon Alley) and stopping at a really family friendly pub with a courtyard garden. The staff were just so friendly and jolly, we kept saying how nice people were there.

Afterwards we headed to the Castle Gardens which were just so so beautiful. I'd been there as a child and I felt so strongly nostalgic about it. The kids were climbing on the ruins (the ones that didn't have keep off signs on don't worry) and having so much fun. At one point Wilf held his sisters hand and said 'don't be scared Mabli I'll help you' and I think my heart just about burst. These kiddos of mine.

After a full day walking around the city we headed back for an evening in the hotel. We had dinner there which was really easy and they did a kids meal too which was great. Novotel are really set up for families and kids and understand the little things that really make a difference. The buffet breakfast was also brilliant, I think Wilf went up and refilled his plate about six times. He loved being able to chose different things each time and all the options (hello pasties!). I also loved that they had table service for things like coffee, I had imagined it would be a machine so was really surprised and impressed with the latte I was brought out. I'm super fussy about my coffee haha and it was much appreciated. As was the coffee machine in our room, I'm all about staying well caffeinated with two small children ;) At Novotel accommodation and breakfast is free for under 16's and a second room for families is 50% off with late check out on Sundays, perfect for a chilled family stay!

The hotel is right by a really beautiful canal which is how we walked from the station to the hotel (abut 15/20 minutes) its a lovely walk and you're able to take in the gorgeous architecture along side it. I like to play the game 'I think I'd live in that house' whenever we go somewhere new.

We had such a lovely two days in York and Novotel made it so easy to do so as a family so a big thank you to them for the invitation!


Super Busy Mum said...

It looks like you guys had an amazing time and look how big the kiddies have got!!

Lily Mae said...

This looks incredible! It's so great to see places become more family friendly and offer really fun activities that everyone can get involved in. Everyone looks so happy and relaxed. A perfect get-away!

Stephanie Merry said...

I've been to York before and love it there - the Novotel looked lovely as well x

Sarah-Louise Bailey said...

Oh it looks like you had such an amazing time in York, I have to admit it has to be one of my favourite places to visit, there is so much to do there.

Rachael said...

I always prefer a buffet breakfast in a hotel, I never know what I'm going to fancy and allows me to pick different things over different days!
We went to York last year for the day and definitely want to go back for a longer weekend, there's so much to do, we barely covered anything despite a lot of steps covered!

Melanie Williams said...

I love York such a nice place. Love the look of that continental style breakfast too yummy:) x

Elodie said...

The hotel looks and sounds so good! You really sold York to me too, so I might just have to plan a trip there when I get back from traveling!

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