This grandiose Georgian museum is filled with curiosities from an eye-popping Viking treasure hoard to dinosaur fossils and a working observatory.
The Yorkshire Museum is one of England’s oldest purpose-built museums. An imposing Greek Revival building set in the middle of colourful botanic gardens, it was first opened in 1830. It showcases some of Northern England’s most exciting archaeological finds, including the glittering Vale of York hoard – the country’s biggest and most important Viking treasure troves, discovered by two metal-detectorists in 2007.
Other highlights include arguably the best-preserved Viking sword in the world, exquisite medieval jewellery and a giant fossilised ichthyosaur skeleton, one of the largest and most complete examples of its kind. The museum has permanent collections covering natural history and astronomy, with the 19th century working York Observatory in the gardens outside where you can also see the famous Tansy Beetles, an endangered species. The Yorkshire Museum is in central York, a short walk from the train station which is 3 hours north of London by train.