Reviews for The York Dungeon

York Dungeon Review

By Nola Pell, dated 16th February, 2017

York. What immediately springs to mind is the Minster (complete with new roof), walking the walls, the National Railway Museum, and the Jorvik Viking Centre.  

The York Dungeon?  Not something that would be on everyone’s list of must-do activities but given the temporary closure of the Viking Centre (as a consequence of flood damage) we thought we’d give it a try.  

So, it was that we found ourselves queuing in a narrow side street of York’s city centre on a cold and wet January day.  It was here, in the rain, that the entertainment commenced.  A menagerie of actors, dressed in period costume told tales and jokes, which helped calm the nerves of our two children; who really didn’t know what they were letting themselves in for “Will it be scary Mum? Will I have nightmares?” Truthfully, we couldn’t say but offered the usual comforting words.  

Before we knew it, we were off the street and climbing a narrow set of stairs into the gloomy heart of the building.  Having purchased our tickets and informative guide we nervously waited our welcoming party.  What followed was a 75 minute journey back in time through some of York’s darkest periods from the attack of the Viking hordes to witches burned at the stake – all brought to life by an incredibly talented and enthusiastic bunch of actors.  

Was I scared?  At times on the edge of my seat, but such was the finely crafted mix of humour and horror that I left feeling enlightened and entertained.  Did the kids have nightmares? Not to my knowledge but they did have a fantastic and memorable time.  

The York Dungeon experience is delivered in a similar fashion to ‘Horrible Histories’ and I’m sure that learning about our past set in such an atmospheric context cannot fail to succeed.  Would I return?  Most certainly, yes.


The York Dungeon really is a hidden gem which based on our experience will surely be on everyone’s York to-do list before long!



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