Purely based upon its amazing history and splendid sights, York is by far my fave city of the north to look around and explore. We frequently visit, and each time we do it is just as lovely as before. The kids love it an so do we. We therefore were understandably, super excited to dig deeper into it’s history this last weekend, when we were asked to review Fairfax house.
Fairfax House in York boasts to be the finest Georgian house in England, and bursting with history, charm and beauty, it really is a great way to learn about Georgian York. Set in the heart of the city (across from Clifford’s Tower), it easy to access and reveals so much about both the Georgian gentry and aristocracy, as well as those who lived below stairs.
I absolutely love anything that is devoted to sharing a piece of history, and very much enjoy wandering through old houses and being transported back to that particular period. I do however struggle when the kids don’t enjoy it so much and whine or mess with antiques (you know the score)! This wasn’t an issue at Fairfax House, as they were as equally fascinated and interested, and kept occupied by a wonderful learning experience through “Gregory” (the Townhouse mouse).
Using a beautifully printed booklet, they followed him through each room on a quest to discover facts, artefacts and stories about the house and those who once resided there. They had to search for him, draw things, count things, and seek out the answers, which was both interesting and fun.
Each room carried a different task, and it was lovely to see them confidently approach staff to ask questions, and in return listen intently to their wealth of knowledge about the house and it’s former residents. I loved seeing them getting excited about everything from decor and furniture, to little quirks, and of course discovering Gregory!
We especially loved the grandeur of the dining room, the funny pigeons baked in pies (kitchen) and the very tall beds in the bedrooms! The wallpapers, finishing’s, ceilings and staircases are incredibly beautiful and with both Gregory the mouse and the lovely people that work there it was a great morning.
I loved how kid/family friendly it was, from the fact under 6’s are Free, to the well planned activities with Gregory the mouse throughout the house. The staff welcomed children and had great tales to tell, and interesting little things to show them. It all added up to be a most fascinating and fun family visit!
Opening times –
Monday: Entrance by guided tour at 11.00am and 2.00pm. No bookings are required. Just arrive 10 minutes before the start of the scheduled tour. Tours last approximately 1 hour.
Bank Holiday Mondays: The House is open as normal 10.00am to 5.00pm and there are no guided tours.
Tuesday: 10.00am to 5.00pm.
Wednesday: 10.00am to 5.00pm.
Thursday: 10.00am to 5.00pm.
Friday: 10.00am to 5.00pm.
Saturday: 10.00am to 5.00pm.
Sunday: 11.00am to 4.00pm.
Concession: £6.00 (applies to over 60s and students)
Children: £3.00 (over 6 and under 16) and include the Townhouse Mouse Trail or Townhouse Mouse Quest.
Family ticket: £17.50 (2 adults and up to 3 children) – Which is VERY reasaonable. Remember under 6’s are free so if you have a tribe it’s very good!
We arrived on Saturday, late morning and parking was easy to find in the car park next to Clifford’s Tower. I think it was about £3/hr. Check park and rides though, as these will probably be better value if you are spending a day in York.
The only downside I found was that the house isn’t pushchair friendly. It wasn’t an issue as we carried Alice between us and then she walked in between. with this in mind, I would have preferred the carrier, so just bare it in mind if you have little one’s… They were happy to store the buggy for us!
No pictures are allowed in the house! Hard rule when you’re a blogger!!
Why not take a trip to York this half term or for a family weekend visit, and discover a little more about the Georgians. There are lovely tea rooms and places to eat close by, finished off with some Christmas shopping and walk on the wall will make for the perfect Autumnal day out! I most certainly want to return to see it in its Christmas splendour!
- Thank you to Fairfax House for inviting us to visit and review. The visit was complimentary in return for an honest review… I have permission to use their images.