York Dungeon uses live actors to illustrate the macabre side of England’s history with exhibits on the Plague, Vikings as well as criminals like Dick Turpin and Guy Fawkes.

The York Dungeon in York, North Yorkshire (Photo: Stephen Richards [CC BY-SA 2.0])
The York Dungeon in York, North Yorkshire (Photo: Stephen Richards [CC BY-SA 2.0])

What to see at the York Dungeon

Like the similar London Dungeon, the York Dungeon uses theatrical sets, live actors and special effects but it does not have the ghost train-style rides of other attractions in the Dungeons chain. The experience consists of live shows with 360º sets and the calibre of acting that you find at a tacky theatre restaurant.

The experience features immersive scenes that depict the darker side of York’s, bringing to life gruesome tales such as the Plague Pit, Viking feasts, and the Guy Fawkes plot. The dark narrative is balanced with humour and historical insights and visitors can learn about York’s past from Roman executions to medieval medicine. Amidst the frights, witty banter and creative reinterpretations of historical events elicit laughter.

It is a tacky tourist trap which appeals mainly to the narrow 12–16-year-old demographic and anyone younger will find the topics a little too frightening and the crass and tasteless production values feel a little immature to anyone older.

If you’re travelling with kids in this age bracket then you may want to consider visiting the York Dungeon but otherwise it’s something to avoid.

Visiting the York Dungeon

York Dungeon is on Clifford Street in the city centre and, from here, most points of interest in the historic centre of York are no more than a 10-minute walk away.

It is open year round and it is a fairly pricey tourist attraction, although it is cheaper if you pre-book your tickets online in advance.

Although it is aimed at the 12–16-year-old market, due to the graphic content, children aged under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Allow 1½–2 hours for your visit to the York Dungeon.

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Planning a trip to England? englandrover.com is your independent source of travel information with information about how to get around, what to see and do and where to stay on your next trip to England.

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