A few weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely team at York Dungeon, asking me if I fancied coming and taking their tour to find out what they’re all about, and then writing a review for my lovely readers. Now I’ve never been before and I’m a bit of a scaredy cat (especially at the moment, what with these clowns everywhere-what is WITH that?) so I was a little bit unsure-but when they told me I could bring a friend, me and my friend Robyn decided we’d probably enjoy it, and be brave together.
York is about an hour or so from me and they’d initially asked me to come for 4pm on a weekday-which just wasn’t going to happen when I work until 4 at the earliest and have no holiday left. Thankfully they were really accommodating and were happy for us to come over on Saturday instead, and we went over on the 22nd.
I didn’t really know much about York Dungeon, or what to expect. We arrived and there was a really long queue-always a good sign. Deciding not to be one of THOSE people, I joined the queue though I knew my name was on the guest list and I possibly didn’t need to. Embarrassingly, a couple of the staff came down the queue and announced they were looking for Laura from Inside Laura’s Head-nice little plug for my blog, but a little bit cringey-oops! We were taken inside and then given our first surprise-they were taking us downstairs to the makeup room and giving one of us a spooky makeover (or makeunder!?) so we could see how they did the actors’ makeup. Very cool, good old blogger perks!
Robyn offered to have hers done so that I could take the photos, which was helpful. Please excuse the photo quality-my camera was not a fan of the unnatural light, being underground, and so I had to use my phone. It was great to watch Alex at work-he told us he’d been down in London the day before training with MAC and it was clear to see how good he was-Robyn’s contour was fab, although granted we wouldn’t normally use a bruise coloured powder!
Once we’d had the makeup tutorial we went back upstairs to join the tour, and spent approx an hour and fifteen minutes going around the dungeon. I’m not going to spoil it for you, and there are no photos of inside on this post (again so as not to spoil anything) but basically you go through lots of different rooms, meeting different characters and hearing their stories. There’s quite a bit of audience participation although I was relieved not to be picked to do anything-I’m not sure my anxiety would have coped with not knowing what I was going to be told to do!
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’m a bit of a scaredy cat, and so I thought I would be terrified. I wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, there were bits that really made me jump, and lots of the rooms I was very apprehensive about what would happen next-but I wasn’t terrified. In my opinion that’s good, because being terrified isn’t fun, being a bit jumpy and a bit apprehensive is.
Robyn was slightly more scared than I was, I think, and certainly jumpier-maybe I was just braver because she was more scared and if I’d been with someone less scared I would’ve hidden behind them, who knows?
Once we’d finished the tour we were kindly given a copy of our photo each (we’d had one taken as we entered-sadly ours is terrible because I did my usual ‘oh look it’s a camera, quick you must close your eyes’ face) it was lovely to be given a copy as a souvenir of the day though. From memory the photos are normally £12 each or two for £20, so they’re not too bad if you want to buy yours after the tour, and they’re included in some of the ticket prices. They also have a shop full of different things-including very cool Viking helmets that the family in front of us bought, and I was quite jealous of.
We had a fantastic time at York Dungeon and I would definitely recommend it for a visit-children under 10 are not allowed in (which makes perfect sense to me!) and if yours are older but easily scared, you may want to think whether they’ll be okay with this. There are a lot of emergency exits all the way round though and the staff will happily let you through one if you want to leave. They also make it clear that no one will actually touch you, which makes things less scary too.
Opening hours differ depending on date, so it’s best to check the website for those. Tickets cost from £10 (booking tickets online is far cheaper than if you just turn up, and I’ve only looked at the online prices) you can find out more about prices, opening times and the venue itself on their website. The Wicked Women exhibit we saw was on until 31st October and I’m not sure whats on after that, but I’d really recommend going if you can-I’m pretty sure everything else will be just as good.
*York Dungeon invited me and Robyn to visit them free of charge in return for this review. However, as with any review on Inside Laura’s Head, any views contained in this post are my own and are honest and truthful. I will be visiting York Dungeon again off my own back as I had such a great day.
Have you ever been to York Dungeon? Do you fancy going now? And what do you think of Robyn’s witchy makeup?