Dig An Archaeological Adventure Review + Photos

Dig in York is an archaeological adventure that is perfect for the fascination of kids. It is located inside what was once a church in York City Centre in North Yorkshire and is perfect for adding to your York day out.

We visited Dig in York as part of our 3 day York pass and out of the many places we went Dig was in the top 3.

Dig An Archaeological Adventure

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Dig York

When we signed up for our York Pass one of the places that came highly recommended was DIG. We knew very little about the place and decided to do some digging of our own before we went.

What we learnt that DIG was a firm favourite among kids, especially kids between the ages of 4 and 9, though it is recommended up to the age of 12.

But what surprised us most is that DIG is part of the Jorvik, which I would consider to be the most popular of the various attractions that you must visit on your trip to York.

We also learnt to our utter surprise that the DIG location is inside of an old church and its so beautiful when you go inside.

dig york inside an old church
Doesn’t the inside of York Dig look beautiful? It is inside a gorgeous church and when inside you can admire its amazing history. Though beware the internet is slow for processing your tickets!

We decided because DIG was so popular and didn’t take all day to do, that we would have it as our very first use of our 3 day York Pass prior to trying anything else out and straight after using the York Park & Ride Service.

What Is The DIG In York?

If you were to use the wording from the DIG website, you would call it dig: an archaeological adventure and that is EXACTLY what DIG is all about. It’s a place where you can learn about everything that has been dug up locally in York by the archaeologists as well as doing some digging of your own, which the kids will just love.

Getting To DIG?

York is super busy with hardly any parking, take the stress out by using the York Park & Ride. Though factor in how much longer it adds to your day using a park and ride. We usually find that instead of 1 hour direct to York that we need 1 hour 25 minutes, depending on how busy the bus is and how busy the roads are as the bus goes into York.

Then once you get off the park and ride at Piccadilly it’s a 6 minute walk to The Dig and we used our Google Maps to navigate our way there.

Arriving at DIG

You will be surprised when you arrive at Dig in York by how small it is. Yet they make really good use of all the space they have inside this old church.

You enter via the reception area, which also hosts the gift shop for when the kids want to nag you to buy every teddy that they can find!

Then in front of the reception there are toilets which also has a side door if you want to sit outside with your picnic then you can.

outside seating at york dig
We loved the seating feature they have outside at Dig. Perfect for your afternoon lunch after doing the DIG experience. But because we were heading straight to our next York Pass experience we didn’t have time to stop.

Then we just wandered around and waited for our slot.

You see the way Dig in York works is that you have a chat with an experienced archaeologist before the kids get to do some digging and before you get to see some of their museum pieces.

We only waited a couple of minutes, and you can do the museum style artefacts first if you prefer, its totally personal choice.

Archaeological Digs

And just like that we were seated and ready to learn all about archaeological digs. There are a few tables with people seated around them, all eager to find out about the finds of York and surrounding areas.

We had a lady that was very informative, and she asked lots of questions and it was one of the best talks at a museum that I have ever had. 

You could see from the reaction of those there, that both the parents and the kids loved what she had to say.

She asked the kids what they had found the most when they did their archaeological dig and the kids all looked surprised when she said rubbish and all the rubbish that people dump both more recently and in the past.

She got us all thinking when she said about the rubbish of the Victorian era and what we learn of that era and what would people think a few 100 years from now about our rubbish?

It also made the kids question their own rubbish and being more cautious about recycling and it felt very educational.

There were also various items passed around, and you got to feel the history of the Roman and the Victoria era.

bones from a terrier from victorian era york
We all loved feeling the bones of a terrier dog from the Victorian era. They named the dog Doug. They were kept as a way to get rid of rats during the plague and chase them off. Then they were buried with humans.
this is the roman horn
What we loved the most though was the story of the horn. How what started off as a horn made from pottery soon became a drinking mug. This is us checking out the horn and how they originally used it to drink from.
how the horn became a mug
Then the horn got altered to make it easy to drink from and this became what we would call in todays world a mug or a drinking flask. 
feeling the beautiful pottery at dig york
The Romans also made a lot of truly beautiful pottery as well as we got to feel a lot of it. Though I remember seeing one piece and saying how beautiful it was and I was then told it was what they sat over when they had a poop!

They also had many more things that were passed about and we were really impressed with the talk we got.

Archaeological Dig

Then of course, came what the kids were really looking forward to doing at DIG. After all, the place is a digging adventure.

They were soon given some plastic diggers and then set to work in various little sand pits and to dig until they found something of interest.

archaeological find
These are the plastic diggers they used. There was a lot of different colours to choose from and the smiles on the kids faces when they realised what was next, was fantastic.

The lady that had given the tour, was not far away, and was full of information at everything they found.

Jorge found some pottery used for poops and he was over the moon to find his treasure. And being a typical boy it fascinated him!

the dig area at york
Here they both are doing some digging. They were not that messy by the end of it and the sand was quite hard so didn’t stick to them. They were both digging for a good 20 minutes.
jorge taking a break from all his digging at dig york
Though Jorge needed a break in between as this was a lot of digging that he needed to do!
Sofia digging and finding things related to what she had just learnt about
Sofia also had a fantastic time as an 8.5 year old girl there was mainly boys there but she loved it just as much as Jorge and it was fantastic for a learning experience for them about the Roman and Victorian era.

Then when the kids had enough, we headed around to see the museum bits and see up close some of the things we had been talking and learning about.

York Archaeology – Last Bits

Then on our way out, we checked out a couple of the items that were in the museum section. Its only a small area but you got to learn about the skeletons and more of the York history.

skeleton from blossom street
This was a skeleton that was found during the Roman era. She was buried in a wooden coffin with a chicken above her and based on her skeleton they can tell she ate a cereal and meat diet that was very common for that era.

Dig An Archaeologist Adventure York Review

We just LOVED our day trip to dig in York. Its one of those brilliant places to mixes great history, with education and with practical all at the same time. Its brilliant for kids and for adults too and you will learn a lot when you come here.

I don’t want to tell you everything here, because it will spoil all the great surprises that are in store for you, but I really recommend going and checking it out on your next trip to York.

I also had the best customer service from DIG on social media compared to any of the other places we visited.

After the end of 3 days using our York Pass, I asked both Sofia & Jorge what was their favourite thing. Jorge chose DIG (expected for a 6 year old boy!) and Sofia chose York Castle Museum (she gets to play with toys so no wonder!)

Jorvik Dig

We did make a BIG MISTAKE though

We should have done York Jorvik first.

The Dig York feels like it’s a bonus to the Jorvik and that you would get more out of the experience if you have a visit to the Jorvik first and then follow it up with Dig. If I was going to do the Dig again, I would do Jorvik first on the day before, then Dig for the first option for the next day.

Also, when you go to Jorvik (this is our review of the Jorvik) it teaches you the bare bones of the Roman/Viking era and then you can come to the Dig for the practical.

Dig: An Archaeologist Adventure Visitor Information

  • Where is DIG York located? York’s famous DIG adventure is located in York city centre at St Saviours Church and is just a short walk from the famous York Shambles.
  • What is the post code for DIG? If you are using your Google Maps to navigate to DIG it is YO1 8NN.
  • What age is DIG York for? I would recommend DIG the most for children between the ages of 3 and 10. They will get the most out of it between the age of 5 and 8 because they can learn about everything and understand it more.
  • How long do people spend at Dig York? I would say an average of 90 minutes to thoroughly enjoy the DIG experience. This will give you time for the talk, for the kids to do some digging and to have a look at the museum pieces plus a trip to the gift shop.
  • What is York Pass? I have mentioned our York Pass a few times. Basically, it’s a York ticket where you have access to loads of York attractions for a set price. Kind of like when you get a special pass for theme parks. I recommend you read our York pass review here because we explain how to do it and save money as its easy to waste money on it. Plus, we run through all the attractions we did for the pass including our trip to DIG.

Pin York DIG For Later!

Well, that’s a wrap, do you have any questions then do ask below and if you want to refer back, to this later for planning your DIG day out then don’t forget to pin it to your travel board or days out board on Pinterest.

Our Trip To Jorvik Dig York

You Should Plan A Visit To Jorvik Dig
About the author

Run by Sam, Dom, Kyle, Sofia & Jorge it documents our family’s love for eating out, day trips, road trips and great holidays.

We just love a trip, we love to travel, and here we will show you with a little planning, how to have a great adventure and create new memories along the way!

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