York’s Chocolate Story – exploring the city’s rich history at this attraction
What is it?
York is known as the City of Chocolate.
Kit Kat, Aero, Smarties, After Eight, Yorkie, Chocolate Orange and Black Magic were all created in York.
York’s Chocolate Story is an attraction where you are given a guided, interactive tour which takes you through the history of chocolate-making in York.
It is set over three floors – it’s not a huge building but it is laid out well.
Where is it?
It is in King’s Square, in the heart of York at the top of the Shambles.
What did we think?
This was my favourite part of our trip to York. An excellent guide led us through the different sections. My children enjoyed it too even though my daughter doesn’t actually like chocolate (a bonus for me as she gave me all hers)!
*The ‘free’ samples you get along the way, starting with chocolate how it used to be made.
*The clever chat between founders of the city’s chocolate dynasties in framed pictures, interacting with each other and also with the guide. As the guide handed around a tin of Quality Street, one even says: “That’s not very Yorkshire!”
*A lesson in the best way to eat chocolate.
*Making and decorating chocolate lollipops (then eating them just-set later, yum).
*Watching chocolates being made in a mould and then getting to taste the results.
Our top tips
*Book in advance, especially in the school holidays, don’t expect to just walk in. Tours run every 15 minutes at peak periods but take a maximum of 25 people.
*There is a film shown at one point which may be frightening to some children, with scenes of ancient combat. It was in the second area of the tour, in a small theatre. We sat at the front and I wish we’d sat at the back.
*Children under four are free of charge but buggies may not be allowed during busy periods.
York chocolate facts
*Five million Kit Kats are produced in York every day – more than oen billion every year.
*The Rowntree factory once employed 14,000 staff.
*Terry’s first created the Chocolate Apple before the Chocolate Orange. There was also a Chocolate Lemon in the 1980s.
York produces 80,000 tonnes of confectionery a year
Kit Kat is very popular in Japan where the name sounds like ‘kitto katsu’ – a Japanese phrase that means “surely you will succeed”.
York’s Chocolate Story information
Food: There is a café and shop at the start/end of the tour.
Opening hours: From 10am daily. Last tour at 4 or 5pm depending on the season.
Cost: Adult £12.95, child (aged 4-15) £10.50, children under four free, family of four £41.95 and family of five £49.95. Or buy a York Pass*.
Best for: Ages six and above
Time needed: One hour
Access and restrictions: A lift can be used to access all floors and there is an accessible toilet.
Most guests will stand throughout but there are a few chairs in each room.
Allergies: The chocolate products are produced in an environment where nuts may be present. Nut free, dairy free and gluten free chocolate is available on request.
Address: York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square, York, Y01 7LD
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*A York Pass is the city’s official sightseeing card. Once you buy one, you have access to over 40 attractions in York and beyond.
We were given York Passes for review purposes all views are our own.