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“Not worth the hassle! Tour unpleasant.”
Review of Fairfax House

Fairfax House
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The York Pass Including Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Ranked #15 of 204 things to do in York
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Step back in time when you visit this 18th-century town house, one of the finest examples of rococo decoration in England with its famous Terry collection of furniture and clocks.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not worth the hassle! Tour unpleasant.”
Reviewed July 1, 2011

We have been touring Georgian houses around GB and have to rate the experience at Fairfax House not worth your money or hassle. There's load more to do in York. Went on Monday because I wanted to take advantage of the guided tour. Not a pleasant experience as the guide rushed us through, refused to answer questions if he didn't feel like it (You can buy a book downstairs we wrote about our furniture if you wish to know what that desk is for, Madam!) and got offended when I looked through the guide book I bought to see if I could learn there's anymore information about the room he was rushing us through. Turned out if we want to look around we would need to come back another day. Not sure why they offered the tour separately this way. The guidebook was mainly about the renovation process so be aware, unless you're into learning about it.

The whole visit was so unpleasant and so unlike the other Georgian Houses we've toured (Edinburg, Bath are two of the best!) I would not recommend anyone with an interest in Georgian period make a special trip to York for this, or if you do visit, don't bother with the tours. Didn't bring children and glad I didn't, despite 16 and under free.

Visited June 2011
4 Thank RatherTravel00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
184 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Extremely helpful guides and a beatiful house”
Reviewed November 13, 2010

The thing I remember most about my visit here (a few days ago) is how enthusiastic and helpful the staff (I think volunteers?) here were. In every room there was somebody who just seemed desperate to tell you as much as they possibly could about the house and the Fairfax family as well as the work done to restore the house. They realy did make a great difference as otherwise we would probably have left thinking it was ok but nothing special. Instead we left having had a thoroughly satisfying experience.

The house is a beautiful Georgian piece of art in itself. The ceilings are simply stunning. When you hear about what had been done to the house before the restoration works it seems amazing that this is still here to see at all. You do however have to remember that the furniture is not that which belonged to the Fairfax family when they lived here. It is authentic Georgian furniture and beautiful in its own right and has been put here to help recreate the idea of what teh house would have been like, but not the stuff originally here.

If you are visiting Jorvik or the York Castle Museum this is a great place to add to your "to do" list.

2 Thank zadunajska8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not to be missed in York”
Reviewed May 21, 2010

Fairfax House is a gem!

Don't be misled by the entrance steps leading up to the shop/ticket office - which give you a false impression of what you are going to find. Once you have bought your ticket, you enter the house 'proper' - which is the most lovely Georgian townhouse.

I love Fairfax House for lots of reasons. For a start, it is a very manageable size - the sort of house that you can wander around and imagine yourself living in very comfortably.

The plasterwork is beautiful and intricate. If you have time when you visit, find out about all the imagery reflected in the plasterwork. It is just like the Da Vinci Code with lots of hidden "messages" showing support to Rome and the Catholic cause whilst sticking two fingers up to the monarchy! (The Fairfax family were Catholic, the monarchy was not). Another amazing thing about the plasterwork is that it survived the period (1970's?)when Fairfax House was used as a nightclub with the ceilings painted black!

There is a lovely band of room hosts who are at hand with lots of information about the house.

Often, Fairfax House has exhibitions in the display area at the end of the tour round the house. They had a particularly good one last year - a display of gold and silver fish/cake slices. Sounds bizarre, but was absolutely fascinating.

1 Thank UnitedKingdomYorkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne Australia
Level Contributor
103 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“A great tour”
Reviewed July 28, 2009

We had already seen a fair bit of Georgian architecture on our trip to the UK so had not originally planned to stop here. However as entry was included with our Great British Heritage Pass we decided to take a look. On Friday entry to the house is by guided tour and we were lucky enough to have a wonderful guide that really brought this ornately decorated house to life.

Thank joybell27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
264 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
“Very informative”
Reviewed June 21, 2009

Faifax house is not far from the castle museum and is tucked away down a little street. It's a lovely old house with lots of furnature owned by the rowntree (chocolate people) family. Very informative and well worth a visit if you are interested in historical period houses.

Thank MissBurlo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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