Yorkshire, also known as York, is a city we have been wanting to visit for months. Conveniently located in the North of England, halfway between London and Edinburgh, it is a popular location for both local and foreign tourists alike.
Although compact, the city of Yorkshire holds a rich history. With buildings and ruins dating back to the Viking, Roman, Georgian and Victorian eras, the vast, yet diverse cultural heritage of York is what attracts visitors from all over the world.
With plenty of pubs, restaurants, universities and bespoke independent shops, York is the perfect destination to visit in England if you are looking for a unique place to get away.
How to Get There
Getting to York is relatively straightforward. If you are travelling from other areas around the UK, the city is accessible via car. However, if you don’t have access to a car, you can easily take the train into York from any major metropolitan hub.
We opted to take the train from London Kings Cross station and the journey took just about 2 hours. The train is a great way to get to and from the city of York, and we highly recommend it if you are not keen on driving.
You can click here to book train tickets today!
Things to Do
One of the things we enjoyed most about York was that within the city walls, there was plenty to see and do. From shopping the cobblestone streets to dining in one of the incredible restaurants, the town of York did not disappoint.
The team at Visit York were kind enough to help put together a wonderful itinerary of the best things to do during our trip. Below is a list of some of our favourite activities!
You can’t visit York without stopping inside the gorgeous York Minster cathedral. One of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe, this 12th-century Gothic cathedral is famously known for its ornate stained-glass windows. You can book tickets ahead of time to take a leisurely stroll through the inside of the cathedral and even explore the ancient crypt. If you are feeling brave, you can also climb up the 275 step tower to take in some breathtaking panoramic views of the city.
Pro Tip: Take the time to walk around the outside of York Minster as well. Deans Park on the exterior offers visitors a different view of the stunning architecture and is free to walk around. Also, if you happen to be there during services you will be able to hear the incredible organ playing!
Walk the City Walls
Known to be the oldest city walls in England, this two-mile long walk along the walls of York is an incredible way to see the city. Walking along the walls is free of charge and allows you to take in some pretty amazing views of the city and its history.
Tip: Wake up early, grab a coffee, and walk along the walls in the morning. It was so magical to watch the sunrise and walk along the walls alone.
It’s not a trip to York, without walking The Shambles. Lined with tiny unique shops and restaurants, this cobblestone street is an incredible place to explore. The Shambles has been voted to be one of the best streets in Britain and was said to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series.
Pro Tip: Wake up early and explore The Shambles before the crowds arrive! You can also head over to Newgate Market behind The Shambles which displays a variety of shopping stalls and food stands.
Miniature Golf – Hole in the Wand
George and I are always looking for fun activities when visiting a new location. We found a place called The Hole in Wand Golf in the city centre and decided to give it a try! The entire mini-golf experience was a blast from start to finish. Each room was inspired by the Harry Potter movies and we had such a laugh trying potions and navigating the course.
These stunning botanical gardens are located in the centre of York, along the River Ouse. The area is a gorgeous place to take a stroll, or set up a picnic if you’d like for lunch.
Weather permitting, there are plenty of river cruise options for you to take. This is a fantastic way for you to see the city of York from a different perspective and enjoy some time on the water.
York Cocoa Works
For any chocolate lovers out there you have to take the time to stop into York Cocoa works. This amazing chocolate cafe offers chocolate tours and courses, They also serve some of the most incredible hot chocolate! You can visit their website to book tickets to learn all about the chocolates from the experts!
York is an ancient city filled with dozens of ghostly tales. One of the most amazing activities we did on our trip was taking a deathly dark tour of the city at night with our incredible guide Dorian Deathly. His tours were immersive and incredibly entertaining. We booked our tickets for 8 pm and got to walk around the city at night hearing his amazing tales. Hands down this was one of our favourite parts about our trip to york! You can book tickets here: Dorian Deathly
From the top of the hill at Cliffords Tower you can get a beautiful birds-eye view of York. The remains of this old Norman castle are a sight to behold.
Places to Eat
Los Moros is a vibrant modern African kitchen serving some incredibly unique and tasty dishes. What started off as a popular food truck, quickly gained popularity amongst visitors and has become a staple in York. Chef and owner Tarik has put a lot of love into this space and it is evident when you step foot inside.
Tip: If you visit you must try the lamb! Hands down the best lamb we have ever had. Fell off the bone and was extremely tender.
This fun sandwich shop became popular all over social media. With its fun ‘punny’ sandwich names, and deliciously packed bites, it’s a must-stop for lunch when strolling through the Shambles. We stopped here for lunch and really enjoyed it!
New Orleans styled restaurant in York. When we were there it had only been opened a few days. The food was tasty, couldn’t fault it, but you are definitely paying for the ambience. The interior design of the space is phenomenal!
You simply can’t visit York without booking a tea at Bettys Tea Room. This famous tea room is iconic and has been around for over 100 years.
Tip: If you are visiting York on a weekend, be sure to book in your tea ahead of time. Queues are guaranteed. Also… you have to try their famous Fat Rascals. They are divine!
House of Trembling Madness
This was our favourite pub/light snack spot. The interior of this pub is hilarious and the craft beers they have are nothing short of spectacular. If you find yourself in need of a cold one, stop in there!
York Roast Co
If you fancy a roast, you can’t go wrong here! There will be lines out the door on a Sunday, but York Roast Co is a wonderful place to get your Sunday fix.
Where to Stay
Built-in 1906 The Grand York is filled with history and glamour. The hotel is just two minutes from the train station and a 3-minute walk into central York. It is by far the best place to stay when visiting York and we absolutely loved our time there.
This 5-star hotel also has an incredible spa and cookery school. So if you want to book any treatments or cooking courses you can. The two of us decided to splurge and treat ourselves to a massage. It was an incredibly relaxing way to end our weekend.
Overall, there is plenty to see and do in the city of York. We had an unforgettable weekend exploring and relaxing. A city filled with such a rich history and friendly people deserves a visit.
To read more about York, and help plan your trip, click here.
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