“ York is a city in North Yorkshire, England, at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss. The York urban area has a population of 137,505 whilst the entire unitary authority (see below) has a population of 184,900. York is the traditional county town of „
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I am not really a city person, but there are cities I love, one of these being York. As far as I am concerned York is one of the finest cities in the world and definitely worth a visit!
York is situated in North Yorkshire on the Rivers Ouse and Foss. It can be reached by train and has a station conveniently placed near the city centre. I travel from Newcastle station and it's just over an hour away.
If you prefer to drive then I suggest you consider the very efficient park and ride system that operates from5 sites around the city. Parking is free and an adult fare is £2.60 with children under 16 travelling free. There is parking in the city, but spaces can be difficult to find and with prices costing up to £2.00 for an hour, the park and ride may feel less stressful!
Why visit ?
York was founded by the Roman's and has a long and interesting history. A visit to the city really is like stepping back in time (well at least in places!)
If you only have a limited time in York, then I suggest you walk the medieval walls; or at least a section of them. The walls stretch for 3.4 Kms and have 5 main gates or bars. The name *bars* is used as in medieval times a bar would be pulled across the gates to keep unwanted people out of the city. The bar was lifted after a toll was paid so you could enter. The complete walk will take about 2 hours and is not suitable for wheelchair users due to the steep steps up to the wall. I love the views into places you would not be able to see from the main streets below! There are stone seats at intervals so you can take a break and soak up the atmosphere. The walls also give you the opportunity to see what remains of parts of the original Roman wall of the City along with an ice house.
For many York Minster is the most famous site in York. The cathedral is certainly an imposing building and a very popular tourist attraction. The is evidence to show that there has been a church on the site since at least 627. If you are planning a visit I suggest you arrive early as the queues can be very long! I have visited several times in the past but have to admit that the £10 entrance fee has put me off visiting recently.
The basic ticket price includes a *free* guided tour of the Minster although you will have to pay an extra £5 if you wish to climb the tower. There is also an interactive chamber underneath the Cathedral that covers its History from the Romans to the present day. This is not something I have experienced so cant comment!
The Treasurers house.
Just opposite the Minster is the lovely building that used to house York's treasurer. It is now managed by the National Trust. The house dates back 2,000 years and has 13 period rooms to explore. The house was renovated by the wealthy industrialist Frank Green and even has its own ghost! Each room has an amazing amount of antique furniture, ceramics, paintings and textiles. Outside the walled garden is a great place to eat a picnic. There is a café and shop within the house.
The Castle museum.
The Castle Museum is high on my list of things to do in York. The museum houses several collections including social History from the 1700's, military history and a Dick Turpin display in the jail. The thousands of items are imaginatively displayed, many in *real room settings* through the ages. I love Kirkgate, a Victorian street complete with shops and characters to meet! There is a shop selling Terry's of York chocolate, a chemist and drapers to name a few.
I could easily spend a day in the Castle museum and it is not a place to rush around,so allow at least 3 hours. There is a café and shop. The museum is open daily from 9.30 am until 5 pm. Tickets cost £8.50 for an adult and children under 16 are free. The ticket allows you return as many times as you like for 12 months so is good value.
The tower is situated opposite the entrance to the Castle museum and is all that remains of York castle, built by William the Conqueror. Henry V111 once had the bodies of his enemies publicly displayed here. It is now managed by English Heritage and members get free entry. For everyone else it costs £4.20 for an adult and £2.20 for a child. The tower is accessed up 55 steep steps and there is no disabled access. The views from the top are worth the climb, but I'm not sure its worth going inside the tower itself as there is little to see. There is a large pay and display car park next to the tower although it fills up quickly.
The Shambles is one of the best preserved medieval streets in the UK. It was once the home of York's butchers shops and many of the timber framed houses have deep window sills at the front where the meat would have been displayed in medieval times. The cobbled lanes that lead from the Shambles are equally fascinating with many buildings dating back to the 1300's. The lanes are narrow and cobbled and they can get very crowded making it difficult for wheelchair users or buggies to negotiate.
The Shambles also has many unusual craft shops including a shop selling soaps in the shape of cup cakes. York aslo has the usual range of high street shops in the city centre.
There are many other things to see and do in York such as a boat trip on the river or a visit to the Jorvik Viking experience. However I have tried to give you a taste of the things I have enjoyed and hope it will be helpful if you are planning a trip.
You really are spoilt for choice in York! The Shambles area had dozens of intriguing cafes. I particularly like the little Shambles tea rooms. It is a very small café with seating on two floors but sells delicious scones and tea! York is home to the famous Betty's tearoom. If you want to experience Betty's then you will need to be prepared to queue and dig deep into your wallet! I really think it is overpriced and overrated and think there are many better options for less money in York; but that is just my opinion!
Another option is to buy picnic food from one of the many shops and on one of the many benches around. I would recommend you head to the treasurers hose opposite the Minster ( free and allowed) or up onto the walls.
In addition to the wealth of cafes there are also many good quality restaurants and hotels serving evening meals. York can get quite lively at night and is popular with stag and hen parties. The last time I visited it felt intimidating once the sun had gone down which is a huge shame in such a beautiful city!
There are numerous places to stay in and around York suiting all budgets. I have never stayed overnight so can't comment on any of the options. York gets very busy so if you plan on staying then it is essential to book in advance.
Overall I love York and would recommend it both for a day trip or a longer stay. If you have mobility problems then you may find many of the attractions and cafes difficult to access as they are often small with uneven floors and steep steps. The same applies for buggies; impossible to push on the cobbled narrow streets!
A trip to York really is like stepping back in time!
Having lived in York for 5 months I think I'm just about qualified enough to give a little information to my fellow dooyooers.
I was born in York at the city has always been a favourite of mine, even before I started living here I have stayed here quite a few times with family and my partner.
One of the key points that most people like about York is that there are 365 pubs so your never short of finding somewhere to stop off an have a drink and even better if you live here it lets you set yourself a challege of a different pub every night. Some notable pubs are;
* The Golden Fleece - supposedly one of the most haunted pubs in Britain and although its a little bit expensive its worth it for the atmosphere.
* Vudu Lounge - quite a good cocktail bar which is full of booths and a pretty cool sparkly wall.
*Evil eye - yet again another bar for the younger people which again serves cocktails and the best thing about this bar is the fact that the seating for the bar is beds which is pretty surreal.
As well as pubs, every budding tourist needs a good restaurant and York is hardly lacking. The most famous place to chow down has to be Betty's but as I've never been there I can really comment. Some better restaurants are Oscars and Akbars and of course we have Mcdonalds and Pizza Hut. I would like to add more about the restaurants but I never really visit them so unfortunatley I cant give any more details.
Of course with York being quite a mojor city it has all the normal shops like New look, Hmv and Rymans but because of laws in York the city has kept its historic look as it is not possible for any building to be built taller than the Minster. This is amazing as it means you can see the Minster from all around the main centre. Some stores that are key features in York are The Disney store, Browns department store and of course all the little independently owned stores that can be found dotted around the back streets.
As well as the city centre stores there are three local outlets;
Clifton Moor - Good Cinema, Normal stores like Tesco's and Lots of Restaurants.
Monks Cross - Lots and Lots of stores! has a lot of industrial estates around and has a brilliant Go-Karting track there too if your feeling like being an adrenaline junkie for the day.
Designer Outlet - Cheap designer brands, this place is always bustling and its no wonder. I managed to get a dior handbag for £50 down from £300 so a brilliant saving. Well wrth a look if you like your brands.
-- York Minster--
Construction on York Minster began in the 1200's making it over 800 years old, this is very impressive considering that its survived the reformation, civil war and both world wars. The Minster is one place I would reccomend to everyone it's not one for anyone to miss.
Regular addmission to the Minster is around £8 which is good value as the ticket lasts for a year. Inside the Minster it is possible to enter the Crypts and Undercroft (which has a museum about the history of the Minster) and to walk around everywhere, there are not many places that are off limits and even if they are its just for safety purposes and you can normally see whats going on anyway. For an extra £4 it is possible to climb the tower of the Minster. I really do reccomend this as the view is phenomenal and you can see the whole centre and the expanse of the city walls.
--York Castle Museum--
A museum which actually has nothing to do with castles but its still worth a visit. Queues are normally quite expansive so either get there early or in the afternoon when the queues have died down. York residents get in free but my mom brought a pass for York Castle Museum and the Yorkshire Museum for £14 and again the ticket lasts for a year so its good value for money. One part of the museum focuses on the more traditional histories of the georgians and victorians. There is a pretty phenomenal victorian street which is brilliant for kids and big kids alike (not great if your a history student though because its not really very historically accurate). The other side of the museum is much more fun looking at the history of toys, the 60's and even exploring the history of the old castles dungeon (where Dick Turpin was locked up before he was killed for his highwayman activities).
The path to the museum is magnificent. The Yorkshire museum is situated in the Museum gardens which I consider to be the most beautiful place to walk in the city. The museum itself looks at the history of York from pre history through to medieval times. There is a lot of focus on the Romans which I enjoyed as York was originally the Roman city Eboracum before the Vikings were even though of. The yorkshire museum is more of a traditional museum with lots of artifacts so its quite difficult to state much different from other museums.
-- Railway Museum--
Good news!!! ITS FREE!!!! I love this museum and me and my partner always end up going for a walk to have a look at the trains. Its such a good place to go to let out your inner child. From looking at the Hogwarts Express (which is absolutley huge!!) to just pretending to be a train driver its great fun. Christmas is always a good time to goo as the team work really hard to make the museum a winter wonderland. This is a brilliant place to go and let the kids run wild because the trains are so big there is no way they could possibly break anything and if a big kid like me can run around then a little kid has no problem.
Unfortunatley because of my fear of the dark I am yet to pluck up the guts to go here yet but I can tell you what my friends have said. The Dungeons are run by Madame Tusaudes and each one is unique to the area. York dungeons are full of witches being burnt, the evil Dick Turpin and of course plenty of Vikings!. Its advertised as a family attraction but I've only ever seen adults or teenagers going in so im not sure how children would react.
-- Jorvik centre--
Yorks major Viking Centre. the place stinks to high heaven and thats the first thing you notice when you get near it. Its £13 per person to get in and I think this is a rip off considering what it is. Its a replica viking village which is supposed to be 100% realistic and it is but it's very expensive. If your going to the Jorvik centre Its one to only do once, I'd even look for a voucher if possible.
Some other things to note are
*the Richard III museum which a cute little independently museum about the 'hunchback king' and it even has the final remaining portcullis which is quite a sight.
*the city walls - something everyone has to do. Its totally free and is just the most amazing way to see the whole of the city and you can always see the Minster which is a bonus.
I always travel to York from the South and find the easiest thing is to follow the signs to Leeds then get onto the A64. Leeds to York is abut 25 minutes by car. North Wales to York is about 2.5 Hours and London to York is about 4 Hours so its not too far.
Nationwide coaches stop off in York but its probably easier to get one to Leeds as there are more of them and then get the train to York which takes about 20 minutes and the train station is right by the centre of york.
*Leeds - 20 - 30 mins
*Scarborough & Whitby - 40/50ish mins
Some good Hotels are
*The Royal York Hotel
and if you dont mind a 10 minute walk int town there are some amazing bed and breakfasts to be found in the Fulford and Acomb areas of York.
If your after any particular information on York that I havent involved, feel free to contact me and I'll be more than happy to try and help you out =)
York is a unique historical city in north of England and has so many features to form its reputation as the crowned European Tourism City of 2007. There are many things to do in York, also there are many places to visit in York, particularly in the York city centre. During 2009 I visited York and really enjoyed the sightseeing of York. Now I would like introduce you to top five attractions in York in reverse order.
Top 5: Clifford's Tower
Clifford's Tower takes its name from Roger de Clifford, who was executed for treason against Edward II at Clifford's Tower. It is on the very site of the castle built by William the Conqueror in 1068 to subdue the rebels of the north. Today what we can see is the ruin of which rebuilt by King Henry III in the 13th century. So Clifford's Tower is considered as a proud symbol of the power of England's medieval kings.
It's easy to get Clifford's Tower as it stands in the centre of York and is located on top of a green, grassy hill. You can see it from a distance. Climbing 55 very steep steps not only you can see the medieval artefacts, but you can also have a sweeping panorama of York.
My comments: Clifford's Tower is the Eye of York, the Eye of history.
Top 4: National Railway Museum
The National Railway Museum in York is one of the largest and richest collections of railway related material in the world. At National Railway Museum you can see a turntable show at 11am when two staff work the turntable and explain how they change the direction of a locomotive; Gladstone engine, the only surviving British front-coupled express passenger locomotive and being notable as the first locomotive to be preserved by a railway society; Cast Iron Footbridge from Percy Main station, that was used to connect adjacent platforms of ordinary double track stations; Chinese Locomotive, the largest locomotive in the National Collection. Don't miss the Japanese Bullet Train (as known as Shinkansen), the only Japanese Bullet Train outside Japan. Besides you can also have a look British Royal families on wheel and have a big picture of British Railway industry from past to present.
The National Railway Museum is next to York railway station. There are three main areas open to visitors: Great Hall, Station Hall and Outdoor Play Area. Today mainly in the Station Hall there are displays about the historical development of the railway industry and British locomotives. In the Great Hall there is a collection of locomotives from around the globe as well as other items related to worldwide railway history.
My comments: British do know how to display their history, and the UK still plays a very important role in the railway industry around the world.
Top 3: Jorvik Viking Centre
Jorvik Viking Centre is on the very site where archaeologists discovered the remains of Viking York. Historically Vikings from the Scandinavian area invaded the North of England in medieval ages. During their stay on these lands they built a small city with houses, streets and it had a population of around 10,000. Today's Jorvik Viking Centre, located within the Shopping Centre, is an active place to experience the life in 1000 years ago. Believe or not you can see, you can hear and even smell the life when you travel through a reconstruction of Viking streets or when you 'ramble' around Coppergate Street, which was just one of many streets in Yorvik. How can you do it? The secret is their Time Machine. How far will you be back? The answer is not far, AD 975. By the way In the Exhibition Hall you can get a big picture of Viking life, death, disease and battle, etc. Incidentally There are many interactive displays, such as talking with Viking people, trying on a Viking helmet or having your own replica coin struck by a Viking coin merchant.
My comments: an impressive site about Viking history in England.
Top 2: York Castle Museum
York Castle Museum is a social history museum. It is on the very site of York Castle and is two minutes walk from Clifford's Tower and five minutes from Jorvik Viking Centre. It is considered to be a landmark in the development of museums.
What to do in York? At York Castle Museum you can see almost everything connecting people's daily life. There are a few recreated rooms that represented lifestyles from Late Medieval to Victorian and on to post war. The themed exhibition of daily used products definitely can remind you of items your family had used. There is a gallery "From cradle to grave; birth death and marriage 1700 to 2000" showing how Victorians treat birth, wedding, till death and mourning. Don't miss The Burneston Parish Hearse, which is displayed in the centre of the gallery, brought the Victorian funeral history more alive. Most importantly don't miss the Kirkgate, a recreation of a Victorian street and named after Dr John Kirk, the founder of the museum. Kirkgate reflects the flourishing prosperity of Victorian times. Next to Kirkgate there is an area of Edwardian shops. At the other side of York Castle Museum there are a weapons gallery, a children's gallery, costume displays and 60s show, etc. Last but definitely not the least it's worthy visiting the old cells, which once locked many famous criminals in British history including the notorious highwayman Dick Turpin.
My comments: York Castle Museum is perhaps the finest social history museum in England.
Top 1: York Minster
York Minster is Northern Europe's largest remaining medieval church, also one of the world's great masterpieces in design and construction. It's considered as the heart and soul of York.
As the second largest Gothic cathedral in Europe, it is 158 metres long and 60 metres high. Besides admiring the magnificent buildings there are certainly a lot of things to see, such as The Rose Window, which is considered to be the most beautiful window of the minster; The Great East Window, the largest single piece of stained glass in the world; The Great West Window, also known as the 'Heart of Yorkshire'. The Five Sisters Window, made up of five rectangular glasses. The Screen, Instead of religious figures the screen displays statues of 15 English kings; from William I to Henry VI. You can also Climb The Tower that is the largest church tower in England. The views from the top by all means are breathtaking and outstanding. Walking along the tower you can see almost all of York, even more if the sky is clear.
York Minster is very important within the Church of England. As an Anglican working church there are many special religious events as well as York activities that occur during the year.
My comments: the history of York Minster is the history of York indeed.
For more pictures please visit my blog: http://blossom-iwanttoseetheworld.blogspot.com/
Now, over the years I've spent many a happy time in the grand old and glorious city of York. Easily accessible on the East Coast Mainline that runs from London to Edinburgh or by road from the A1, within easy reach of the cities of Newcastle and Leeds, Yorkshire's finest tourist destination offers great variety and is bursting with charm and character.
From those fondest early childhood memories of scampering around the olde worlde everyday exhibits in the never ending Castle Museum, to discovering my Viking roots rampaging along the city walls.
No question, York is my kind of town!
Let's start this whistle stop tour with something a little hot and steamy.
Why York's only the home of the National Railway museum, and gadzookingtons it's now free admission!
A short walk down from the main railway station, here you'll find over 300 years of locomotive history lovingly preserved, including all the famous names like the Flying Scotsman or the Mallard the fastest steam train in the world no less, right through to modern times with the mega fast Japanese Bullet trains.
At the works you can play at being a signal man or lady, there's a great outdoor play area, and lots of other interactive exhibitions to explore. Throughout the year there are a number of special weekends running, which you do have to pay for but in my experience are well worth the money. We took our little man to a Thomas the Tank Engine weekend and it was just fantastic, seeing all his favourites brought to life on special train rides, with loads of fun activities going on all day long.
If on the other hand you prefer your transport to be at a more leisurely pace, you are also in luck. The river Ouse runs right through the city (and has been known to cause significant flood damage to many of York's treasures in recent years.
As a result there are no shortage of river cruise options and even rowing boats for the more intrepid adventurers out there.
If you like a little more cultural refinement and splendour, then you could do worse than head for the utterly mesmerising and tranquil delights of York Minster. These days there is a small entrance fee to pay, but when you consider the astronomical upkeep costs for a place like this and the breathtaking scale and majesty of the place, in my book its well worth the money.
You find yourself instantly drawn to the magnificent 14th and 15th Century Glass displays all around, constantly intrigued by the memorials and statues that line the outer walls.
Around Christmas time, you may even be lucky enough to be there while there are services in place - now that is magical.
~~~~Memory Lane Museum~~~~
Now if like me you are still a big kid at heart, and like to recapture some of those magic moments, have I got the place for you.
The Castle museum is perhaps one of the best examples of every day life museums in Britain today. The numerous exhibitions, the authentic Victorian streets and shops, the Dick Whittington dungeons. From Cradle to grave gives you a fascinating insight into the changing nature of the ceremonies and traditions associated with birth, marriages and death over the last 100 years or so.
Plus in the summer months they often have shows and activities throughout the day. Every time I've been I've discovered something different, it really is a special place.
As for the original castle itself, there's really not much left to be fair. Still standing on the site is Cliffords tower (but be aware it is a steep set of stairs to get up there) which is a separately run English Heritage attraction,
There are a few other notable museums in York, including the Yorkshire Museum, and the Jorvik museum. Although the Jorvik does feature a very detailed, lifelike recreation of Viking existence, for me it is still over priced for what you get. Essentially it's a wagon ride, plus a few exhibitions including all the thrills and spills of authentically recreated Viking poo, but in the end there's really not all that much you can go and explore.
If you are feeling energetic, you can walk the walls for most of the way round the city. Just keep a close watch on those over exuberant toddlers though!
~~~~Diagon Alley - eat your heart out!~~~~
Fans of Harry Potter take note. Certainly one of the most famous historic shopping streets in the land, the iconic narrow old street known simply as The Shambles offers a rich array of exciting arts and craft and mystical shops.
From the sweet-toothed to the tea room junkie, from the casual browser to the most fervent of collectors, there is a curiosity or two for everyone here, so long as you watch your step.
Those cobbles can play havoc with the ankles!
~~~~The Yorkie Bars (and tea rooms) are on me~~~~
York has also had a long association with the chocolate industry, thanks to both Terry's and Rowntrees chocolate factories being based in the city.
Also there's a fantastic 10 day annual food and drink festival in September each year. The stalls in the central square are not to be missed.
Down one of the main thorough fares that takes you from Betty's down towards the Shambles, there's a big wooden sign hung between the shops "Ye olde starre Inn" pointing to another side alley.
Although there are many other great eating pubs like the "Three Tuns" in and around the centre, this one has become a regular stop off for us.
It's full of atmosphere and also kid-friendly. There's a hot food desk where the waft of hot steak pies and other home cooked fineries is constantly enticing.
Just along the way, you'll find the famous Betty's team rooms, and typically speaking you'll be able to tell when you are close simply by the huge queue of people snaking out of the door.
Betty's was founded by a Swiss lady, who combined the best of traditional swiss "cakery" with some classic english tea time service, to create the perfect recipe for afternoon indulgence.
Yes it's pricey for a pair of crumpets, but when they are dripping in hot butter, and served with a silver salver and a steaming hot chocolate, just , you try and resist!
Dear reader, I feel I must share two more of the reasons why York will always have a special place in my heart. Back in 1989, I entered an eliminator competition at our 6th form college, and being a supercalifragilistic sort of a swat, I managed to make it to the final 6. Our reward was an interview in historic York to fight for the chance to make it onto the very essence of student quiz programming - Blockbusters.
Sadly Paul in York gave battle in vain, perhaps the world wasn't quite ready for me on the TV screens, or my constant lamenting that big bad Bob Holness hadn't come along in person , or maybe just the fact that I didn't get enough questions right -but whichever my dreams of a gold run came to an end right there and then.
But this is my story, my fairytale and from a scene of great personal disappointment, I emerged to return but a few months later on a golden run of my own.
After training long and hard up and down hills on a lunchtime, me and me pal who's surname was Hind (another golden connection) trampled our way all the way round the city from race course to castle courtyards to complete my first ever half-marathon.
What's more I even outrun the incredible athletic ensemble representing Betty's tea room.
Ahh the memories!.
York is a walled city situated in North Yorkshire, England and lies on the rivers Ouse and Foss. Being in existence since before 100AD, the city has a wealth of history and this is easily visible when visiting the city.
Mum & I had decided to have a "Mother & Daughter" 3 day trip somewhere this summer and in the end we decided on a trip to York. I'd been there once before on a day trip and Mum had been a couple of times, so we thought it would be nice to spend a few days there doing touristy things and having a general wander round.
It was Mum's job to book the train tickets (which turned out to be roughly £45 each for a return from Shrewsbury to York) and my job to book the hotel. We needed something situated in the centre but wasn't too expensive. I chose the Ramada Encore York situated on Micklegate in the centre of the city. The hotel is just over the bridge from the main shopping area of the city, which was one reason for choosing it, the other was that for £196 we got 2 nights accommodation, continental breakfast and a 2 day York Pass each. Despite being a city centre hotel, we weren't bothered by city noise or traffic.
Having now used a York Pass, I would say that it is invaluable and a must when planning a tourist trip to York. The York Pass enables you to enter many attractions & museums in and beyond York for free. Discounts for other places, including tourist buses, shops & eateries are also included in the York Pass. The York Pass is a credit card type pass and comes with a guide (a small book). If we'd have paid separately for our 2 York Passes it would have cost us £38 each. This may seem expensive, but I can tell you that we'd have paid more than that for the attractions we visited in 1 afternoon! In all, over the 2 days if we'd have paid to go into the attractions, instead of using the York Pass, we'd have paid nearly £80! Our York Pass was included in our hotel stay, but they can also be bought online at www.yorkpass.com or at the Visitor Information Centres in York. Current prices are:
1 Day £28 (adult) or £18 (child)
2 Day £38 (adult) or £22 (child)
3 Day £44 (adult) or £26 (child)
6 Day £68 (adult) or £44 (child)
Getting around York city centre is easy as many of the attractions and shops are right in the centre. We mainly walked round the city, but we did go on the York City Sightseeing Tour Bus on the 2nd day of our trip. This should have cost us £10 each, but it was just £5 each using our York Passes. This open-top bus tour took us on a 45 minute tour of the city, complete with a running commentary. The bus ticket is valid for 24 hours, so you can get on the bus as many times as you like and board or alight from any of the 20 stops around the city. There is another bus company doing tours of the city and this is the York Pullman City Tours, but we didn't go on this one having already chosen the York City Sightseeing Tour. There are also many normal buses travelling around the city during the day and evening.
Another mode of transport is the riverboats. Using our York Passes we went on the Yorkboat Daytime City Cruise down the River Ouse. The Captain provided a running commentary as we went up & down the river. We sat on the open-top deck, but refreshments were available inside.
During the daytime we visited attractions such as Barley Hall (a medieval townhouse), Fairfax House (a historic house museum), JORVIK Viking Centre (see my separate review for this), Merchants Adventurers' Hall (a preserved medieval guild hall - also see my separate review for this), the National Railway Museum, The Roman Bath (a small museum beneath a pub!), the Quilt Museum & Gallery (says it all, really), York Castle Museum, (surprisingly, not a museum about York Castle, but instead a wonderful trip down Memory Lane and beyond), Yorkshire Museum and York Minster (not to be missed). While in the evening we took a walk around the city and through the Museum Gardens (which houses a ruined abbey and many squirrels!). The city walls are there to be walked, but aren't for people who don't like heights as at times there isn't a guard rail on one side! There are also one or two ghost walks on in the evenings and these seem quite popular (we ran into one and there was well over 100 people following a guide around!).
The city is beautiful and history and you'll see this while walking around the city. Exploring the streets is a must as you just don't know what wonders you can find while going down some of the smaller streets. A visit to York is not complete without a walk through "The Shambles", a narrow historic street (it's said to be the oldest street!) in the city. The 15th century buildings lean into the street, making it seem even narrower. There are all sorts of little shops in this street, particularly local ones... you won't find WH Smith's or Boots here. One thing I will say is that I'd advise you come here early on in the day as the street just gets busier and busier as the day goes on.
York Minster in another place you should visit early on in the day. We went at 9am and there were only a handful of others visiting at that time, so we didn't have people getting in our way (as the Minster is a very popular place in York).
One thing I noticed about York is that there are many places to eat & drink throughout the day and evening. We ate breakfast at the hotel, but chose to eat out the rest of the time. One lunchtime we visited Jacks Cafe and had a lovely (and quite large!) salad and another lunchtime we went to York Hogroast and I got a roast dinner in a Yorkshire pudding, while Mum had a roast pork bap. One evening we went to a Whetherspoons and another we went to Mr Chippy's restaurant (see my review for that). There are plenty of eateries and pubs to suit everyone's tastes!
So to round this up, if you're looking for a city break in the UK I would definitely recommend York as a great city break. There's plenty to do and see, and it's an interesting place.
I have been to York a few times, I think I went when I was young, but I don't remember that!! I then went at around 15 with my mum and dad and little brother, and then I went again last year for my honeymoon.
When I first went (or the first time I remember going!), we stayed in a kind of travel lodge, I think it was at a Sizzler pub if I am remembering rightly, and we used the Park and Ride sytem which York has in place, this is where you park your car and pay around £3, and then you get a buss pass which allows you to travel around the city by bus...this is because if you have ever tried finding parking in York.....you can't!!!
As we were staying around 3 miles outside the city walls, it wasn't really walk able, and so this was the best way to get around. Which was a little tiring as the buses were a bit confusing, and you had to run around trying to get the timing right etc. When I was there with my family, it was only for a couple of days, and we didn't really get round to doing much...because of the bus situation! But we did manage to visit the Jorvik Viking Museum and the National Rail Museum, and we did a nice bit of walking around the city.
When I went back for my Honeymoon a few years later, we decided to get a Guesthouse room close to the city, and we got the train from Warrington to York to avoid any car parking problems. The place we stayed was a cute little room in a family run Guest House, it was only a 2 minute walk into the town, and was perfect.
When I went with my new husband, we had alot more time, because there were no time restrictions on what we could do, which was great...I would definitely say if you wanted to stay in York, to do what we did, rather than stay far away.
There is sooo much to do in York, you would find it very hard to fit it all in in two weeks, let alone a few days like we had!!! So you need to plan your days before you even go really to make sure you get everything in which you want to!!!
We visited the Jorvik Viking Centre, The Castle Museum (which is a museum about the "olden days!"), the National Railway museum (because for some bizarre reason my husband is obsessed with trains! You'd think he'd get fed up of them living next to a railway wouldn't you!). We wanted to go to the Barley Hall, but on the day we planned to go, there was a private function (a wedding I seem to remember) so we couldn't go in. We also went on two Ghost Walks, these were really quite fun!!! But I'll get to those in a minute!
York is a beautiful city, there is so much to do, and not all of it you have to pay for, we took a day to walk around the city walls, which is tiring especially when your feet are blistered and bruised from all the walking, but its worth the walk!
I'd also recommend hopping on the city tour bus and having a run around on that, it takes around about an hour to do a whole trip in one, but the tickets last 24 hours, so you can hop on and off as you please, which can take you all day if you wish it to, and you can see everything there is to see! If you get this, you can also get the half price boat tour, which is also well worth it...even if its just for the sit down!!!!!!!!!!!! This is about a half hour trip up the river, with a commentary of what you can see, and some history to York. You can grab a drink, or something quick to eat, and although a little pricey it is a good idea!
Now, the Ghost Walks....!!! We wanted to do all of them, there are HUNDREDS of ghost walks in the city at night, and unless your there for 3 weeks you won'tbe able to do them all! Your feet won't allow you for a start!!! The best one we went on was the one where you meet at the Shambles...you'd know the one if you went to York, as they all have different meeting points. But this one was most definitely the best, the man is an award winning Ghost Walker, and he tells you the stories of the dead in such a way you can feel it! The ghost walks last around 30-45 minutes depending on who you go with, and the weather conditions.
There are also other tours, like the deadly disease tour, which we really wanted to do, but we just didn't have the time!!
There are hundreds and hundreds of places to eat and drink around the city, so your sure to find something for everyone, from fast food, up to fine dining. There is something for all tastes and budgets.
Now, as you will see I mention my poor little feet alot in this...if your doing what we did, and not taking a car and getting your hotel outside the city, make sure you wear THE most comfortable shoes in the world as your feet will be murdered by the end of it!!! Your on your feet all day, your walking around, you probably walk around 15-20 miles a day with all the zig zagging you tend to do, unless you know where your going and you know the best and fastest way to get from A-B rather than going from A-F-B-K-Z and back again!!!! Its a very confusing city! And if we didn;t have a sightseeing map, we wouldn't have had a hope in finding anything...let alone our way back!!!!
But, York is an amazing place to visit, there is so much to do and see, and there really is something for everyone!!!!!!! The best way to go about it, is to plan your whole journey before you go, and get a feel for where everything is by looking at maps online to ensure your not wandering all over the place!!! I would definitely go back, I had an amazing time the two times I remember going! And I'm planning on a return trip sometime in the near future!!!!!!!
We love York as a family and usually visit there at least once a year.
My favourite bit is the Shambles, the buildings here date back to the 14th century, the streets are narrow and up above you the tops of the shops are almost touching! I love wandering round there and finding nice little shops. if you are interested in jewellery making there is a lovely shop selling lots of beads and jewellery making equipment.
We were last down there in July and it was pouring with rain, we found a lovely little cafe tucked behind a souvenir shop and had the loveliest cake and tea ever!
We also visited the Jorvik Centre and enjoyed it, it had changed a lot since our last visit - for the better! The Jorvik Centre for those of that you don't know is devoted to all things Viking! It charts the life of Vikings in York, you go down the stairs and sit in a 'time machine' which transports you back in time using movement and cinematics and then you transfer to a little pod which takes you round a mock viking village gradually bringing you back to modern day. There are sounds and smells, even a man sitting on the toilet!! You get a running commentary in your little car, very educational and enjoyable.
A good place for lunch is the converted church - sorry can't remember the name and can't find it on google, but is down the road from WH Smiths, lovely food at a reasonable price. They have a small play area for kids, and the food is all home cooked, soups, quiches and salads and so on, plus a good range for children.
The Minster - a very large cathedral is of course very impressive and well worth a visit, we didn't get there last time but be prepared to be amazed it is awe inspiring.
Another must see is the National Railway Museum, you can get a little road train from York right to the door, kids love it!! Admission to the museum is free, and inside you will spend a good few hours looking at all the trains and carriages, there is a very good outside childrens play area with slides and swings and the children can go on a mini train round a small track. They have a good shop well stocked with souvenirs in all price ranges and the restaurant inside the museum does very good food for all the family.
While we there this time we found a lovely doll shop with fabulous teddies and some Action Men too, a lovely shop to browse.
York really has a lot to offer everyone, young and old.
Well where do I begin about the city that I was born in the city I work in and whose football team I support.York is one of those places that has so much history and so many things to do that when you see it every day you do not always appreciate it as much as when you are just a visitor but I do.There is of course York Minster and I must admit I have not been in there lots of times but when I have been it has been interesting and had a pretty good look around and see what has happened over hundreds of years.There is the York Wheel which is the York version of the London Eye.Not as big and not as spectacular but still is worth a ride on this.It is situated next to The National Railway Museum which I have been to quite a few times over the years with my parents and with school and there is lots of different things to see and look and and an interesting history of trains.The Museum Gardens are a good place to go and have a
picnic or just a general wander around and when its a nice day the Gardens get very busy and there is lots of fun to be had.I have visited The York Art Gallery on a few occasions mainly through school and there are some quite good paintings and art
in general which some of it is now displayed around different parts of York and has left a lasting impression on quite a lot of visitors.The Yorvik Viking Centre is a very popular tourist destination I again have been a few times through school and it gives you a real sense of the smells and the sounds and the feelings of what happened during days gone by.I have made frequent trips to Kit Kat Crescent(Bootham Crescent) which is home to York City Football Club and cannot speak highly enough of this ground it is small but if you are a football fan and if you visit on a Saturday you may be able to catch a game or even during the week but if there is not a game on you can visit the Club Shop and have a look at the latest merchandise that is on offer.I have not been to Cliffords Tower many times but have been past hundreds of times and I still enjoy looking at it and if you are brave enough and also agile enough you can try to climb the steps up to the top.Now the Castle Museum I have visited quite a bit through school and through family and it has lots of things that are interesting to look at from years gone by and you will be pleased to have made a trip there.I have been to The York Dungeon the odd few times and that is a good place to go can be a bit scary but well worth a visit.There are plenty of shops to go into if you are a big shopping fan and there are shops such as Marks and Spencer, Boots, Topman, Argos, River Island, Topshop, HMV and many more shops to visit when you come to York.I have been and still go out on nights out in York and I have to say that the nightlife is great and there is such
Pubs and Clubs like Varsity, Yates, Old Orleans, Revolution, Nagshead, Reflex, Flares, The Gallery, BPM, Club Salvation and many more Pubs and Clubs to visit that will make you have a night to remember.All in all I think York is a great place and I am very proud to have such strong connections with the city.
York - What was once going to be the capital of the UK.
York - where the history comes from.
York - Dunno if Yorkies originated from here, but they could have done.....
York is a city in the North of England. It is a walled city, and is full to the brim with history. The major benefit in navigating around the city, is that because its an ancient dwelling ,the main city centre has not spread out, and out, and out. It's very centred to within the still standing, and magnificent walls.
The Minster is obviously the main feature of the city. Standing close to Monk-Bar, the minster can be seen for miles around - easily within view from the A64 - Part of Yorks outer ringroad. Controversially, the minster now charges an admission fee, which sparked a furrore a few years back, but now the hubub has gone, and it is taken as normal practice. Once inside the minster, you have got the tombs of many of the late great leaders and priests, and for those of you who could'nt care less about dead kings and queens, you can look into a mirrored table to see up to the decoratively designed ceiling, in the tallest tower. If its winter, take a coat - its freezing in there. Why didn't they just cater for the possiblity of central heating when they built the bloomin' thing?!
The shopping in York is as good as anywhere else. If you want a main shopping complex, you have got the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet on the roundabout to the A19 / A64. A very popular out of town destination with shopaholics from Selby to Skipton. City centre shopping is also excellent. You have all the major department stores, such as Fenwicks, BHS, Debenhams, and your high street stores also : Topman / Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Game and the list goes on.
For food, there is the famed Betties tea rooms in the heart of the city. Always full, always a queue, but the cream teas in there are to die for. A real must if you're visiting. Varsity bar and Restaraunt is on the other end of the scale. Caters for students as its main forte', but even if you're not a student, the prices are cheap, and the food is plentiful. The bar is also a good design - spacious, and contemporary. If you like Varsity, others to check out along the same principals as this would be : The Posterngate (Weatherspoons) and Lendal Cellars (a bar and restaraunt totally underground - v unique design).
If its just a drink you're looking for, York has got the famous 'Micklegate run'. If you start at one end, and have a pint in each pub running along this road, i seriously doubt you'll be standing by the time you get half way down!!! It is infamous locally though, so if that takes your fancy, give it a go. A lot of the pubs have recently been done out, and I would personally say have lost alot of character, but needless to say, it is still an excellent night out. For :
Bar / Clubs : Nexus, McMillans, Ikon + Diva (which is on Clifton Moor just out side the city, but you can get the free bus up there from the centre), Yates'
Pubs : Rumours, The Posterngate, YO1, The Micklegate, The Bedroom, The lounge (the lounge is very exclusive, and is v difficult to get in).
Bit of a nighmare. There is a massive multistorey car park in the very heart of the city - on Picadilly. This does fill up fast, and on a weekend, if you get to town after about 10am, dont even consider it. If you are lucky to get in, you have the privelage of paying a mere £1.30 per hour (at last check).The best parking i have found is just outside the centre in Fulford. If you park down one of the side streets facing the police station, then you can park for free, and also walk down the River Ouse, which will take you into town. A very picturesque walk, giving you excercise for your new years resolution, and you can spend the money you would have spent on parking on something nice for your self! BE WARNED : Don't even attempt to walk down the river if it has recently been heavily raining. It will have flooded (as it does regularly), and you either won't be able to get to the river for water, or the silt from the river will be covering the footpath, making it very slippery.
In summary, York is a lovely town, perfect for old and Young. Just be careful about where you park, and avoid traffic hot spots, such as Foss Islands road, or ANYTHING on the inner road in rush hours. It gets very congested, and drivers do the silliest things.
Highly enjoyable and lively city
I don't intend this to be an exhaustive guide to the beautiful city of York, more a kind of 'Wot I Dun On My Day Out' whilst it's still fresh in my mind, having been yesterday. I've been to York several times - after all it's only two hours from Central London by train (and presumably from Edinburgh also, since it's half-way between the two). Yesterday's GNER DayPex Return cost us £24 each, not bad for 400 miles travel. Since you can't really do a city like York anything close to justice on a day trip, I like to combine a nice lunch, one or two attractions that I've come to see and a general wander round in my day. After all, at these prices, you could justify coming more frequently, especially offset against anything you'd be spending money on if left at home! For the uninitiated, York is a walled city, bursting with ancient street names, and in many cases, ancient buildings too. For example, this is the city with the famous 'Shambles', the former slaughterhouse cum butcher's quarter (hence the phrase 'What a shambles'). This narrow street really does retain a few of those houses which get wider towards the top, allowing very intimate contact with one's neighbours, making it very easy to share, especially commodities like the Plague! Of course today, it's more likely to be plagued with gift shops and hand-made soap establishments - you know, the kind of shop that the locals find SO REALLY useful, but to be fair, you don't have to look too far to find real market places, selling real goods. Yesterday, York was having a Food Fair, with stalls hawking tit-bits from almost anywhere around the world, even Lancashire! As an aside, many of York's street names end in 'Gate', Coppergate being a good example. This does not imply that it leads to a door in the city wall in the modern sense. The word 'gate' is related to the modern German ver
b 'gehen', to go, more specifically on foot. Therefore, a Gate is merely something that you pass along, a way or street for example. Come to think of it, we use the word 'gait' to describe how someone walks to this day. Actually, Coppergate has nothing to do with metal either, deriving its name from the making of cups, important to your average rapin', pillagin', and ale-swillin' Viking! Apparently, the Vikings preferred beer because, having been boiled, it was more hygienic than drinking water - bloody hell, I've heard some excuses..........however, it's nice to see young locals carrying on this tradition to the extreme at weekends. Viking Travel Service Tip No.1: When you can't trust the water, drink beer - Oh Death, where is Thy sting? Other tourist magnets include The Minster, The Castle Museum (famous for its indoor 'street' of old shops), The National Railway Museum (latest major donation, the prototype Japanese Bullet Train), and in the case of yesterday's visit, the Jorvik Centre. Jorvik is the ancient Viking name for York, and the centre, not surprisingly deals with York's Viking history, a little of which I've hinted at already. 'Oh no, cases full of old things!' I hear you moan, and yes, there are showcases full of relics, but for those wanting a somewhat more modern approach, the Centre has a pleasant surprise. This is the Centre's second 'coming', having recently been heavily revamped. Let me first tell you how it came about, and how it used to run. Back in the 1970s, local archaeologists got permission to excavate the foundations of a demolished sweet factory in Coppergate, presumably prior to the site's redevelopment. Thank God it wasn't 'The Time Team' with a 3-day deadline. This became known as The Coppergate Dig. After clearing away the debris of a 1,000 years building development - cities tend to be built on
the rubble of what was already there, the diggers finally got the to Viking bits. Thanks to the centuries of burial in moist anaerobic silt, many artefacts, including leather clothing and socks were found in almost perfect condition, likewise the tools of the trade in the Coppergate area, lathes and other woodworking implements for example. One gem of a find was 'The Coppergate Helmet' in near perfect condition. No, it didn't have horns - leave that to Kirk Douglas. After all, why would a warlike race go into hand-to-hand combat with convenient grab handles on their heads? Viking Travel Service Tip No.2 - Always take practical head wear with you, with no protrusions likely to set off the metal detectors at airports, as and when they get invented. One of the major finds was the entire cellar walling of what appeared to have been a two-storey structure, which had burned to the ground but no further. This gave a valuable insight into building methods. Also, latrines were found, giving hints at what the Vikings ate, and more accurately what they couldn't digest! I've glossed over 30 years of hard and painstaking work here, and still it goes on today. However, to protect the site for future generations, the buried remains were stabilised and preserved, the burned-out cellar being in its original position. The difference today, is that it is undercover, and part of the Yorvik Centre's sit-on ride through time, all on the site of that old sweet factory. I first saw this about 10 years ago. Electric carts would 'whisked' you at a fraction of 1 mph along a smooth track, firstly in reverse, as you passed various tableaux depicting the reverse passage of time, only to turn round after reaching AD975, to wind its way through a typical Viking waterfront settlement based on buildings found during the Coppergate dig. The sights, and it has to be said, smells of all aspects of Viking life, from fish-gutting to straining be
hind the wattle fence of a Viking public latrine, were represented. You even had the sound of children taunting each other in that 'nah-nah, nah-nah-nah' fashion. I noticed that they seemed to have an English northern accent but the words spoken were unintelligible. Of course, a Red Rose supporter in the Wars of the Roses will tell you that that's just Yorkshire people for you! One thing the older time-carts couldn't do was leave the ground, which made your visit to Viking York a bit pedestrian, if you'll pardon the obvious statement. Where the new time-carts differ is that the hang from a railway the ceiling, although the similarity to Alton Towers or Thorpe Park ends there. These are definitely the 'Stannah Stair Lifts' of white-knuckle rides! Before boarding, the 'passage back through time' is handled by seating everyone in an antechamber, which shakes a bit every time a timeline on the projection screen presentation is passed. Frankly, I thought this was a weaker approach to before, but maybe it freed up some valuable floor space for more exhibits - I didn't have my tape measure with me, so I couldn't say. The new carts are heavily tiered, so that the back seat passenger gets a front seat view. They also swivel, leaving you in no doubt as to which bit you are supposed to be looking at! The ground, freed from the need to be smooth, can now be made more realistically lumpy, and the ride actually takes in a 'flight' through that burned-out cellar (yes, the real one). Perhaps it's just me, but some of the animatronics could do with a bit of updating - mouths moving like a ventriloquist's dummy and single arms moving up and down are now only seen in shop windows at Christmas. Rather unfairly, I've seen this ride compared, in other opinions, to the likes of theme parks like Alton Towers (I was only joking, others weren?t), and this would seem unfair, as it
9;s intended to be a taster to the fascinating history of Viking York, not something to cure your constipation. On the other hand, historians may also pour scorn on attempts to popularise history, but anything that gets, say, one percent of the people passing through more interested, then I feel it's a valid approach. It just goes to show what a tightrope creating a quality tourist attraction must be. At £6.95 per adult, it's a bit steeply priced for something lasting almost a set period of 30 minutes, unless you spend a long time perusing static displays, and/or in the gift shop*. *This could of course lead to its costing somewhat more! We booked our tickets in advance for a 2:00 pm arrival over the Internet and swanned straight to the front of the queue like royalty - a manoeuvre definitely worth doing on a timed-return rail ticket on a Saturday! Actually, we went to lunch first, in a pub called The Maltings, in Tanner?s Row, which is quite close to the station. A sign outside says, 'if you like loud music, fast food and crap beer, find another pub'. They're not wrong, a pint of locally brewed Yorkshire Terrier slid down very nicely, with a delightful hoppy almost flowery aftertaste. An enormous plate of gammon steak, chips and salad was £4.95. We went back to the station with an hour to spare - this really is one of York-s most unsung attractions. The long graceful ornate twin-arched roof of the train shed is superb, with its gentle curve adding to its sense of classic style. Even today, the fact that all East Coast expresses en route for Scotland stop here gives it an air of an important watering hole, and you almost feel like giving the locomotive a lump of sugar and a pat (only that would be silly). ......and now a personal message for the half-drunk 'Jack The Lad' from Croydon who generously insisted in sharing his cell-phone conversation with the rest of Coach D (the
9;quiet' non-cell-phones coach) on the way back. I hope 'the bird you met in the pub last night', stands you up, you don't 'get your leg-over' and that the 'missus finds out'! OK? Oh well, that's Old York done for this year I expect. It's NEW York at New Year next - watch this space!
My daughter’s in France on a school trip, my son’s still at University, so I’ve just treated my wife to a two night break in York – our first holiday without children for twenty years, and a fantastic break it was too. I love York, it’s a wonderful place for a short holiday, its such a compact and beautiful city oozing history with its three miles of walls encircling a maze of medieval streets and hidden alleyways – all with really fascinating stories. The four main entrances to the city centre are still dominated by the imposing great 'bars' or gates of Bootham, Micklegate, Monkgate and Walmgate, while the incredible York Minster a magnificent gothic cathedral which towers over the city as it has done for over 800 years contains England's greatest concentration of medieval stained glass. Its grandeur and surpassing beauty attracts visitors from all over the world. There’s so much to see and do in York. For a start there’s four world class museums. York's Castle Museum is famous for some of the finest collections in the country: the military collection, the social history collection and the costume collection. Housed in the city`s old prison buildings, the museum also gives intriguing glimpses of the prison life of 200 years ago with centuries-old graffiti still on the walls as you stare through the bars into dingy cells. Continuing the real-life experience, you can walk down a genuine cobbled Victorian street, peer into replica shop windows, call at the Victorian police station and Edwardian pub, and step into family living rooms recreated from centuries ago. The Yorkshire museum lies in the shadow of St Mary’s Abbey, near a Roman fortress wall. It is an imposing Doric-style building with spectacular views of landscaped gardens full of the atmosphere of York’s unique past. The site covers 10 acres of botanical gardens and houses a 15th ce
ntury timber-framed guest-house known as The Hospitium. It covers 1000 years of Yorkshire’s heritage and contains elegant Roman jewellery, impressive mosaics and Anglo-Saxon silver as well as Viking treasures including a spectacular warrior stone, swords and battle-axes. The Jorvik Viking Centre is truly a unique experience. Built on the exact site of a huge archaeological dig where the York Archaeological Trust found the amazingly well preserved remains of part of the Viking City of Jorvik cocooned in wet mud (and therefore perfectly preserved) for over 1,000 years. A massive range of detailed, often microscopic evidence was recovered and has been used to recreate, in intricate detail every last aspect of everyday Viking life. A time-travelling experience brings you the sights, the sounds and even the very smells of Jorvik in 948 AD. My own particular favourite is the National Railway Museum, the largest railway museum in the world, boasting a host of railway icons and literally millions of artefacts. Its vast collection tells the story of the railway from Rocket to Eurostar. On a ‘lighter’ note, deep in the heart of historic York, buried beneath its very paving stones, lies the North's most chillingly famous museum of horror - The York Dungeon. Over 2,000 years of gruesomely authentic history is vividly brought back to life and gruesome death. Add to those, the Micklegate Museum, the Yorkshire Air Museum, the Model Railway Museum and an Art gallery which houses paintings by Levy and Reynolds, Lowry and Nash and you have an incredible concentration of English history and culture in such a small area. No wonder its so popular with foreign tourists! So which of these delights did we savour on our week-end break? None of them, we’ve seen and enjoyed them all before. We had three days of complete relaxation. Absolutely no pressure to see or do anything. We strolled, we talked, we la
ughed, we shopped, we ate, we drank, we rested and we soaked up York’s tremendous atmosphere. Little moments can be so precious – The busker with the piano who looked like he’d just got out of bed and happened to find a piano in the street. He was playing beautiful versions of some of the Beatles hits in the glorious sunshine and seemed to have not a care in the world. The well dressed man in the suit climbing out of the first floor window of an historic Stonegate building to water the hanging baskets and soaking some American tourists. The shop window with the Subuteo pitch, England and Brazil, the score board showing a five-one England victory – if only! The country gardens at the back of the Minster viewed from the walls, full of lupins and wild flowers and each with their own individual charm. The Mad Alice ghost walk – what a performance! Small things in themselves, but the sort of memories, which make you laugh and add to a holiday and make it special. We stayed at the St. Denys hotel situated within the city walls, (4 minutes from Marks my wife noted) which I would thoroughly recommend. Found and booked using the internet, £75 per room per night for the Jorvik suite, including four poster bed, extra large and comfortable settee, huge and well appointed bathroom and Sky digital TV (essential to watch the quarter finals). Huge breakfast included, I opted for the ‘Dalesman’ a true Yorkshire fry up with everything that’s bad for you including black pudding and fried bread. Parking spaces – an added but essential bonus in York and a not particularly well appointed bar – still, you can’t expect everything to be perfect. The first night we ate at Mana’s Greek restaurant in Simpsons Square, very busy, surly staff, hectic atmosphere and a very enjoyable pizza. The second night we were fortunate enough to get a table in Caesar’s in Goodram
gate – beautiful steaks in heavenly sauces with loads of roasted vegetables washed down with a bottle of chianti. Coffee on both days was taken at Betty’s tearooms in St Helen’s square. Not particularly cheap, but service and atmosphere straight out of a Poirot episode. If I could play the piano I’d quit work and apply for the post in Betty’s – couldn’t think of anything less stressful. Shopping in York is a delight. Some very original shops, with some good quality products at pretty reasonable prices. My wife bought up a large section of Fenwick’s kitchen shop while I really enjoyed‘Borders’ and came away with a couple of books and CD’s I’ve been searching for, for a while. Loved but could not afford any of the huge array of chess sets in a little shop of Stonegate. York has some fine ‘olde worlde’ pubs and wine bars. We particularly enjoyed Harry’s café bar in Micklegate – bottle of Blossom Hill Chardonnay £5.99!!! even though we were probably the oldest people there and the only ones not on the way to a club and the Royal Oak, Goodramgate, very traditional lovely real ale, fantastic ploughman’s lunch but incredibly smoky and ‘outside gents toilets’ which harked back to medieval times. We had a great time, very relaxing despite on reflection cramming in an awful lot in such a short period of time. We’ll be back next time we have some time to ourselves.
York is one of the most visited cities in England. Given its wide variety of attractions it is little wonder that it is such a popular destination for such a vast number of foreign tourists. Its location in the north east of England also make it a great base for trips to the North Yorkshire Moors and the coast. GETTING THERE York is on the main east coast rail line and is therefore just under two hours from London and around three hours from Edinburgh. It also has good rail links with the rest of the country. Much of the city's industry was formerly based around the railways. Road access is a little more difficult with dual carriageways if you are lucky! SIGHTSEEING IN THE CITY **The City Walls** As soon as you step foot out of the railway station you can see the medieval walls which surround the historic centre of the city. One of the best ways to familiarise yourself with the city is to take a stroll around the city walls and admire the views. It is a 2 1/2 mile walk but well worth the effort. The best time to go is early in the morning when there are less tourists around. As you walk around the walls you can see the York of days gone by. **Jorvik Viking Centre** An interesting place for adults and children alike. Children in particular will be fascinated by the smells, noises, scenes from Viking life and the car travelling back in time. You can also see some of the findings of various digs around the city.This is another place that you should visit early just to avoid standing in a huge queue. **York Minster** The Minster is Britain`s largest gothic cathedral. It is well worth climbing the 275 steps of the central tower for a view of the city. The Minster has been renovated after a huge fire in the 80's which was caused by a lightening strike. **The National Railway Museum** It is the world`s biggest railway museum and has recently had a new wing added. The exhibits r
ange from Royal carriages and giant steam engines to Eurostar and miniature railway rides. The collection of exhibits is so vast that it has to be rotated from time to time. As a child I was always fascinated by the museum and even as an adult I still find it interesting. **The Castle Museum** This is another chance to take s trip back in time. There is a Victorian street recreated and you can also visit Dick Turpin's prison cell. SHOPPING As well as the numerous historic sites and museums to visit, York also has some excellent shopping facilities. You will find many of the chain store names plus some smaller boutique type shops. It is also worth a visit to one of the out of town shopping centres such as McArthur Glen (where you can find discounted designer names) and Monks Cross where there are larger versions of the High Street chains. EATING AND DRINKING There is a wide variety of places to dine in but probably the most famous is Betty's. The best bet is to head here for afternoon tea. There are a wide variety of teas and coffees to choose from plus an excellent array of cakes. This is is the kind of place where the customer does come first. There are numerous bars and pubs in the city that are well worth a visit too such as The Pitcher & Piano and The Slug& Lettuce. WARNING When there has been a lot of heavy rain the city can get flooded. SUMMARY The city has many attractions to keep you occupied for a few days, or for those who live close enough several day trips. The amazing thing about the city is that no matter how many times you visit, you can always find something new.
Gothic Minsters, ghost tours, loads of pubs and home made fudge make this a town well worth visiting! The Minster is breathtaking and makes a handy meeting place should you get lost! If you decide to go inside a donation is suggested although not demanded... but the interior is so spectacular you really won't mind! There are stained glass windows that make the floor glow and a ceiling that will create a permanent crick in your neck! There’s an incomplete wall surrounding the town dating back to the 13th century that’s great to walk around and you can see for miles. There’s even a castle! Admittedly it’s nothing compared to Edinburgh or Stirling but it’s located at the top of a very tall mound that once again offers a fabulous view – although there are a lot of steps before you get there! It’s great place for shopping too! ‘The Shambles’ are narrow cobbled streets containing shops upon shops selling everything you could need whether it’s a quaint souvenir or a Big Mac and coke… :) For cheap food we found quite a few pubs around the centre that offered two meals for about five pounds… admittedly we never got round to finding out how good the food was since we went to eat around 8pm on a Saturday night and couldn’t move in any of them but the menus seem appetising! If you’re into recorded history and culture there are quite a few museums about… including the Castle Museum and Jorvik Viking Centre. They tend to be a bit pricey to get into but are apparently worth a look if money isn’t an object! Last time my wife and I were there we went on a ghost tour... and at only £3.50 for both of us it was money well spent! There are at least three tours that I can remember but the one we took started at the Minster and we had a great time! Word of advice: Pick up a little voucher that says '2 for 1' located on a bo
ard on the other-side of the road outside the Minster! If you are able to get out a bit further there's the infamous Yorkshire Moors... <insert evil cackle>. As long as it's a nice day walking along some of the paths can give you lovely views especially along the coast! If you need somewhere to stay I'd recommend the York Youth Hotel (Tel 01904 625904). Functional ,not unfriendly place to stay although the beds aren't *that* comfortable! Saying that their dorm beds cost from just £9 per night as well as having private single and double rooms. I’d recommend York to anyone – young or old - who wanted to get away from it all for a while! Whether you enjoy strolling round and enjoying the air or collapsing into your bed at 4am after a long night out York will surprise… and entertain! For more information check out http://www.york.co.uk In case you were wondering… Yorkie Bars aren’t made in York… go figure! ;)
The City of York. That is going to be an expensive place to go and visit wouldn't you think? Not necessarily! If you read on you will find how take a day in York and not fork out a fortune. Let us arrive by train saves parking and gives us somewhere to start. As you come out of the Station and look ahead of you. you will see the walls. A good way to start your tour would be to stretch your legs, after being cooped up on the train. Let’s walk the walls. Out of the Station turn Left and follow the road, which will go under the walls. Pass the Cholera burial ground. You can find your way up onto the walls from here and start walking Anti clockwise around the walls. You will walk past lots of railway offices and come to the first gate called Micklegate Bar. NB in York a gate is a street and a bar is a gate. There is a small Museum in the bar, you have to pay to go in so only go in if you want to pay out money. I suggest you keep walking round look out for all the sites you can see. As you carry on around the walls you will come to Victoria Bar. You will encounter the River Ouse. The Wall does not cross her. You will have to dismount and walk over the rivers both Ouse and Foss. Between the two rivers is the Castle Museum one of York’s finest Museums and Free to York citizens. By the Museum is Clifford’s Tower, with a bloody history! You will find your way round to Fishergate where you rejoin the Walls. The wall continues round to Walmgate you then encounters the longest wall less part of the city. You will rejoin the wall just before Monk Bar where there is another Museum. From here you will come to the best and final part of the walls to Bootham Bar. This is the part closest to the Minster, the Minster is visible all around York. From this part you can see into some rather lovely gardens associated with the Minster. The whole walk takes about 2 hours and is only suitable fo
r able-bodied people, the walls were built too long ago to have taken notice of people with disabilities. At each entrance and exit to the wall there is a map which shows you where to go for the next part. If you need sustenance as you go around there are several cafes not too far away. You have now circumnavigated the city of York. When you come down at Bootham Bar you may like to make a visit to the Minster the largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe. You can not miss it if you just walk inside the city walls. There is no charge for entry, but they do like you to make a donation towards the upkeep. It is expensive to run this size of buildings and there are plenty of staff around if you need them. In side the Minster there are many fine things to look at. Look for the Five Sisters, five tall windows. Take a good look at the rose Window, which has been renovated brilliantly since it was struck by lightning back in the 1980’s. There are lots of small chapels and fine objects to look at. You can pay to look around the Chapter house full of fun animals and faces, the Crypt underneath the church and for the very brave to go up onto the Tower, not for the scared of heights. After a good look around the Minster you may want to come out into the fresh air, and look around the city itself. Beside the Minster is the church where Guy Falkes was christened. Not too far away is where he went to school. If you go out of the side door of the Minster you will be able to head strait down Stonegate. Look out for the little red Devil and the Mermaid. Mulberry Hall is a fine China Shop. If there is any fine china you want they probably have it. Across the road is a sign for the Olde Starr Inn. This is the way From the Minster to the Mansion House, the largest council house in York, Where the Lord Mayor lives. From here you can explore the shops of York. It is a great place to shop, there are bargains to be found. If you walk t
owards Parliament Street you will find a bustling centre with many fine street entertainers or maybe a Farmers Market. Ask someone to guide you to the Shambles. The Shambles used to sell Meat. It now is full of little shops selling all types of artefacts. If you look up you will find the style of building that reach across the street, can people shake hands across here? At one end of the Shambles is Kings Square where you will encounter more street entertainers, they may be worth watching. The road from there parallel to the shambles is I think Goodramgate. At the far end is the street in York with the longest name and is in fact the shortest Street. Whipmawhopmagate. Quite a mouthful! By the time you have done all these activities, maybe found the Museum Gardens for a Picnic and a look at St Mary’s Abbey you will be ready for a trip home. It is not too difficult to find the Station again. Maybe ask a local, they are used to visitors. This trip will have covered anything of York. You will want to come back. Next time you may want to spend Money on some of the excellent Museums and eating-places. The choice is enormous. Go on try a Visit to York. It is a City steeped in history.
Today marks the anniversary of the death of the notorious highwayman, ‘Dick Turpin’ who made his long walk to the scaffold and was hanged at York on the 10th April 1739. He made is living through cattle lifting, smuggling and thieving as well as being a notorious highwayman. I for one, would not have enjoyed being in his shoes, but I have on many occasions walked around the streets of York in a pair of my own sturdy foot wear to capture some of the exciting sights within the walls of this famous city. The city of York, is the county town of Yorkshire - the largest county in the United Kingdom. It is the only county in which an ancient Scandinavian riding still exists, being split into the East, North and West Ridings. Its boundaries are: Durham in the North, The North Sea in the East, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in the South and Lancashire and Westmorland in the West. York is described as ‘The Eternal City’ and is a place of outstanding beauty where history is recorded in the streets, buildings and museums gathered around the mighty York Minster - the largest medieval cathedral in the world. Walls encircle the city and almost 2000 years of history come alive when you meander through the alleyways. It also stands on the river Ouse which burst it’s banks during recent floods, causing considerable hardship to many unfortunate people throughout the city. To describe the City of York, in detail, would take an eternity but what I would like to do is tell you about some of the sights that I have seen on my visits, where exploration as been carried out on foot. Car parking can be a huge problem, and can be quite expensive, but I have previously starting off walking around the city from the car park on St Johns Street, off Lord Mayor’s Walk and not far away from York Minster. Walk along this street and right into Monk Bar. Carry on into Goodramgate and then right into Ogleforth to t
he Treasurer’s House. The first glimpse of this elegant house is 17th century Dutch gables thrusting three storeys above a high stone wall. It was a former office of the Treasurer to the Minster but later passed into private ownership. It contains collections of early English china, pottery and glass and a dressing table that belonged to Louis XVI. It is open daily from April to October and there is an admission charge. (Tel.01904.624247) Turn left into College Street where you will see the 15th century St Williams College and carry on along Goodramgate into the open paved area of ‘King’s Square’ and right into an area known as Shambles. This is a place where butchers slaughtered animals and sold their meat, with little regard for hygiene. It was a place of bloodshed and disorder. Today, however, you will find books and souvenirs rather than a leg of lamb or a side of beef. If you look closely, you will still be able to see hooks and rails above the shop windows, where meat was displayed. Also note the half-timbered Herbert House, the home of Sir Thomas Herbert who walked to the scaffold with Charles I. Another pair of shoes! Turn right into Parliament Street, left into Davygate, left into New Street and right into Coney Street to The Mansion House and directly behind - The Guildhall: This 15th century building as been so thoroughly restored that it is hard to believe that it was almost totally destroyed during the war. The timber roof contains replicas of the original bosses but the adjoining inner chamber has its original timber. It is open between May and October and entry is free. (Tel.01904.613161) Turn right into St Helen’s Square and into Stonegate, which is described as the ‘Via Praetoria’ of Roman York. It is one of the city’s best-preserved medieval streets and is a former roman road. A hideous red carved devil above an old shop marks the site of a former
printing shop. Turn left into High Petergate for the cathedral - York Minster. The only way I can describe the cathedral is breathtaking and awe inspiring. It took nearly 250 years to build from the year 1220. Carved niches, buttresses, parapets and tall pinnacles soar high above the York skyline and can be seen from anywhere in the city. Inside you just have to wonder at the magnificent nave and limestone pillars rising to a rib vaulted roof, embossed in gold. The cathedral is also famous for its 128 stained glass windows dating from the 12th century. The east window is the size of a tennis court and is the world’s largest area of stained glass and depicts the beginning and end of creation. In the north transept, five slender glass panels contain no less than 100,000 pieces and the ‘Tudor Rose’ window was restored after the fire of 1984 and commemorates the marriage of Henry VII to Elizabeth of York that ended the war of the roses. An undercroft displays Saxon Tombs, parts of a roman wall and the Minsters Treasury. The cathedral is open daily and entry is free but there is a small charge into the Undercroft and Tower. (Tel.01904.624426) Carry on along High Petergate and go through Bootham Bar, the city’s 14th century northern gateway that has two ‘hanging turrets’ and cross Exhibition Square for the City Art Gallery of 1879. Return along Bootham Bar and turn left to follow a walkway on top of one of the city walls with views of the Minster. The walls around the city are 3 miles long and were built by Henry III around 1220. There are four gateways and 39 towers but as you walk through Robin Hood Tower and descend the steps at Monk Bar it will take you back to the car park. You will have walked a distance of about two miles. There is a multi-storey car park on the other side of the river Ouse on Skeldergate. From here, walk across Ouse Bridge into Low Ousegate and into
the Pavement. This area was inhabited by the city’s wealthiest merchants and was so called because it was the first street to be paved. Turn right into Fossgate and it will lead you to Merchant Adventures Hall. This 14th century structure is one of Britain’s few remaining medieval guildhalls and is the largest timber framed building in York. This opens daily and there is a small admission charge. (Tel.01904.654818) Continue along Fossgate and you will cross a small bridge over the River Fosse into Merchantgate and Piccadilly. Turn left into Coppergate and left again into the Coppergate Shopping Centre for the ‘Jorvik Viking Centre.’The unmistakable voice of Magnus Magnusson will take you back through 1000 years of history. The Viking town of ‘Jorvik’ lay beneath the streets of York and archaeologists have re-created rows of buildings as they must have appeared in Viking times. (Tel.01904.643211) A converted church – ‘Yorks Heritage Centre’ uses models and audio-visual displays and re-constructs the city’s development from medieval times. (Tel.01904.628632) Leave Coppergate into Castlegate where you will see Fairfax House, one of the finest examples of a Georgian Town House in England. The rooms are filled with furniture of the highest quality, including a collection of clocks by all the English clockmakers of the 17th and 18th centuries. (Tel.01904.655543) York Castle faces you and which is dominated by the 13th century keep, ‘Clifford’s Tower,’ which was built on the artificial mound of William the Conqueror’s wooden tower that guarded the River Ouse. Adjacent is the Castle Museum, a former male and female prison containing re-constructed streets, period rooms, vacuum cleaners, radio sets, apothecary shops, coppersmiths, toy shops and a barber shop to name but a few. In a dark corner, the condemned cell in which Dick Turpin spen
t his final night before being hanged. As with all attractions within the city, there are admission charges that have probably increased since my last visit. The museum is no exception. (Tel.01904.653611) Leave the museum and follow Tower Street, where a few fragments of a 13th century Franciscan friary are built into the street walls until you reach Friargate Wax museum. Amongst famous and infamous from past and present are world leaders, British monarchs and politicians. No wax works would be complete without a chamber of horrors, here called ‘The Black Cave’ - inhabited by Dracula and the abominable snowman. (Tel.01904.632599) You will have walked a distance of about a mile and a half from Skeldergate. Other attractions within the city are: The Arc, All Saints-North Street Church, All Saints Pavement, Assembly Rooms, Bar Convent Museum, Holy Trinity Church, Gallery of Photography, King’s Manor, Mansion House, Merchant’s Taylor Hall, Micklegate Bar, Monk Bar, Multangular Tower, Museum Gardens, Museum of Automata, National Railway Museum, Our Lady’s Row, Raindale Watermill, Regimental Museum, Roman Bath Inn, St Anthony’s Hall, St Leonards Hospital, St Martin-le-Grand, St Mary’s Abbey, St William’s college, Theatre Royal, Twelfth Century House, The Walls, Walmgate Bar, York City Art Gallery, York Dungeon and The Yorkshire Museum. Finally you may wish to retrace your footsteps along Tower Street but in the opposite direction into Lead Mill Lane to St George’s Church. Here you will see the gravestone ‘John Palmer otherwise Richard Turpin – The notorious Highwayman and Horse Stealer executed and buried in St George’s Churchyard’ I like to visit the city of York and walk through these amazing streets, but certainly not following in the footsteps of a man who was subject of many legends and stories including ‘Rockwood’ written by
the author Harrison Ainsworth. I have, of course concentrated on landmarks and places of historical interest but it goes without saying that York attracts tourists from around the globe. There is everything for everyone within this historical English City. All roads lead to York: A.64. Leeds to York. A.59. Harrogate to York A.19. Middlesborough to York. A.64. Scarborough to York A.1079. Hull to York A.19. Selby to York I hope this information will prove useful to anyone visiting the City of York. www.york.gov.co.uk www.cityofyork.com Many thanks, Peter2670