During this freezing season, I went even more to the north than London, – to the city of York! I’ve spent some time in there while my husband was doing his three year BA local university and I haven’t been there for 6 years, since his graduation!
York, so called ‘The capital of the North’, always played an important role in British history. First settlements were established there around 7000 BC, the city itself was founded by Romans in 71 AD.
It was an important location for Vikings and Normans, became a major trade and religious city during the Middle Ages and finally was a vital railway centre in the 19th century. Constantine the Great was proclaimed an emperor in York and Guy Fawkes was born in York. Quite a lot, isn’t it?
York is now prettier than ever – and read what you can do in this wonderful city! And see the top-5 museums of York in my future blog!
Visit York Minster
York Minster aka the cathedral of York is clearly visible from anywhere in the city. Its precursors marked the religious centre of ‘the capital of North’ since the 7th century and current version of 13th century is the second largest Gothic cathedral of Northern Europe!Walking in is a definitely must, and you can even enjoy a Tower tour if you’re in mood to conquer 275 or so steps! The restoration works are taking place inside as well with one of focuses being the rare stained glass.
Tip: if you’re interested in architecture, pay a visit to charming Holy Trinity Church as well.
Get a little magic at The Shambles
Did you know that Harry Potter’s real life Diagon Alley is The Shambles in York? It’s a narrow cobbled street with small weirdly shaped timbered houses dating back to 1400s. It was even voted the Britain’s Google’s Most Picturesque Street some time ago!
Originally it’s been the place where butchers lived – that’s why the pavement is raised a bit, to let the blood flow.
My favourites are ‘The Shop that must not be named’, the oldest shop in the area dedicated to the Potter reality, and a nice tea shop with hundreds of various teas to take away in a cup or to buy loose!
Turn into the outdoor Shambles Market nearby for some delicious food from all over the world or a bunch of flowers!
Tip: while strolling along the city, stay alert for unusual shop, pub and cafe titles! What do you think about the House of Trembling Madness or the Hairy Fig? 🙂
Climb the City Walls
York is extremely famous for its city walls – and there is a good reason for that: they date back to the medieval era, are well preserved and you can literally walk along them, observe the landscape and learn about the history of York. It would take about 2h to get back where you started I presume but if you get bored, you can end your route earlier, of course 🙂
Celebrate 100 anniversary of Betty’s
I’m not ashamed to say that one of my favourite things on Yorkshire is Betty’s Café And Tearooms which celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2019. Its main tearooms are located in York – and you’d be offered the delicate mix of British and Swiss cousins, all-day breakfasts and the afternoon tea!
The space on both floors looks luxurious and welcoming, you can grab some sweet stuff in a shop in the same building as well.
Explore what’s left of York Castle
York Castle, now destroyed, was built in the 11th century under William the Conquerer. Following various historical events Clifford’s Tower replaced the previous building at the top of a mould in the 13th century as a keep of York Castle and now it’s the only surviving part of the castle. Don’t plan to spend too much time exploring it, but panoramic views from it are really great!
Interesting: The Castle Museum is located just nearby – visit it for various British history insights including the Victorian era and the First World War!
Another entertaining tourist attraction is.. the York Dungeon! Visitors are offered a 75 minute tour through different horrific shows with a twist of black comedy. Well, I don’t think that every single of my readers would’ve enjoy it but some – definitely yes.
Tip: you can also explore York from the River Ouse – start your river cruise at Lendal Bridge Landing or King’s Staith Landing!
Enjoy a walk in Yorkshire Museum Gardens
Yorkshire Museum Gardens were established in 1830th by the York Philosophical Society and are a perfect place for a stroll, picnic or simply squirrel watching in every season. Just look how peaceful they are! Its collection of plants is also pretty astonishing.
Church ruins are not a rare thing in the UK as the dissolution of the monasteries carried on by Henry VIII in 16th century had left its trace for many generations. But there is something exceptionally melancholic in the ruined wall of St Mary’s Abbey isn’t?
Take a pic of a duck at University of York
Well, I guess that walking around the old and new campuses of University of York is not a real tourist attraction but as my husband studied there, it awakens a lot of sweet memories for both of us! And of course, we couldn’t miss our ‘Duck of the day’ – there are a lot of birds in this area that are quite loved by students. Even a Facebook page exists under the same title!
Other places to visit if you haven’t had enough yet: Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, York Art Gallery, Fairfax house, Treasurer’s house.
What else? National Railway museum, Jorvik Viking centre, Yorkshire Museum, York’s Chocolate Story and York Army Museum are to be covered in Top 5 York museums to visit.
Hope you enjoyed my today’s blog!