York England Great Britain

York England Great Britain (6/14-16/2016)

Ariel View York England Great Britain
Ariel View of Beautiful York, England
Historic York England Great Britain
Historic York England
York is one of our favorite cities in England. It is a lovely beautiful city with so much to do and enjoy. While on our 3-week trip through England wherever we mentioned that we planned to visit York, the reaction from all was “I love York” and York was voted “Britain’s favourite small city” by Rough Guide.

Historic York (see photo) is a very remarkable city for many reasons. You should plan at least 3 days to enjoy this fun and interesting city. Here are some of the fun things we enjoyed in York:

We recommend not missing these attractions when visiting York...

Pedestrian Area York England Great Britain
Pedestrian Area 
- York, England
The large Pedestrian Area (see photo) south of the York Minster is a delight! York’s winding cobbled streets medieval streets and alleyways with beautifully preserved architecture are very pleasurable to stroll around and enjoy century-old pubs, good restaurants, and loads of unique designer shops. Put away the map and just wander.

Shambles Street York England Great Britain
Famous Shambles Street 
- York, England
OK, now get the map and don’t miss York’s famous Shambles street (see photo) in this area that is lined with Tudor buildings overhanging above your head so much that people could shake hands across the street. It is one of the most picturesque medieval streets in England. There is a Shambles Market going on daily that is nice to see but not overly exciting. While you have that map in hand, also don’t miss Stonegate and Petergate streets – you will see why.

Victorian Street York Castle Museum York England Great Britain
Victorian Street in York Castle Museum 
- York, England
Wayne Dunlap Mercury Capsule York Castle Museum England Great Britain
Wayne in Mercury Capsule 
- York Castle Museum 
We loved our visit to the York Castle Museum where history comes to life. Don’t miss the reconstructed Victorian street (see photo). This is a wonderful place to lose yourself and fully appreciate the wonders of living in our time. Lighting and sounds change from day to night every 15 minutes so sit for awhile and take in what it would have been like to live in England in 1860 Victorian times to 1920. Everything in the museum is real with no replications. Wander in and out of the shops and talk to the people there who will give you great insight of the time.

The York Castle Museum also has other very interesting exhibits such as World War I, 1960’s, actual prison cells with films about their inhabitants, and others. Wayne climbed into a Mercury capsule (see photo).

York Minster York England Great Britain
York Minster - York, England
The magnificent York Minster is a must visit – walk around it and be amazed (see photo). It is the largest medieval cathedral in Northern Europe and one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in the world. Churches on this site date back to 627 and the current Minster was built between 1220 and 1480. The 123 strained-glass windows are amazing and are some of the oldest in Great Britain. For great views of York, you can climb the 275 steps of the cathedral’s tower. Guided tours are offered. The best view of the outside of the Minster can be had by walking the old city walls.

National Railway Museum York England Great Britain
National Railway Museum 
- York, England
You don’t have to be a trainspotter to enjoy York’s National Railway Museum (free) – the largest railroad museum in the world that spans over 300 years of history (see photo). It is crammed with interesting displays, films, and famous trains such as some of the first trains, the famous Flying Scotsman (the first steam engine to beak the 100mph barrier), the only Japanese Shinkansen Bullet train displayed outside of Japan, and many others. Pat liked seeing the silk-lined Royal couches used by former British Queens and Kings. The museum is located near York’s train station. If you want an easy way to get there from the Minster, for a small fee there is a Road Train that will take to there and back.

Pat Dunlap Bettys York England Great Britain
Pat at Bettys 
- York, England
Pat says Bettys is the best teahouse ever with a piano player and overflows with charm. Betty (see photo) is a York institution known for over 100 years of quality, atmosphere, and service. The afternoon tea is legendary for excellence. Reservations for the popular tea should be made ahead. We had a wonderful dinner without a reservation.

JORVIK Viking Centre York England Great Britain
JORVIK Viking Centre - York, England
The JORVIK Viking Centre is one of York’s best attractions (see photo). We were disappointed it was being renovated due the huge flood they had. With its interactive multimedia exhibits, it has been highly recommended offering a unique insight of the 10th century Vikings in York.

Other interesting things to do in York...

York City Walls England Great Britain
York City Walls & Minster
York’s beautifully preserved City Walls (see photo) are the longest medieval walls in England and they are free to walk on with great views. Walk on the wall between the Monk Bar and Bootham Bar gates for a wonderful full view of the Minster cathedral that you can only see from here. Inside the Monk Bar gate near the Minster, you can enjoy a Richard III exhibit that has a film and displays taking you through the walls.

River Ouse York England Great Britain
River Ouse 
- York, England
Fancy a ride on the river? YorkBoat Cruises offers a fun 45-minute boat trip on the River Ouse (see photo) leaving below the Lendal Bridge or the King’s Staith (between the Ouse Bridge and Skeldergate Bridge). There is plenty to see (bridges, historic buildings, and sites) and the narration of stories about York is interesting. They also offer special lunch, dinner, and evening cruises.

Yorkshire Museum Gardens York England Great Britain
Yorkshire Museum & Gardens 
- York, England
For lovers of history, the Yorkshire Museum (see photo) offers an interesting historic view of York from the days of the Vikings and Romans. Significant artifacts are displayed with films about their significance. We found the section on the five great extinctions of Earth’s evolution interesting. The Museum Gardens outside of the museum offer a wonderful sanctuary to sit and relax.

The Fairfax House is home to one the finest private collections of 17th and 18th century furniture and clocks outside of London.

Pat Dunlap York CitySightseeing Bus Tour
Pat Enjoying York's CitySightseeing Bus
World-class performances are offered at the York Theatre Royal and Grand Opera House or you can also see a current movie at City Screen. In addition, there are many city and ghost walks to enjoy.

The York CitySightseeing hop-on/hop-off bus (see photo) circles around York with 16 stops visiting most of the major sites. It is an interesting narration of York and gives you 24-hours of transportation.

Pretty Streets of York England Great Britain
Pretty Streets of York
Chocolate lovers should visit York’s Chocolate Story for an interesting presentation of the making of chocolate as well as an inside story of the role of chocolate making in York. The famous Kit Kat bar is made here.

Ascot House York England Great Britain hotel
Ascot House - York, England
Lobby Ascot House York England Great Britain
Lounge of Ascot House - York, England
We very much enjoyed our stay at the beautifully preserved and maintained family-run Victorian guesthouse Ascot House (see photo). Our room had modern features and a comfortable bed for a great relaxing stay. Freshly cooked breakfast in the morning was everything you could want served with friendly service. The owner, Keith, and his wife were very helpful in answering questions and offering good suggestions for restaurants and places to visit in York. Free parking is offered and the Wi-Fi worked great. There is a beautiful lounge (see photo) you can relax with a cup of tea or a drink. It is located within a 15-minute walk to the town center.

Europe Map
Europe Map
Day Trips from York: You may want to plan an extra day in York for a day trip to the beautiful Castle Howard, England’s Lake District, Cotswolds, Yorkshire Dales, and other places. You can also take a historic North Yorkshire Moors Railway train to the pretty port town of Whitby for the day from York’s Victorian Railway Station.

York Travel Tip: Book your accommodation with Visit York for a 20% discount on a 3-day York Pass. In addition to accommodations, you can explore things to do in York (events, festivals, day trips, etc.). The York Pass is a good deal for 1 to 3 days offering free entry into over 30 of York major attractions and tours as well as a free guidebook and discounts on other attractions and restaurants.

Monk Bar Gate York England Great Britain
Monk Bar Gate - York, England
Other facts about visiting York: York has a year-round calendar of events and festivals. York can be easily visited from London with a 2-hour train ride.

Parking in York: Parking in the old town area is very limited, so if you are visiting York for the day, you should use one of several Park and Ride bus services located just outside of town.

Important driving tip: Because many of the roads in England are smaller country roads with many confusing roundabouts, getting lost is not hard. In fact, it can be fun if you can get back on track.

Use Postal Code on GPS in England
Here is a wonderful tip... Make sure you have GPS - if from the car rental company ask for a lesson. The postal code in Great Britain typically has enough information to direct you to your hotel or destination. So, look up postal codes for your hotels and destinations so you can enter them in as you go through your day of explorations. We used a centrally located church or hotel for the villages. Sometimes the GPS asks to confirm the street name and number, so also having an address helps. Also, often just putting in the town/village name will take you to the right direction and you can follow signs to the town center.

Please see our other 12 travel blog posts on Great Britain:

Lake District (England's Most Visited National Park)

Beautiful COTWOLDS Bilbury Burton Stow Slaugher Woodstock Burford Minster Lovell Oxford England 

Highclere Castle (Downton Abby), England

Stonehenge, England

Stratford-Upon-Avon, England (Birthplace of Shakespere)

England's Southern Coast Canterbury Rye Sandwich Salisbury, England 

Hadrian's Wall, England

Beamish Museum, England

Chester, England

Magnificent Castle Howard, England 

Alnwick Castle (Harry Potter), England  

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1 comment:

  1. Now you've got me excited and ready to pack my bags to visit York! This might well be the very first place we visit in England as it seems like an excellent base for exploring so many places. I'd love to wander through the Shambles,Stonegate and Petergate streets and the York Castle Museum looks like a place we could spend hours in. Luckily, travel from Portugal to England is cheap and thanks to your post and tips, York will be a priority when we visit!


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