Your Essential Guide To A Trip To York

Oct 17, 2018

The romantic and historical city of York is a must for any tourist – whether you currently reside in the UK or wish to travel from further afield.

This little hotspot, which was voted The Times’ best place to live in the UK in 2018, provides the idyllic setting for a great getaway. The compact walled city is half the size of Leeds, and is conveniently situated less than two hours away from both the northern heights of Newcastle and the southern lows of London.

Here, partnering up with used Mercedes dealers, Lookers, we run through exactly what you need to see and do in this northern gem.

Top Attractions to Visit

York offers a unique ambience, with a host of historical buildings and stunning architecture breaking up the cosmopolitan trappings of the modern city, all fuelling a thriving local economy. Here are our some of our favourite attractions in York:

York Minster

A trip to York wouldn’t be complete without taking in the mighty York Minster. One of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals, the Minster has stood as a centre of Christianity in the north of England since the seventh century, and shines with its stunning architecture of exquisite handcrafted stone and medieval stained glass.

The religiously-minded can take in one of the Minster’s daily masses, while those who just wish to bask in the glory of such a magnificent structure can purchase an admission ticket and tour all it has to offer.


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York Maze

Created from over a million maize plants, this award-winning spectacle is the UK’s largest maze and offers a fun-filled day out for all the family. Packed with over 20 different rides, attractions, and shows, let yourself get lost (quite literally) in its glory, or take in some of the quirky events, including pig racing!

Check the site before you book as seasonal activities and events are worth looking out for.


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With so much history packed into such a small space, it’s no surprise that another must-visit attraction is steeped in local folklore. The Shambles is one of the world’s most famous streets, with a host of timber buildings dating back to the 13th century packing the narrow pathway.

Previously home to butchers and other local merchants, the street now bursts at the seams with a quirky mix of independent retailers, allowing guests to shop for curiosities. Be sure to read up on the fascinating history of the Shambles before your journey, so you’ll appreciate everything the legendary walk has to offer.


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Unmissable Activities in York

York City Walls

If York is your destination, it’s a must that you walk the city’s walls. These amazingly well-preserved delights mark the longest stretch of medieval era walls in any English city. The walk is likely to take approximately two hours to complete, as it runs for three kilometres. However, if you’re not a keen walker, or your legs simply won’t allow, you can walk shorter sections.

If walking is something that interests you, be sure to also check out the array of walking tours the city has to offer.


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York Boat

OK, so most cities have a tour bus for you to go sightseeing on, and York is no different there. However, why not take in the city from a different angle by hopping aboard the York boat? There are many different boats operating throughout the day and if the sun is out, you can normally take advantage of the open-top deck on most vessels.

If you’d rather chart your own course, you can even hire your own self-drive hire boat on the River Ouse, allowing you to explore at your own pace. It’s important to note that all journeys are subject to river conditions and so trips in the winter months are usually sparse.


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Where to drink in York

Lovers of a tipple are spoilt for choice in York. There’s pretty much a pub for every day of the year in the walled city. From quirky cocktail dens to watering holes in haunted basements, you’ll be sure to find the atmosphere you’re after here. To start off, Ye Olde Starre Inne offers as authentic a ‘real pub’ experience as you’re going to get. It’s one of the longest established drinking spots in the city and offers a unique experience.

If cocktails are more your bag, check out the Evil Eye Lounge situated in Stonegate. The quirky bar transforms from an East Asian restaurant and internet cafe in the day to one of the trendiest night-time haunts – one that has allegedly been frequented by stars such as Johnny Depp. Check out its QR code menus too, which are hidden in the walls!


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Where to eat in York

If it’s a quick bite to eat you’re craving, look no further than Greek Street Food from Souvlaki, York. Voted number one on Trip Advisor, the Silver Street eatery offers fast Mediterranean food to tickle your taste-buds – the gyros are particularly worth a try.

If you want a sit-in experience that won’t break the bank, try Circles Cafe and Gin Bar. While it goes without saying that there is a wide array of gins on offer to wash down your food, the establishment in East Lodge also provides a nice, simple, and – most importantly – tasty snack menu. Why not pop in and enjoy their homemade delicacies and light bites, all whilst overlooking the city and the River Ouse?

However, for the fancy wine and dine experience, head to Arras Restaurant at the Old Coach House. The official website states that it bucks the trend and captures the imagination of the public with its tongue-in-cheek take on British banquets. Originally set up in Sydney, Australia, the company’s owners felt the need to return ‘home’ to the UK and the extravagant Arras Restaurant found a place in York punters’ hearts in 2007.


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