York has been on my list to visit for ageeees. On my top 10 places to see in the UK post, it was without a doubt the one place which everyone shouted YOU NEED TO GO TO YORK!! So as it was coming around to the long weekend and I shockingly had no plans, some thoughts started forming. I wanted to head up to Manchester anyway to go and see how Milly, my grandmas new cat was settling in, but then I figured why not throw a trip to York in there too! So I let my grandparents know that I was taking them for a day out!
York as we all know, is pretty far North. I ended up getting the train up to Manchester on the Friday evening which takes a couple of hours. Then on the Saturday morning we jumped on the train from Manchester to York – it only takes just over an hour and runs pretty frequently throughout the day, so we are talking about just over 3 hours in total from London. Definitely do-able over a long weekend.
Things to Do
We planned the day to arrive in around 10.30 and head back on the 4.30 train so it left us about 6 hours to get out and about in York, there were a few things that I really wanted to see!
Of course, the most gorgeous cathedral and what York is famous for is York Minster in the middle of the old town. The cathedral itself is huge and you can see it from all over the city, we wandered down the road from the train station and you pretty much end up smack bang in front of it! I loved staring up at the impressive facade and you can get some amazing views from the surrounds too.
We didn’t end up going inside, mainly because the grandparents had been before and it is about £10 a person and I wasn’t too attached to seeing it. You can do and tour within it and climb to the top of the tower to get a view over York too.
York City Walls
York is a traditional walled city and it still has a heap of walls which have stood since Roman and Medieval times. You can get a good walk out of these and we started on the section behind York Minster which gives awesome views of the church through all the gardens. The wall itself is quite thin in places but is easy enough to stroll along. It doesn’t cover the entire city so you do need to drop off then back on in places. We walked 2 sections and that took about an hour, though we did get ever so slightly hailed on and had to shelter under the wall!
Within the walls, the town of York itself is famous for the little streets including the Shambles. One of those tiny cobblestone lanes with buildings hobbledy cobbledy throughout, really reminding me of the old buildings they used to have hundreds of years ago. A lot of these house lovely little local shops too – the chocolatier definitely being one of my favourites! I recommend having a stroll through the town, taking in the markets and doing a wee bit of shopping whilst you’re there. It was also the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and you can totally see it when you are there!
One of the things York is most famous for – all the tea rooms. One of my favourite things about England is the tea shop, there just isn’t anything more British to me! We did attempt to go to Betty’s which is definitely the most famous, and you could tell by the giant queue. So we gave up on that one and headed to a small tea room nearby
Now the museums in York were a real highlight and I wish I could have been to more! There is a York museum and a couple of history museums too. Sadly the Viking centre (which I have since found out my dad worked out as a student!) has been flooded so won’t be open again until next year. Out of all the museums, we decided to go to the National Railway museum as we know that I do love a good transport museum!
The museum itself was free and was made up of two giant halls, each full of variety of trains, engines and displays. We only got to stay about an hour and half but I got to see a whole lot of bits and pieces. The highlight was all the royal carriages which you could see evolve over the years. I’d love to go back and spend some more time there!
Overall, I totally loved my trip to York, it is a gorgeous town and one of my favourite which I have visited in the UK. I am definitely going to take Paul next time and book us in for some afternoon tea at Bettys!
Where else do I need to visit in York?