York is a historic city in Northern England that dates back to Roman times. With its imposing medieval walls, grand Gothic cathedral, and winding cobblestone streets, York feels like you are stepping back in time. While steeped in history, York also boasts modern attractions like the National Railway Museum and a vibrant food scene. Whether you’re interested in exploring the past or enjoying the present, York has something for every traveller.
Topping our list of great things to see and do in York is the magnificent York Minster. This stunning Gothic cathedral dominates the York skyline and is one of the largest medieval cathedrals in Northern Europe. Wander through the nave and transepts and admire the intricate stained-glass windows, soaring columns, and ornate stone carvings. Don’t miss the chance to climb the 275 steps up the central tower for panoramic views over York.
For a step back in time, stroll down the narrow, winding street of The Shambles. With overhanging timber-framed buildings, cobblestone lanes, and quaint shops, this is one of the best-preserved medieval streets in the world. Browse the boutiques and galleries before stopping into one of the tea rooms or pubs for some refreshment.
Jorvik Viking Centre
Immerse yourself in the world of the Vikings at this fascinating museum and ride through a recreation of the Viking city of Jorvik. Journey through the sights, sounds and even smells of the Viking age and see unique artifacts from the Archaeological Dig. It’s an insightful experience and a great way to learn more about York’s Viking past.
York’s Chocolate Story
Calling all chocolate lovers! York’s Chocolate Story takes you on a tour through the history of chocolate making in York, from the Mayan’s to the present day. See how chocolate was brought to Britain, watch live demonstrations and learn about iconic brands like Rowntree’s and Terry’s of York. And of course, there are plenty of samples to enjoy along the way!
Walk the City Walls
No visit to York is complete without a walk along the City Walls. At 3.4km long, the walls are filled with history and offer gorgeous views over the rooftops and river. See famous sites like Clifford’s Tower, York Castle, and the Multangular Tower as you circle the city centre. Be sure to pause on Lendal Bridge for the iconic view of the Minster.
National Railway Museum
Rail enthusiasts of all ages will love the National Railway Museum in York. See the impressive collection of locomotives, royal carriages, and iconic vehicles. Watch live steam engine demonstrations and learn about the history of rail in Britain. The railway hall with its columns and iron roof is a highlight. Entry is free too!
Take to the water for a relaxing river cruise along the River Ouse and see the city from a new perspective. Glide past historic buildings and get a closer look at landmarks like the city walls. Many cruises include live commentary so you can learn more about the sights.
Staying in York
York has plenty of accommodation options, from high-end hotels like The Grand to budget B&Bs, but if you’d like to explore the wider area, stay in Selby Lodges with hot tub, which are in a beautiful spot not far from York.
York is a magical place full of history. Make a date in your calendar to visit it this year!