York is a walled city in the north east of England, founded by the ancient Romans. Its huge 13th-century Gothic cathedral, York Minster, has medieval stained glass and 2 functioning bell towers. The City Walls form a walkway on both sides of the River Ouse. The Monk Bar gate houses an exhibition tracing the life of 15th-century Plantagenet King Richard III.
York has a multitude of historic sites, local markets and excursions and tours to suit all ages, or you can quite simply relax and stroll amongst Yorks quaint streets with a variety of shops and places to eat and drink. Here are a few of our favourite things to do.
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The River Ouse – Take a stroll along the banks of Yorks river and you will discover many historic sites along the way, from the Millennial bridge to Cliffords Tower a perfect after lunch treat. Take an early evening cruise along the river and end your day with a perfect sunset over this stunning city.
York Minster – With its medieval stained glass windows, stone buttresesses and many artefacts York Minster is a must see on your visit. If you are feeling energetic take the 275 steps up to the central tower to Yorks highest viewing point, if you are lucky you may even spot one of the Peregrin Falcons nesting amongst the cathedrals gargoyles.
Jorvik Viking Centre – No trip to York would be complete without a visit to the Viking Centre and a journey into Yorks Scandinavian past, invaded by the Danes in 866 this attraction gives a real insight into ancient Viking life with many ancient artefacts, moving carriages and life size exhibits, this will not disappoint but be warned they even replicate the smells of 9th century life.
Cliffords Tower – The tower offers the most stunning panoramic scenery from the summit, views stretching out across the city with the spectacular vista of York Minster, there has never been a better photo opportunity, on a clear day you can even see as far as the North York Moors National park.
York Dungeon – Not for the faint hearted, the dungeon tour explores the darker side of Yorks past and provides a fully immersive experience, with live actors, horrific sets and special effects, as you shuffle bravely through the dungeon you will come face to face with some of Yorks more notorious characters before finishing in the Tavern for a much needed drink.
York Ghost Tours – York is full of ghoulish tales and the best way to explore them is on a York Ghost Tour, or if you want to sit back and be entertained and slightly terrified then hop onto the Ghost Tour Bus and let the creepy conductor talk you through the city creepiest of Yorks history.
The Grand Opera House – Restored to its original period style, the Grand Old Opera house hosts an excellent programme of live music, comedy shows and musicals, guaranteeing a great night out in a historic and intimate setting with under 1,000 seats.
The National Railway Museum – The largest in the UK, a day out at the museum will delight with actual trains, restored carriages, mock up stations and the only Bullet Train outside of Japan, and if that’s not enough you can take a ride on the miniature railway, great for the children and of course the big children.
York City Walls – We have a lot to thank the Romans for in Britain, they built us roads, Thermal Baths and left York with one of the largest medieval barriers in the country. Walking the full length of the walls will take a few hours especially if you stop and read one of the many information plaques along the way. Perhaps consider taking a tailored tour to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the good bits.