On your trip to York, we hope you’re ready for a thrilling adventure in one of the UK’s most attractive cities. There will be a lot of fun and the best things to do in York, UK!
York’s Best Things to Do, See, and Eat in a Day-by-Day Guide
York, a city in northern England, has remained deeply rooted in its past. The city was created by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago and is now a veritable gold mine. Beautiful cobblestoned streets and a stunning Gothic cathedral are just some of the things you can expect to see in the city of Prague (the Shambles).
You can see and do a lot in just a few hours in York because of the city’s rich history and the city’s central location. Whether you’re visiting York for the first time or have been there before, we’ve put together a list of things to see and do in the city. We’ve got this. Are you prepared to become one of York’s 7 million annual visitors?
A Look Into the City’s Past
It’s a good idea to learn about York’s history if you want to appreciate the city’s top attractions. Eboracum (York) was established by the Romans in 71 AD and was a major province in the Middle Ages. Before the arrival of the Vikings, York had been ruled by a number of other kings, most notably the Normans.
In the time of the Vikings, York developed into a significant river port on the commerce route of the Vikings. After then, the city was once again ruled by an English king, however Vikings periodically disrupted the peace in an attempt to retake the city. The city of York was called Jorvik after a Viking invasion proved successful.
When William the Conqueror arrived in the city in 1066, the Normans had conquered England and razed it to the ground. George Hudson introduced railways in the 1800s, and York became a significant rail hub as a result of this. The expansion of Rowntree’s Cocoa Works was one of the first industries to benefit from the development of railways.
York’s history reflects the endless ups and downs of life. A traveler can get a sense of the country’s history by visiting its ancient and majestic artifacts and architecture, which make it an essential historical site.
York’s Transportation Options
York’s location as one of the UK’s most easily accessible cities makes getting here a breeze.
By Air: Leeds Bradford Airport, Manchester Airport, and Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield Airport are all options for visitors from outside the UK. The closest airport is Leeds Bradford International Airport, which is most likely the most convenient. To get to York from Leeds, take the 757 bus to the city center and then catch a train.
By Train: York Central Train Station is well-connected to all major UK cities and is only two hours distant from London and Edinburgh. The cost of train travel in the United Kingdom might be high if you wait until the last minute to purchase your tickets.
By Car: York is conveniently located midway between Edinburgh and London, with six Park and Ride locations in the city center. The riverside parking can be pricy, but it’s convenient for us when we’re in York and want to get to the city center quickly.
York’s Transportation System
Getting around York is never a headache and is always an adventure. With this York itinerary, you won’t have to rely on public transportation. However, if you’re too exhausted to walk, you can take the bus, taxi, or Uber. We believe that walking is an important part of the experience, therefore if you’re able to do so, we recommend it. It’s really fun to walk the walls of York City.
Which Time of Year is Ideal for a Trip To York?
Even in the winter, York is a wonderful place to visit. However, spring and summer are the greatest times to visit York because the flowers are blooming and the weather is more pleasant. With less tourists, spring and summer are the best times to visit York, especially in the spring and summer months.
While winter has its perks, it’s always a good idea to visit York during the holiday season, when the inhabitants are enjoying as well. York Minster has some of the best carol services in the country over the holiday season, so plan your trip accordingly. There are also nice fires in the taverns, and mulled cider hits the mark.
In case you didn’t know, York has one of the most renowned racecourses in the United Kingdom, where horse racing takes place from May to October.
You’ll find useful information here for your trip to York
Visitor services are located at 1 Museum Street, York’s main thoroughfare. It’s just a short walk from the train station, and the friendly staff will be happy to help you find your way around the city.
Purchase a City Pass if you want to visit many attractions. Additionally, it comes with a free 24-hour bus pass and a complimentary supper at ASK Italian. Prices can be found on their website.
Take a rain poncho with you (you never know with the great British weather).
Credit cards are commonly accepted, and the currency is the Pound sterling (£).
Walking over cobblestone streets necessitates the use of non-slip footwear.
A List of the Best Things to Do in York in the UK
On a journey to York, visitors may expect to get a taste of the north of England. It is noted for its cobbled streets, Gothic treasures, and streets filled with architecture that recounts the story of its illustrious past. Here are some of our favorite things to do in York.
York’s Famous Cathedral
York Minster, like Sydney’s Opera House, is a must-see on your York itinerary, so don’t miss it. It’s one of Northern Europe’s largest medieval churches and one of the world’s most beautiful gothic structures. The cost of entering the cathedral is prohibitive, but the experience is priceless. The 275-step ascent to the top of the towers offers a bird’s-eye view of the city, but it is extremely narrow, so avoid it if you have a fear of heights.
Adult tickets are £11.50, but if you want to ascend the steps, you’ll have to pay an additional £5. (or free with a York City Pass).
Evensong is at 5.15 pm Monday through Saturday and at 4 pm on Sundays, in case you were wondering. One of the oldest choirs in the United Kingdom.
The Walls of York, New York
York’s historic City Walls are the best thing to do in the city, period. Aside from the fact that it’s a lot of fun and in such good condition, the city and Minster itself provide a peaceful setting. Even though the 3.4-mile (2-mile) walls aren’t difficult to navigate, knowing that you can get inside the city at various locations is helpful.
There is no cost.
If you’re pressed for time, skip the complete circuit and head north for the best views of Westminster Abbey.
One of York’s most famous landmarks, the Shambles, offers a glimpse into its medieval past. A large majority of the Shambles’ structures date from the fourteenth century, and many of them were formerly occupied by butcher shops that dried their meat on outdoor hooks. Shops, including a Harry Potter store, now occupy the area’s overhanging timber-framed structures. It looks a lot like the one in London’s Kings Cross. Diagon Alley may have been inspired by this street, but is that really the case? Perhaps it’s the city of Edinburgh’s Victoria Street. We’ll leave everything up to you! One thing is for sure: you are now the star of your own movie!
If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite and peruse the vendors on your York agenda, the Shambles Food Market is right next door.
Cost: there is no charge to roam, but there is a fee to eat.
Knowing that this street is very crowded during the day is a good thing to have in mind. Take a stroll in the early morning or late at night to avoid the throng!
The Ouse River
Rowers can be seen moving up and down the river as you walk along the river’s banks. You will like it even more if you are doing it in the summer. York City Cruise also offers a 45-minute boat ride. Every day, between 12 and 1.30 p.m., they go. Early evening river cruises are also a possibility.
Adult tickets for the York City Cruise are available for £10. £12.50 for an early evening cruise
The Jorvik Viking Centre
The Jorvik Viking Centre is another must-visit item in York on your list of things to see and do. The interactive exhibition about York’s Viking heritage is an amazing way to learn about the city’s history. It’s a fascinating look at an archaeological discovery that will only take you an hour out of your day.
Adult tickets cost £12.50.
Betty’s Tea Rooms and Café
If you’re looking for something sweet, you won’t be disappointed. An beautiful afternoon tea may be had at Betty’s, one of the best venues in town. In the 1920s, they began serving afternoon tea. In order to get the most out of your time in York, we recommend booking in advance, and it is a good idea to realize that this activity is not inexpensive. But if you want to dine in the cafe, you may still enjoy the cafe’s exquisite cakes and pastries.
The cost for an afternoon tea is £19.95 per person, or $24.95 if you want prosecco!
If you’ve never had a British afternoon tea, we recommend trying it out here. It’s wonderful!
The Railway Museum of America
There aren’t many museums as impressive as the National Railway Museum in terms of size and scope. Before our trip, we had no idea how much we enjoyed the train rides. There is a plethora of information and sights to take in. Famous trains like the Mallard, the original Eurostar, and even Queen Victoria’s Royal Train are among the more than 100 on display.
There is no cost.
The Tower of Clifford
Clifford’s Tower was erected by William the Conqueror’s orders and has a bloody past. The Norman Castle’s remaining tower, which used as a prison until 1929, is all that’s left of the original structure, which dates back to the 13th century. You can go up in the tower today as part of your York sightseeing plan to learn more about the city’s turbulent past. In addition, you’ll see the city from every angle.
Adults pay £5.70; those with a York City Pass pay nothing.
It is a Tale of York’s Chocolate Heritage
A 90-minute tour of York’s chocolate history is required if you adore Kit Kats or Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, so if that’s you, you’ll definitely want to visit.
Adult tickets are priced at £12.95 each.
Pubs in York
York has more than 365 pubs, as any Yorker would tell you. Every day of the year, there’s one for you. York is one of the few cities in the UK where the number of pubs has not decreased as much. To be sure, this isn’t the main reason you should go out to a pub. Because of the incredible variety of bars, atmospheres, and vibes. Here you can find whatever mood you desire. It’s all right here, whether you’re in the mood for a traditional pint of real ale or a classy cocktail. Find the one that works best for you.
The Star in the City, Lendal Cellars, King’s Arms, and The Grapes are just a few of our favorites. It’s part of the joy, however, to stroll about and uncover your own.
The price range is huge! A pint of beer costs, on average, £3.63. But don’t expect to pay more than £1.90 for a pint!
Museums in York
The museums in New York are worth a stop on any trip to the Big Apple. Among them:
Museum of York’s history, as well as reconstructions of Victorian streets, prisons, and dwellings, may be found at York Castle Museum. Wow, that’s a great idea! £10.90 or free with York City Pass for an adult ticket.
Artifacts from Roman, Viking and medieval times can be found at the Yorkshire museum and museum garden.
Take a Tour of York
White Rose: A Guided Walking Tour Starting at the Art Gallery, the Walking Trip is a two-and-a-half-hour “tipping” tour.
Another alternative is a 90-minute walking tour of York, which will give you gain a feel for the city.
It’s a 75-minute walking tour for those who enjoy the macabre.
There are a wide variety of tours to choose from, including historical and medical ones. Do you want to be scared? Do you want to be scared? Take York’s “Bloody Tour.” Laughter is always welcome. A ride in a ghost bus is in order.
York’s Best Restaurants and Bars
York has something for everyone, from inexpensive eats to fine dining, and you won’t go hungry. York has a plethora of unique restaurants and bars to choose from, so we’ve included a few of our favorites here.
Cocktails and gin are a match made in heaven with the Evil Eye.
During the holiday season, visit The Star, a quaint tavern in the city where you may have mulled cider. You can also get food here.
One of the most popular independent bars in Northern England, dubbed the Stone Roses Bar, is located here.
Goji Cafe serves some of the city’s best vegan and vegetarian fare.
Are You in the Area for a Longer Period of Time and Plan to Visit York?
The following are popular day trips from York:
The Yorkshire Sculpture Area – a 500-acre park filled with contemporary sculptures – is only a half-hour drive from Sheffield.
Leeds is just a 20-minute rail ride from York.
Located in the Yorkshire Dales, Brimham Rocks are an ancient rock formation that can be reached from York in around 45 minutes by driving.
Only an hour and 30 minutes away by rail, Manchester is the city we call home.
The answer to this question is yes.
York is a treasure in the United Kingdom, and this from a Yorkshire girl. If you’re looking for an English city with an exquisite and pleasant ambiance, then York is the place for you. York is a city for everyone, as there are plenty of free activities for those on a tight budget.
Love the city’s Viking past and Gothic architecture; it’s like you’ve stepped back in time a few centuries. With this York itinerary, you’ll be able to get a taste of what the city has to offer! Keep your camera close by and take in the city’s sights with you.