I’ve lived in Yorkshire for 4 years! During this time I’ve had the privilege to travel quickly (and cheaply) to one of the most popular cities in the UK. I’m talking about a small, walled, medieval city constructed in the 13th century called York. With a population of just over 200 thousand people, York’s beauty brings no less than 6.8 million visitors every single year from all over the world. Here’s my top 4 favorite places to visit in York that you must visit if you’re ever in Yorkshire;
The York Minster
One of the most iconic buildings in York which you can spot from the moment you step outside of the train station is the famous York Minster. It is the gothic Cathedral of York and one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe.
Besides visiting the Cathedral, you can admire its architecture, design, and even attend other events that are being held in the building. Behind the Cathedral, you’ll find a wide green space where people gather to have lunch, play with their children, or read a good book. If you’re traveling by train, the best way to get to the York Minster is by following the York City Walls – they have been used from Roman times in order to defend themselves from their enemies. No visit is complete without such a walk!
A great place to witness the wonders of York is The Shambles, an old street with timber-framed buildings dating back to the 14th century. It is also known for being one of the best preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe. The Shambles has a great market where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables. But how do you know if you’re on the right street? Just follow the intense smell of cake shops, chocolate and fudge.
Around that area, you can also find a Christmas shop which is open all through the year.
York’s Chocolate Story Museum
A more unique place to discover is the York’s Chocolate Story Museum. Yes, you heard right – it’s all about chocolate! You will have the chance to unwrap the history of chocolate, what popular brands have been created in the UK and in particular in York, and you will also have the chance to create your own chocolate (yum!). Along the tour, you will have the opportunity to taste many types of chocolate and decide on your favorite. And, of course, a gift shop filled with chocolate will be waiting for you at the end of the story.
Last, but not least, the Clifford’s Tower is one of my favorite places to visit in York. This is because here you can see the entire city from above. Enjoy a stunning panoramic view over the entire medieval city of York. The Tower represents the remains of the York Castle built by William the Conqueror and it was used back in time as a prison and a royal mint. Be prepared to do some exercise and make sure you are not afraid of heights prior to your tour of the tower because you will have to climb a spiral staircase with 110 steps to the top.
Other favorite places to visit in York
Of course York has many more things to do but the above are my personal favorite places to visit in York. If you have the time then also check out;
- Jorvik Viking Centre; If you’re a Vikings fan, you have the chance to learn more about them and have a proper Viking experience at the Jorvik Viking Centre.
- Yorkshire Museum; But maybe you’re more interested in how Yorkshire evolved along the time and what it has in store. The answer to this is surely the Yorkshire Museum!
- National Railway Museum; If you want to learn more about the story of rail transport in Britain and its impact on society, the National Railway Museum in York is the perfect place to learn about this.
When is the best time to visit York?
The best time to visit York is… ALWAYS! Spring and summer are perfect for anyone that wants to feel the sun on their face. York is particularly beautiful in autumn and winter comes with a festive spirit and an incredible Christmas market that turns the medieval city into a real fairy tale.
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