Wherever you live in the UK, York is accessible for a weekend break. It is easy to reach by road, or, if you fancy a break from driving, there are direct rail links from most major cities. London Kings Cross is only two hours journey time away. York Station with it’s massive curved glazed roof is an architectural masterpiece.
York’s city centre is compact so leave the car and explore on foot. It is full of sights to see. Parking is difficult and expensive in the city centre so make use of the efficient park and ride services.
What to see
York Minster, is one of the finest Gothic cathedrals and is the star attraction, the guided tours are well worth taking. Close by is the Shambles a well preserved medieval street, featured in many pictures. Also nearby you can find the National Trust’s Treasurers House complete with tea room. They also own Goddards House, an Arts and Craft masterpiece, the former home of the Terry (Chocolate) family. It is just south of the city.
York has some of the finest museums outside of London. The free to visit, National Railway Museum is the home of the Flying Scotsman and Mallard locomotives and much more. There is the Yorkshire museum and the York Castle museum which has a recreated Victorian street often featured on TV at Christmas. In here is the final prison cell of legendary highwayman, Dick Turpin. The Jorvik museum recreates the city’s (then Jorvik) Viking past complete with smells of the times, cooking and less pleasant ones.
The ancient city walls are still largely in place and can be walked.
Horse racing in York dates back to Roman times. The Knavesmire course dates back to the eighteenth century, as well as one of the oldest, it is one of the most famous. The Ebor Festival held every year in August, is the highlight of the year.
York is a popular place to live, study, shop and visit. It’s many historic buildings have been sympathetically restored whilst new developments blend in well. The modern university is east of the city. Whereas many cities hide their rivers, the Yorkshire Ouse features prominently and in the central area, it’s banks are home to York’s thriving night time economy.
Visiting, Eating and sleeping
There is plenty of choice for eating and drinking. As well as the familiar chains, there are many independent restaurants and bars. Bettys the famous tea rooms, have two outlets in the city. There is a wide choice of places to stay covering all price bands. If you go for a long weekend, a day visit to Harrogate is not too far to go.
Like most historic cities, space for parking is limited, so make use of the excellent Park and Ride services.
For more information visit the tourist office www.visityork.org
(image courtesy of www.visityork.org)