Visiting York for the First Time
York is one of the best cities in Northern England. Many would say it’s the best but I’m a Yorkshire girl born n’ bred so I’m a bit biased! It’s a big city, with everything that you’d want from a modern metropolis, but it’s also filled with history and culture which it displays with pride. In York, you can turn the corner from a large, thoroughly modern department store, and find yourself on a medieval cobbled street with crooked buildings leaning in from the sides. The city is a perfect fusion of new and old when it comes to architecture, attractions, food and pubs. It’s the perfect blend of historic charm and modern convenience, and there is always plenty to do.
If you have never visited York before, prepare to be amazed. There are excellent transport links, and while few people drive in the city centre, as many of the smaller streets are car-free zones, you can easily drive to the outskirts from anywhere else in the country. Alternatively, York train station is large, and services most areas, making public transport easy.
When it comes to places to stay, as you’d expect from such a historic town, there are plenty of quaint hotels and b&bs, or the option to rent a room in a quintessentially British inn, and many options within walking distance of all of the best attractions. Here are some other tips to help you if you are planning to visit York for the first time in the coming months.
Pack Your Walking Shoes
One of the best things about a trip to York is that it’s easy to get around. If you are staying on the outskirts of the city, you are best leaving your car behind and either walking or getting the bus into town. If you are staying centrally, you can walk most places. But, there’s a lot to see, so it’s a great idea to pack some comfortable shoes.
Take a Camera
The city itself is beautiful. There are areas of the historic wall that are intact; you can walk around the whole city this way. This gives you some excellent opportunities to take some photos of the scenery and cityscapes. You might also want to take some pictures of the river and bridges, as well as the gothic architecture and the imposing minster. Read some iPhone photography tips if you don’t plan to take a different camera.
Prepare to Learn
York is a fantastic place to visit if you are looking to learn. It’s so proud of its own history, and it’s displayed everywhere you go. There are chances to learn as you wander the streets, as well as museums on a wide range of different subjects and timeframes.
And to Gain a Few Pounds
When it comes to food, York has it all. There are plenty of chain restaurants if you are looking for something easy and everywhere else is busy. But for an authentic experience of the city, you should try to branch out a little. Enjoy afternoon tea in a delightful little tea shop tucked away into a tiny backstreet, lunch at a beautiful street food kart or vendor and dinner in an old-fashioned extremely British pub. Indulge in homemade chocolates and treats to keep you going in the middle. Don’t worry; all that working will burn off any extra calories.
The Best Things to See in York
With so much to do in York, it can be hard to know where to start. Look at fun York events to see if there is anything going on while you are going to be there, and do plenty of research to help you to build an itinerary before you go. Some of the best things to do in York include:
– Visit the Minster
– Go to the National Railway Museum
– Walk the Wall
– Visit the Castle Museum
– Enjoy a Ghost tour
– Get scared at the Dungeons
– Go to Jorvik Viking Museum
Can You Visit York on a Budget?
All these attractions might sound expensive, but you can still visit York on a budget. Some, like the railway museum, are completely free, and you can save money on others by booking online or buying a multi-attraction pass.
Is York a Good Place to Take Kids?
York is a fantastic place to visit with kids. Most of the attractions are family-friendly (The Dungeons is best for older kids) and close together, and there are plenty of restaurants catering for children.
Shopping in York
York is great for shopping. It’s got all of the big stores that you are used to, but also cute independent shops stocking gorgeous one of a kinds so you’ll definitely find something to bring away as a souvenir of your visit.