When you think of England, what do you think of? Narrow streets? Medieval Architecture? Dreaming spires? Whatever it is, you should visit York – you’ll see a taste of it all, and so much more.
From the moment you step inside the city walls, despite all the signs of modern life, the shops, the traffic, you’re unmistakably somewhere else, somewhere older, wiser even.
The first thing to do is to find yourself a place to stay - York hotels are many and varied, but you’ll want to be placed in the centre to make the most of your time. Prices start from about £40 per room per night (and go up to around £200), and for that you can expect a clean room, central location and great service.
Walk Along The City Walls
One of the most popular things to do in York, and a good way to orient yourself when you arrive, is to take a stroll along the city walls. Dating back (in parts) to the Romans, these walls are the best remaining example of city walls in the UK, and encircle parts of the city centre.
As well as getting a taste for the landscape in days gone by, you’ll get a feel for the dimensions of the city, and how modern York has developed. It’s also just a great walk the wind in your hair and the sun (sometimes) on your face, there are fewer more enjoyable places to kill some time.
Discover Yorks History
Popping in to one of York’s many museums, you begin to appreciate why a city like York would need such impressive walls.
First the Romans, then the Vikings, then it was the centre of the War of the Roses, York has been attacked, and attacking, for most of its history.
And you can see that heritage all around you. There’s the Jorvick Centre, the Castle Museum, the Dungeon. When you visit York, a whole other historic world suddenly open ups. Every nook and every cranny of this city seems to throw up a little vignette about the city’s history.
Party With The Students
But of course let’s not forget its future York is after all, a university town, with a student population of approximately 15,000.
And of course those students need catered for, so around the university, you’ll therefore find a range of bars and clubs to ensure that, after an day exploring the sites, theres plenty of things to do in York once the sun goes down.
Tour The City
But of course not everything about York requires you to be on your feet. Explore the city by boat with a tour on the River Ouse, or pop on a tour bus and watch the city from the comfort on a double-decker bus.
In fact, the boutique hotel scene in York is enjoying something of a renaissance recently, so why not pop down to one of them and have yourself a little spa?
York was once the centre of the national rail network (as explored in the city’s railway museum) so it’s fantastically easy to get to.
Just a few hours from London on the East Coast mainline, it also has regular, fast and direct connections to Leeds, Manchester, and Newcastle so wherever you are, there’s really no excuse just go!
(photo credit: 1 - 2 - 3)
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