There are few places here in the North East that are as charming as the city of York. It’s a popular place, attracting visitors from all over the world, all days of the year.
Its powerful medieval history, quaint cobbled streets and striking architecture are just some of the city’s attractions. We’ve gathered a list of our favourite spots in York for an action-packed day out, perfect for entertaining kids during the summer holidays!
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What to Do:
The magnificent York Minster is the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe and naturally, is a must-see for any visitor. As visitors wonder around, they are sure to recognise traces of the city’s rich history in the architecture of the building. We recommend taking a virtual tour around the cathedral which will show you the highlights.
Cruise along the River Ouse and discover a different perspective of the city. Self-hire boats are perfect for the more adventurous types, or evening cruises are available for those who wish to relax and watch the sun set over the city.
The National Railway Museum, which is free to enter, is the largest railway museum in the world, boasting rail icons and an unrivalled collection of special artefacts. It’s the perfect day out for children and adults alike, with frequently changing interactive exhibitions and displays to enjoy.
Step back in time at the Jorvik Viking Centre and experience the sights, sounds and even smells of York in 984 AD. Discover how the Vikings lived, try on what they wore and ride through a replica of the city way back then.
Scale York’s City Walls for a beautiful elevated journey around the city. It takes roughly two hours to walk the entirety. Stop off at Museum Gardens, where visitors can see the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey.
The city also boasts a great shopping experience. As well as high-street favourites, the narrow streets are filled with independent shops and boutiques. Shambles Market offers a huge selection of goods - just perfect for treating yourself!
York’s food scene is modern and fresh thanks to a recent influx of trendy restaurants. As well as the infamous Betty’s Tea Rooms, The Ivy has recently opened a stylish branch. We love nothing more than a thriving independent eatery though, so here are some of our favourites!
Mr P’s Curious Tavern functions as part curiosity shop, part high-end dining establishment. Chef Andrew Pern serves inventive dishes to excite the senses. Sharing is encouraged, with small plates and platters filling the menu. The Charcuterie and Cheese Sharer is simply divine.
The Hairy Fig is a cosy deli crammed with artisan and locally-sourced produce. Well-priced but delicious dishes are served in a backroom, where the menu offers plenty of choice. Of course, a generous Yorkshire platter is on the menu!
The House of Trembling Madness is a tiny medieval hall with dark wooden benches and stuffed animals on the walls. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but it certainly has a unique atmosphere that chain bars can’t beat. Although hidden away, it gets incredibly busy on Friday nights with the locals.
Evil Eye is a trendy independent cocktail bar in the heart of the city. If you like the occasional gin, this is the place for you. It offers 1,028 different gins, which has been officially recognised as a new world record!
Where to Stay:
The Grand Hotel & Spa is the city’s only five-star hotel and it certainly deserves its title. Situated just a short walk from the train station and main shopping streets, the hotel is perfectly located for a weekend away. Guests can expect exemplary service, spacious rooms and a beautiful spa. Doubles start from £140.