Apart from it being the place that Liv was born, York is an exceptional city to visit. It is full of quaint tea rooms, boutique shops and historic stories. Here are the reasons why you should definitely visit York!
The Minster is an iconic place in York. It is one of the largest cathedrals in northern Europe. It has over 2000 years worth of history and some of the best stain glass windows. I always remember as a kid (Liv) my mum and dad taking me to York Minster and we went back time and time again and I never got bored!
If you ever get time when you’re in York, try to attend a service or even a carol service at Christmas. Even if you aren’t religious like us, it is still a really beautiful moment witnessing these services.
The Shambles is a very old medieval street in York with the original houses in it, some of which are from the 14th Century. They are so old that they actually now that if you go upstairs in some of the houses, you can actually reach your arm out and touch the house at the other side of the street. This isn’t because of the houses having poor foundations or because they are so old, they were purposely built like this to protect the bottom half of the houses from rain and also the butcher’s meat from direct sunshine. Some locals in York actually call the collection of narrow, windy streets ‘The Shambles’ and these streets give York the character that it is renowned for.
York City Walls
If you visit York, you cannot miss walking the historic walls. To walk around the walls is free and it is a picturesque 3.4km walk around the city of York, this usually takes around 2 hours. The walls date back to the 9th century when the Romans originally built the walls as a defence mechanism. The vikings then invaded and buried the Romans walls and replaced them with wooden stakes, followed by the stone that is there today. These walls are the oldest medieval walls in England and they serve amazing views across York when walking them. If you want any information on where to start the walks around the walls just click here.
The Museum Gardens
These gardens are set around the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. They were originally set up by the philosophical society in the 1830’s, however, St Mary’s Abbey dates back to 1088. It is a great place to discover, take a picnic and take in the scenery. Inside Museum Gardens there is an observatory (the oldest one in England), botanical collections of plants, various wildlife to be spotted and of course, the Yorkshire Museum. The Museum Gardens are currently open 7.30am-7.00pm and they are free to enter. We highly recommend visiting here, it is engulfed by history and it is a place in York where you can relax and people watch.
The River Ouse
Okay, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is a really fun thing to do in York. You can hire a little red boat which can fit up to 8 people in and drive it yourself!!! You can have your own aquatic adventure down the River Ouse and explore the city by water. You can hire these for one hour or half an hour, depending on how far along the river you want to go. You have to pay a cash deposit before boarding the boat but it is definitely worth it! Just keep your eye put on the bigger boats, we were having so much fun that we did nearly bump into them a few times! If you’re not feeling as brave to drive your own, you can also get the city cruise, either in the day or night! Any more information on the boats then please visit here.
The Various Museums
Dotted throughout York city centre are a number of really interesting museums, for both adults and children. One of these museums is the Jorvik Viking Centre – this was sadly flooded in York a year a go and has had to be refurbished but it is still a great museum. If you are interested in history and about how York was formed then we would recommend visiting here. Our favourite museum in York is the Castle Museum. This museum is built on the site of York Castle which was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1068. It comprises of many exhibitions but our favourite part of the museum is the reconstructed street, Kirkgate, which is literally like stepping back in time. Honestly, if you have the chance please visit you won’t regret it!
Clifford’s Tower in York is iconic, locals use it as a meeting place as it can be very easily found in York. It is a 13th century castle built on a grass mound which was originally used as a prison and a royal mint. From Clifford’s Tower brings panoramic views of York from the top which are really beautiful. You can climb to the top and tur the tower, however there is a charge now to do this, it is around £5 for an adult to enter. It is quite a few steps up t o the top so be prepared for that!
So now you know why you should visit York, it really does offer so much to do and it is a beautiful place to explore. Let us know if you’ve visited and we have missed anything out, or if you want to just simply tell us how you found it then give us a comment!