2 days in... York

31 Mar 2019

Whether it’s the sight of fat rascals in the window of Bettys Tea Rooms, the intriguing stench of Jorvik Viking Centre, or the chance to walk around nearly complete city walls, there’s plenty to lure you to York for a mini break. Here’s our guide to the must-dos during your stay…


9am: climb York Minster
No trip to York would be complete without a visit to its splendid Gothic minster — one of largest Medieval cathedrals in Northern Europe. Get there early to beat the crowds and ascend the 275 steps to the open-air platform at the top of the cathedral's central tower, where you can rub noses with the Gothic gargoyles and soak up the impressive panoramic views.

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12pm: take a boat trip
Running through the centre of York is the River Ouse, meaning the city has an abundance of picturesque riverside locations. If you’re blessed with some sunshine (or prepared to brave the Yorkshire drizzle), you can hop on a boat tour to chug up and down the Ouse (picnic and prosecco optional).

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#yorkrivercruise #daytrip #york #readyforadrink

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2pm: head to Bettys for tea
You’ll know you’ve reached Bettys tea room when you see the queue snaking around the block, but the legendary fat rascal scones are definitely worth the wait. Once you’ve had your fill of sweet treats, work off those calories with a Medieval City Walls Walk to see the best-preserved city walls in England. You can access the walls at multiple points around the city. It’s a great way to get your bearings of the city and — best of all — it’s free!

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Deliciousness lies within. 📷@harrogate_wife

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5pm: ramble along The Shambles
Often cited as Britain’s most picturesque street, The Shambles is steeped in history. Originally a street of butchers' shops in the 14th century (keep your eyes peeled for the original meat hooks overhead), it's now a crooked row of boutique shops and independent retailers.

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What's your favourite city in Britain? London? Edinburgh? Newcastle? Bath? For me - York is at the very top of the list. Love this angle of the famous Shambles by @ajpurkis. Who can resist those wonderfully wonky wooden beams? (Try saying that fast x 10) 😝 . There is a remarkable suggestion of the Middle Ages in the Shambles, a narrow winding street flanked with old tumblin' down shops and houses - overhanging so closely together you could easily shake hands with a neighbour across the street. The Shambles boast some of the best preserved medieval buildings in the world, many of which date back to the late fourteenth and fifteenth century (around 1350-1475AD) Tip: If you want to see this street completely empty, or at least much quieter... visit at dawn and you'll have it all to yourself - and then have a nice cup of tea when the Earl Grey tea shop opens! But really, I quite like it when it's busy as that's how it would have been back in the medieval period. Lots of hustle and bustle and plenty of sights...and smells. . And now, time for my morning tea! Thanks to @ajpurkis 🇬🇧 Want your photos of Britain to be featured? Follow and tag us in your shots...'ta! 🇬🇧

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While you have your credit card out, be sure to stop in at York's Chocolate Story around the corner. Take the tour to discover the journey of chocolate from jungle to newsagent shelf, or simply pick up some edible treats in the tempting gift shop.


8pm: go on a pub crawl
With over 365 pubs, a York resident could have a pint in a different hostelry every day of the year. There is a wealth of pub crawl routes on offer, with many websites and books advising on the most atmospheric and historic pubs to visit for a tipple. Our picks would be the Evil Eye Lounge, a quirky and slightly grimy little joint hidden behind the back door of a liquor shop with knock-out cocktails, the cosy Plonkers Wine Bar with views of the Ouse, and Valhalla, a kitsch music bar with a Viking twist.

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H E D G E R O W B U B B L Y 👁 #evileyelounge #evileyeloungeyork @evileyebar

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9am: museum time
Charge up on some award-winning caffeine at the hip Brew & Brownie before embarking on a trip back in time at York Castle Museum — this 80-year-old museum is best known for its authentic street of salvaged shop fronts, replicating the city’s stores and living rooms from the Georgian era to the 1980s. Opposite the museum is Clifford's Tower, the remains of a Norman castle that gives a great panoramic view of the city.

 12pm: Jorvik Viking Centre
This excellent family-friendly attraction might not deliver the most pleasant olfactory experience, but it's a great interactive insight into life in a thriving 19th-century Viking city. Continue your exploration of York's grim and gruesome past with a visit to The York Dungeons, but be warned: the grisly exhibitions are not for the squeamish.

2pm: Railway Museum
Slow things down with a relaxing afternoon at the National Railway Museum, which has plenty of in-depth exhibitions for the dedicated train-spotter. Or head straight for The Countess of York, where you can sample a delectable array of afternoon-tea treats from the comfort of a converted train carriage.

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#afternoontea #chilledout parents #anniversary #celebrations continue #countessofyork #relax #york

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5pm: The Museum Gardens
Much loved by locals, the Museum Gardens offer a peaceful haven in the centre of town. If the sun is out, grab an ice cream or pack a picnic. When the drizzle kicks in, head to the Yorkshire Museum, which gives a comprehensive overview of York’s many historical layers, with prehistoric, Roman, Viking, and Medieval artifacts spread over five galleries.

8pm: Take a tour
York is considered by some to be one of Europe’s most haunted cities, with spooky sightings and haunted buildings aplenty. Discover more about York’s sinister past on a guided Ghost Walk, taking place nightly at 8pm from the Kings Arms pub.

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The ghost walk guy did us a pose 👻

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