This post is in collaboration with Visit York.
I’ve been to many UK cities since moving here in 2013, but there is one that always remains at the top of my list… and that city is York! There are many reasons I love York; it’s fascinating history, the friendly people, the amazing pubs and the overall cozy feeling I always get when I’m there. York is the perfect place for a city break, and today I’m here to tell you all about my Original City Adventure!
York and North Yorkshire are launching a brand new campaign this year called “York – the Original City adventure” . The campaign from Visit York that encourages visitors to plan their own unique adventure in the city. It is the largest domestic campaign to date for York and North Yorkshire, and there are a number of adventures to choose from, such as Thrill Seekers Adventures, Foodie Adventures, History Lovers Adventure and Family Adventures. Naturally, we went for the History Lovers Adventure and I have to admit that we loved every minute of it!
Our adventure started at the beautiful Mount Royale Hotel York. Located only a short walk away from the city centre, The George IV listed building has the feel of a stately home as soon as you walk in the door. It’s regal, yet cosy and the perfect blend of old-time charm and modern amenities. We stayed in one of the Garden Rooms which was extremely spacious and opened up to one of the hotel’s other main features, the old English garden. The hotel also has an excellent restaurant and a trendy yet cosy bar with a roaring fire. The highlight of our stay had to be the bartender Lee, who will be sure to take care of your every need!
If visiting York, you should definitely invest in the York Pass. The York pass offers you free entrance to over 30 York attractions and tours, as well as discounts on restaurants and shopping. You can purchase a one, two or three day York pass making it easy to tailor your adventure to suit your needs. To buy a Pass contact York Visitor Information Centre on 01904 550099, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.yorkpass.com.
A great thing about York is that the city is quite walkable and not huge, which means you can see many attractions in just a few days. If you’re a history-lover, you’ll have no problem filling your days with things to do. One highlight, and probably one of the most famous sights in York, is York Minster. York Minster is a magnificent and imposing cathedral where visitors can experience over 2,000 years of the city’s history. At York Minster you can visit the Undercroft, attend an “Evensong”, or simply wander around and marvel at it’s beauty.
Another well known attraction in York is the City Walls. Much remains of the medieval walls and it is free to walk around them. Not only will you get stunning view of York Minster, but you can also visit the Richard III Experience in the historic Monk Bar.
If you know anything about York, you have probably heard of Jorvik, the world famous Viking Centre. Unfortunately, Jorvik was badly damaged during the floods of 2015 so The Jorvik Centre itself is currently closed. However, Jorvik is currently “on tour” and you can visit three separate temporary exhibitions at York Minster, the Theatre Royal and St. Mary’s Coppergate. Jorvik will be reopening in the new year, in time for the Jorvik Viking Festival which takes place from the 20th-26th of February, 2017. To learn more about Jorvik and how you can help with the refurbishment, please click here.
There are numerous other historical attractions that are well worth a visit. If you want a stunning view of the city, it’s definitely worth a climb to the top of Clifford’s Tower. Clifford’s Tower is the oldest remaining part of York Castle, and provides an impressive view of the city and York Minster.
One of my absolute favourite attractions was Barley Hall, a medieval house once home to the Priors of Nostell and the Mayor of York. This is a completely interactive museum, which makes for a splendid change, and they even have original costumes from BBC’s hit drama Wolf Hall on display!
For any train enthusiasts out there, the National Rail Museum is also well worth a stop. The York Castle Museum is still one of the best museums I have ever visited… who doesn’t want to explore a recreated Victorian street?
York is also not short of wonderful places for food and drink… and you can even get a history fix in the bars and restaurants! You can visit the old medieval alehouse Trembling Madness or drink a hot chocolate made from a recipe originating in the 17th century at the York Cocoa House. You can also visit The Roman Bath, a pub with an actual Roman Bath downstairs! There are lots of cute cafes to grab lunch or dinner… although again I would highly recommend Oxo’s on the Mount at the Mount Royale hotel if you’re looking for a nice dinner.
Overall “York – the Original City Adventure” campaign is the perfect way to spend a weekend. What I love about the campaign is that it is not just designed to get you to York, but designed for you to have an interactive experience once you’re there! For example, Visit York has designed a really fun “Selfie Trail” that allows you to seek out locations for great selfies all over the city. You can also download the Artifact Act and take photos with Yorkie himself!
To find more information on the #OriginalCityAdventure campaign, and how you can plan your own History Lovers’ Adventure, visit here. York is easily accessible – by train York is on the East Coast mainline and Virgin Trains East Coast runs fast, frequent train services from stations along the London-Scotland East Coast route. VTEC operates 72 weekday services between London King’s Cross and York, including a non-stop service each hour through the day, taking as little as 1 hour 49 minutes to complete the journey, making it a great option for a weekend break!
We hope you plan your own History Lovers’ Adventure in York, and when you do, make sure you tweet us your photos!