Not sure if ‘yeomanly’ is a great word to use, but consistency is a key point of marketing…. and you try and think of another word to describe York that begins with a ‘y’! Now I’ve got that out of the way, as many of you know, I was born and raised in the UK and even though I have lived in Australia since I was sixteen years old, I do visit on a fairly regular basis and when I get the chance, I always head for York. York is, without doubt, one of my favourite cities in the UK and holds a special place in my heart. When I took my boys to visit for the first time a few years ago, I made sure that York was on our itinerary, and they both loved it too as there is so much to do.
So why is York one of my favourite cities? York is a beautiful city in the north east of England, steeped in history and with amazing sights and stories to discover. York’s history is incredible and covers so many different eras; invasion by the Romans, Anglo Saxon times, the Viking era, Norman era and medieval times. York also played a vital role in England’s history during the Tudor/Stuart period, being home to Richard III, and has played an important role in history all the way through to modern times. So it goes without saying that York is a history buff’s delight, and I mention all of this because it is the history that has shaped the sights and tourist attractions that York has on offer today.
The ancient walls that have surrounded the city since Roman times still stand today and there are areas that you can walk around the walled city that are truly spectacular. York Minster is the iconic Gothic style medieval cathedral, similar in design to London’s famed Westminster Abbey, and the views are well worth the climb, so make you incorporate into your itinerary if you have the chance.
York Castle and the York Castle Museum (which is onsite) are definite ‘must dos’. The Museum appeals to all ages and is a great place to visit, even if you are not a history fanatic. The Jorvik Viking Centre, Roman ruins and York Dungeons are other sights to see, and all are so contrastingly different, you certainly won’t be bored. Take in the Ghost Tours and visit the Dick Turpin Museum; Dick Turpin was one of the original Highwaymen!
The Shambles is a quaint shopping area, filled with old fashioned shops, bars and restaurants all set on cobble stoned streets. It’s a great place to shop or just walk though and meander around – you’ll feel as if you have stepped back in time. You’re sure to find a souvenir and something here to remind you of your time in York, and it’s a great place for a drink or a meal after you’ve climbed the York Minster tower which is close by.
The easiest way to get around is the ‘hop on, hop off’ bus tour, although the city is fairly compact and easy to navigate and get around. Walking and cycling tours are also a great way to experience York, and when you’ve seen all that the city has to offer, grab a car and head out to the famous Yorkshire Moors, Yorkshire Dales or check out the steam trains at nearby Whitby.
It would be remiss of me not to also mention that York is the original birthplace of a number of iconic foods, so make sure you get to sample (and don’t forget to bring me some back!). The Terry’s Chocolate Orange (one of my personal favourites), Jelly Babies and Tetley Tea all originate from York and who hasn’t tried a Yorkshire pudding with their Sunday roast beef?
If you’re heading to the UK, then make sure that York is on your itinerary – I’ll certainly be back to visit again, that’s for sure!