The view of York, England from the top of York Minster.

A Weekend in York

Thoughts from Alanna…

Visiting York, England is an incredible experience. This past weekend, my friends and I saw the sights, ate too much food and wore out our shoes. I would definitely recommend it to others!

Never-ending History

The city city was founded in about 71 AD by the Romans. Since then, many groups have fought to control York, the capital of the North. The city was invaded by vikings, first starting in 866 AD, followed by the English to the south and tribes to the North.

Getting There

The train journey from London is very straightforward and just under two hours. We decided not to reserve our train seats. Who does that, anyway? Apparently everyone. Once we got to the train, every single seat was reserved, which left us to either stand or sit in the hallway. Like actually. We hunkered down on the floor between carriages and chatted to the locals heading back home for the weekend. My butt is still sore from that floor.

Where To Stay

We booked the York Central Travelodge which was average overall but it was the perfect location. Everything we needed was within a 20-minute walk radius, including the train station, attractions, shopping and restaurants.

What To EatSilver teacups sit on a polished platter.

I was overwhelmed with the amount of cafes, restaurants and pubs, all within walking range. We had a beautiful French toast breakfast at Cafe Concerto right outside York Minster. We took a break for a massive lunch at Ye Olde Starre Inne and even had beautiful teas and cakes at the Bettys Cafe. Eating out so much after extra-long days of walking can be exhausting, so we also got takeout pizza from Pizza Express, drinks and snacks from the local Sainsbury’s and had a PJ feast in our hotel room. You will not be disappointed in the amount of food and drink nearby.

What To Do

There’s tons to see in the city (and I don’t want to ramble forever) so here’s a breakdown of what you can check out:

York Walking Tour – We took a free three hour walking tour all over the city. We decided to do this first thing and it gave us an understanding of the layout of the city and what we wanted to see more of. Plus our guide was incredibly knowledgable!A giant stone cathedral in York, England

York Minster – This cathedral is very impressive and definitely worth seeing. For £10 you can enter but I would also recommend paying the extra £5 to climb 275 steps to the top of the tower. You’ll get great views of the city!

York Shambles – This street gives off Diagon Alley vibes from Harry Potter and deserves a wander. You’ll even see ancient hooks in the shop windows from the days when they were butcher shops.

York’s Chocolate Story – While we passed this one, York has a long history with chocolate and this museum tells you the story. Although we weren’t interested in the £11.50 entrance fee.

Clifford’s Tower – This small stone tower is overflowing with history (and death, the usual) and provides more views of the city while walking on top of the walls.

York Castle Museum – While I wish my feet could have handled a visit here, I was just too tired to see this museum. Maybe next time!

City Walls & Gates – Around the central city, you’ll see the ancient stone walls that you can still walk along. Dotted along the walls are giant gates called “bars” that once protected the city from intruders.

Walk the Streets – One of my favourite things in York was to simply walk and explore the winding cobble streets, vintage shops and grab a pint at a pub.

Until next time!

York Minster sits in the distance, behind a historical home.