Your guide to holidays in York
The ancient city of York’s a beautiful tangle of cobbled streets, imposing architecture that makes for a dramatic skyline and all kinds of attractions to enthral visitors. Just a teeny tiny two hours from London by train, York’s famed for its historic buildings and elegant charm, and if you’re thinking of losing yourself somewhere dreamy for a few days then it’s time to visit.
The kind of city where time seems to have stood still for the last few centuries, there’s a romantic feel to York that inspires, and that makes the daily grind feel blissfully far away, and with narrow streets lined with cosmopolitan coffee shops and quirky boutiques, there’s something for everyone.
Whether you book a few days of bliss wandering the streets hand in hand, or you use your visit as a chance to catch up with those friends you just don’t see enough of, the city’s got so much to offer that it’s just a question of picking your perfect way to discover it.
Our favourite things to do in York
There’s so much to see and do in good old York that we can’t really pick out a favourite attraction, but we can certainly point you in the right direction of some of the greats. For one thing, the skyline’s dominated by York Minister, the dramatic cathedral that’s attracted visitors to the city for around 800 years. Stained glass windows colour the light, tranquil music lifts spirits and historic treasures fascinate.
The Undercroft is home to Revealing York Minster, a series of interactive underground chambers complete with unique audio visual and interactive galleries to tell the tale of some of the minster’s most important treasures. If you’ve a head for heights, climb your way up the 275 steps of the Central Tower to the city’s highest point.
Next on our list of things to do in York it’s got to be The National Railway Museum. This award-winning museum’s free to enter, and its enormous halls are packed with legendary steam trains that visitors are welcome to hop aboard and explore. Centred around The Great Hall, which was once York Engine Shed, the museum’s home to a collection of gorgeous locomotives, including the fastest steam locomotive in the world – Mallard and even Queen Victoria’s indulgent saloon.
In fact, the museum's home to more than 300 locomotives, so if you know any would-be engine drivers who get excited at the mere mention of a steam engine then just imagine their face when they step into this Great Hall.
Now, if you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit the city before then you’ll already know that a sightseeing tour by boat is one of the most popular things to do in York, and what better way to capture that perfect cover photo than from the River Ouse? YorkBoat run a whole choice of boat trips, including sightseeing cruises and evening cruises, and they’re not only great fun but there’s also something relaxing about gliding along the river far from the people of the city.
Our favourite restaurants in York
It’s only right that we include your favourite restaurant in York here as well as ours, and if TripAdvisor’s anything to go by then it’s got to be The Park Restaurant. Newly opened and the project of a Michelin star chef, the restaurant serves up elegant taster menus to limited diners for a unique dining experience. Every taster menu has been carefully created to reflect the tastes and flavours of the season, and the team make sure that they use fresh produce from the local area for a true taste of Yorkshire. Yum.
We go from one of the newest restaurants in York to a firm favourite now, as Delrio’s Restaurant has welcomed diners for nearly 25 scrumptious years. The restaurant has a glowing reputation for serving up good Italian dishes cooked how they should be, and the owner and chef Giovanni Delrio takes pride in ensuring that the whole experience is warm, relaxing and one you’ll want to relive before leaving the city. The cellar restaurant has the kind of atmosphere that makes it easy to forget the time and just enjoy good food, and it’s only a short walk from York train station. The menu includes fresh seafood, local meat and of course, pizza and pasta cooked the traditional way.
We couldn’t wait to tell you about this one because it’s the only restaurant we’ve ever come across that’s located inside a restored railway carriage. Yes that’s right, a meal at Countess of York means the chance to experience dining in style, and you’ll find it in the grounds of the National Railway Museum. Why not sit back, pop your feet up and imagine the views that former passengers once saw roll past the windows as you tuck into a cream tea? The carriage is decorated in a suitably opulent style, so if you fancy a treat during your time in York then this is the perfect opportunity to dine somewhere unique.