York - a day trip to a city of history
Updated: Sep 4
With a wealth of history and culture, York is undoubtedly one of most worth visiting cities in the UK. The city is small but it surely has more attractions than most other cities in the UK. You will not only get to see some stunning views and architecture but also learn about the rich history behind the city. I've hand picked for your some of the best places to visit in York.
The first place that you want to start is no other than the famous York Minster, the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York. It's one of the biggest cathedrals of its kind in Northern Europe. It's massive. It's next to impossible to take a photo of the whole minster without a wide angle camera.
The Minster has the iconic Gothic style with very high ceiling, pointed or ogival arches, elaborate stained glass windows and intricate carvings. I was in awe as I walked through the Minster. It's hard to believe that this was completed hundreds of years ago (1472) but well, it did take a few centuries of building.
You can check out the prices to visit York Minster here.
The historic walls have protected for the city since Roman times. They are known as the York City Walls, the Roman Walls or the Bar Walls. Today substantial portions of the walls remain intact and no visit to York is complete without a stroll along at least part of these historic walls. They are free to walk and you can get a great view of York Minster and the city from the walls.
York Museum Gardens and St Mary's Abbey
The York Museum Gardens are botanic gardens that are located in the West of York Minster, next to the River Ouse. The gardens have a variety of species of plants, trees and birds. This is also the place where many event take place, such as amphitheatre performances and festivals. A great thing about the gardens is its free admission.
In the gardens lies the St Mary's Abbey, once one of the richest abbeys in the North of England. As you wander around the gardens you will see portions of the remaining walls of the abbey. This is definitely a place to wander and get lost in history.
The town centre
The old town of York has an amazing collection of independent and little shops in the Shambles and all the surrounding streets. You will find historic timber framed buildings that dates back as far as the fourteenth century. There are plenty of pubs and restaurants to discover. The York market in the centre square is home to many independent traders and has all kinds of clothing items, gifts, flowers, crafts, food, antiques and much more. It can easily you at least two days to discover all the shops and stalls in the old town.
York's Chocolate Story - where the history of chocolate is unwrapped
Right in the middle of the old town, just a few minutes from the Shambles is York's Chocolate Story - a chocolate shop and museum in York, that is dedicated to showing the history of chocolate making in York and their finest creation. You will be let in many secrets behind York's greatest chocolate products,
Did you know that Kit Kat is created by Rowntree's of York?
And even if you're not interested in history, you can indulge yourself in the variety of chocolate products that the shop offers.
Clifford's Tower is a remaining part of the York Castle that was once the government for the North of England. Built by William the Conqueror, the Castle has served as a treasury and a prison. From the top of Clifford's Tower, you can enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the old town.
If you want to learn more about the rich history behind Clifford's Tower and York Castle, check this website out.
Flowing through the heart of York is the River Ouse. Having a walk along the river can be very relaxing. You will get to see a lot swans, ducks, greenery and historic architecture. You can go on a boat tour to view the city from the river. There are restaurants and cafes along the river if you want to stop to get a drink while enjoying the view.