October 30, 2020

Getting the most out of York on a city break

There really is no city quite like York. Quaint, yet by no means slow; historic, yet by no means dated, York is a must-see for any traveller or tourist heading to the region. In fact, the city can boast to be The Times’ best place to live in the UK 2018.

Here with Mercedes finance providers, Lookers Mercedes, we find out why York is certainly worth the drive to visit!

Things to see

First, let’s take a look at the thing to feast your eyes upon in York. The city offers a unique ambience, with a host of historical buildings breaking up the modernised brilliance:

For history: York Minster

If you went to York and didn’t visit the York Minster, did you even really go to York? One of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals, the Minster has stood at the centre of Christianity in the north of England since the seventh century and glistens via its exquisite handcrafted stone and unbelievable medieval stained glass.

There’s something here for all walks of life too. If you’re a religious person, take in one of its daily masses, while for those who just want to bask in the glory of such a magnificent building, you can purchase an admission ticket to tour all it has to offer. It’s also worth checking out the York Minster website to see if they have any activities or events on at your time of visit.

For adventure: York Maze

Looking for something to get the heart racing? Well, the York Maze is the place for you! Created from over a million maize plants, this award-winning spectacle is the UK’s largest maze and offers a fun-filled day out for all the family. Packed with over 20 difference rides, attractions and shows, let yourself get lost in its beautiful glory, or take in some of its wonderful events, including pig racing!

Sound like fun? Check online before you book and see exactly what seasonal activities they have available for you.

For a walk: Shambles

There’s no shortage of historical stories here in York. Shambles is one of the world’s most famous streets, with a host of timber buildings dating back to the 13th century packing the narrow pathway. Previously home to butchers, the street is now bursting at the seams with a bright mix of independent retailers which allow you to shop ‘til your heart’s content. Be sure to read up on the past story of the Shambles before your journey so you can fully appreciate all that the street has to offer. 

Get involved

A tour through time: York City Walls

It’s impossible to go to York and not see its stunning walls. These well-preserved delights mark the longest stretch of medieval walls in any English city. The walk is likely to talk approximately two hours to complete, as it runs for three kilometres. However, if you’re not a keen walker, or your legs simply won’t allow, you can walk shorter sections. If walking is something that interests you, be sure to also check out the array of walking tours the city has to offer.

Sail along the city: York Boat

Of course, you can jump board a tour bus for a view of the city. However, for a little bit of variation, why not hop on the York Boat so you can see what the city and its countryside have to offer? There are many different boats operating throughout the day and if the sun is out, you can normally take advantage of the open top deck that’s on offer on most vessels.

Prefer to go at your own pace? You can even hire your own self-drive hire boat on the River Ouse and explore at your own pace. It’s important to note that all journeys are subject to river conditions and because of this, trips in December and January are sparse.

York’s best watering holes

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to pubs in this city. From quirky cocktail dens to watering holes in haunted basements, you’ll be sure to find the atmosphere you’re looking for here. Starting off, if it’s a ‘real pub’ experience you’re wanting, try Ye Olde Starre Inne. This public house is one of the oldest established drinking spots in the city and offers its own unique experience.

For a night of cocktails, be sure to take a look at the Evil Eye Lounge in Stonegate. The quirky bar transforms from an East Asian restaurant and internet café in the day to one of the trendiest night-time haunts that has allegedly been frequented by stars such as Johnny Depp. Check out its QR code menus too, which are hidden in the walls!

Grab a bite

For a quick bite, Greek Street Food Souvlaki York has what you need. Voted number one on Trip Advisor, the Silver Street eatery offers fast Mediterranean food to tickle your taste buds — the gyros have gained special mention from many reviewers.

To find a sit-in option, Circles Café and Gin Bar is at your service. While it goes without saying that there is an array of gins on offer to wash down your food, the establishment in East Lodge provides a nice and simple snack menu. Why not pop in and enjoy their homemade delicacies and light bites while overlooking the city and the River Ouse?

Arras Restaurant

When it comes to fine dining, the Arras Restaurant at the Old Coach House is a must. The official website states that it bucks the trend and captures the imagination of the public with its tongue-in-cheek take on British banquets. Originally set up in Sydney, Australia, the company’s owners felt the need to return ‘home’ to the UK and the extravagant Arras Restaurant found a place in the heart of York in 2007.