Continuing on my New Year mission to explore more of my home country of England between any trips abroad I have planned for this year, we decided upon an overnight trip to the City of York to discover more about what this northern county has to offer.
York didn’t fancy giving us a nice welcome and opened the heavens on us instead. The dull heavy clouds persisted throughout the day and the wind bit us through our coats; sadly a woolen hat was missing off my packing list! Darn my unorganised frozen-headed self.
But despite the cold and gritty weather which made walking between attractions a pretty miserable affair, these conditions were perfect pub weather. There’s no better excuse than a bout of drizzle (if you should actually need an excuse at all!) to make a beeline to the nearest public house and hole yourself into a corner with a good pint.
York isn’t short of good English pubs; The House of Trembling Madness was a pub come beer shop, a short walk from York Minister. The pub is on the first floor up a narrow creaking staircase, but once you’re at the top, the place opens up to a cosy medieval wooden-beamed room with an assortment of quirky taxidermy animal heads adoring the walls. With its obvious popularity it seemed difficult to score a seat, but we got lucky and pinched a couple of barrels to perch on and then managed to make my way to the bar; ‘A bottle of Kwak and a half of Timmermans please?’ – Belgian beer… my weakness!
After a quick walk around the old part of the town, we rounded up our mini pub crawl with a few more of York’s other beery-delights; The Last Drop Inn, a simple no-fuss boozer to near to the Chocolate Story (we also peeked our head into the Duke of York which also looked like lovely homey pub, but sadly didn’t have any seating available) and the Three Legged Mare further up towards the top of the town for a couple more Timmermans. There were lots more on my list that we’d have loved to have visited but I’m not sure my liver would have agreed; The Lamb and Lion Inn and the Hole in Wall looked especially inviting.
York has a few great attractions to choose from, but due to recent (and reasonably regular) flooding the Jorvik Viking Centre and some others were closed for renovation. I would have loved to go on one of city’s ghost walks in the evening – York is supposedly the most haunted place in the UK, but Jamie wasn’t keen on running into Casper down a dark alley (!). Instead we opted for the National Railway Museum, which turned out to be a pretty great few hours geeking out around all the trains! Bonus; this attraction is also free to enter!
We had a super tea break in one of the museums café’s, complete with Yorkshire Tea (no less!) and one of the biggest scones I’ve ever eaten, topped off with clotted cream and jam preserve. We were planning on heading to Betty’s Café Tea Rooms in the city centre later on, but my stomach couldn’t find the space – that’s one for the next time!
Here are a few photos of the museum;
We quickly found the day slipping away from us and it was soon pretty dark and dingy outside so we sought out a good Indian restaurant for an epic feed and the retired to the York Marriot Hotel where we’d checked into an upgraded room with a balcony overlooking the racecourse and headed down to the indoor pool for a sauna and swim.
There’s no denying York is a pretty city, and there was lots that I didn’t get around to doing. The town would be perfect to explore more of the gardens and have walks along the river, set aside some time for an Afternoon Tea, check out York Dungeons or take a Ghost walk in the evening or head to York Castle and discover the City Walls. Just fingers crossed for some clear skies, if not, don’t forget your rain mac and bobble hat like me!
We only set aside half a day to discover York, but if you’re wanting to be more thorough, a couple of days or a long weekend at a leisurely pace should be all you’d need.
For more information visit York’s Tourist Information website
For other options around the UK for historical cities similar to York, try visiting Lincoln, or for day trips from London, head to the closer Canterbury or Bath.
Have you been to York, or other places in Yorkshire? Where’s your favourite place in the UK? What other day trips would you recommend?