So often our bucket lists are filled with exotic locations and extravagant activities, which is great but it often means we forget to explore our home countries which offer just as much adventure and activities. Looking for a city in the U.K to explore? I love York and here’s why you should too…
- York Minster – The iconic sight of York no visit to the city is complete until you’ve seen this cathedral. The most impressive and one of the oldest buildings in the city features incredible architectural skill and some amazing stained glass windows, the minster is rich in history. Make sure to climb the tower for the best views in the city.
- The Shambles – One of Europes most visited streets the Shambles gets busy but its well worth a visit to one of the most historic spots in the city. If you love medieval architecture and taking a step back in time you’ll love it. The street one held the cities butchers but today you’ll find a wealth of independent shops and restaurants, don’t forget to look up to see the leaning buildings.
- York City Walls and bars – Not the type of bars your probably thinking of, but we have plenty of those too, we’ll get to that later. The medieval walls and bars (gates into the city) surround the city centre and they are beautiful, why not walk the walls you’ll get some wonderful views as well as a sense of the cities history. This is a great way to see York if you don’t have huge amounts of time, or even if you do its still a must do in the city.
- Museums – There are some fantastic museums in York from the viking museum of Jorvik to the national railway museum theres something for everyone. A personal favourite is the castle museum located near cliffords tower. This social history museum allows you to immerse yourself in history you can wander trough victorian streets, get locked in jail or marvel at your childhood toys (thinking I am not old enough to be in a meusum yet!) this attraction really is a must do. And don’t miss the York cold war bunker, this one is a hidden attraction I only discovered recently but its definitely worth a visit.
- Ready for a drink after all that exploring? There are some great cocktail bars in the city. Some of my personal favourites include Bora Bora on Swinegate with a wide range of exotic looking cocktails, and The Botanist on Stonegate, if you go here you need to try ‘the botanist’ this secret recipe is delicious!
- If cocktails aren’t your thing why not visit one of the many pubs in the city. It’s said there is a pub for everyday of the year in york so you’ll have plenty to choose from, so take your pick.
- If you’re lucky enough to visit on a race day York Races is worth a visit if only to see some wonderfully wacky outfits. If the weather is nice its a lovely way to spend a day, take a picnic get some pimms or prosecco and enjoy the atmosphere. If like me you’re not a serious race goer why not visit on one of the music weekends, with just a handful of races with reduced betting, before a sunset concert on the main stage.
- York is also home to some amazing cafes and restaurants. Undoubtably the most famous being Bettys tea room, you won’t be able to miss this in the city centre, its the one with the outrageously long queue outside, if you’re willing to wait you’ll be greeted by fantastic service and some really delicious cakes. There are also some great independent restaurants in York, and if your vegan or vegetarian don’t worry theres some wonderful places for you too, why not try Goji.
- Yorkshire has some fantastic stately homes. Why not take a short scenic drive out to Castle Howard, this 18th century residence is beautiful both inside and out. There are also huge grounds and gardens to explore filled with statues lakes and fountains, perfect for a spring picnic. Alternatively if you want to stay in the city Fairfax house offers a chance to visit a stately town house.
- Access to the yorkshire countryside from York – York is a great base to explore the surrounding countryside with the North York Moors under an hours drive away and the Yorkshire dales under 2 hours you’ll be spoilt for choice. If you have any time left why not take a trip to the beautiful seaside town of Whitby. Here you’ll find a wonderful town rich in history, and filled with independent shops and restaurants, the ruin of whitby abby and the whale bone arch are unmissable on any visit to the town. If you’re here in the evening make sure to take a ghost walk and eat the famous fish and chips at the Magpie cafe .
Do you need more reasons to take a trip to York? Or perhaps you’re now feeling inspired to explore a city closer to your home. Get out there and have an adventure. I’d love to know whats on your bucket list?