Visit York, England

York city seen from the Minster towers, England, UK

The city’s famed gothic Minster (cathedral) towering over this very walkable city. Medieval York is the most popular urban space in Yorkshire and was for many years England’s second city. Photo by MichaelMaggs.

Why visit York?

Originally a Roman fort called Eboracum in AD 71, York was much battled over by varied warmongers through the years and now battles traffic congestion by restricting many streets to pedestrians during the daytime, so the fortified, sturdy, city walls and medieval back streets are stroll-perfect for pedestrians.

York Minster is a stupendous gothic edifice (under construction from 1220 AD) with spectacular stained glass windows among other forms of religious art created through the ages. Much of the old town is equally impressive, with a grand array of well-restored and maintained ancient buildings and monuments.

York city wall view to York Minster, England, UK

York’s medieval city wall makes a comfortable and scenic 2. 5 miles (4 kms) walk along the most complete ancient city wall in Britain. Photo by mattbuck.

York Attractions

Micklegate Bar, York city, England, UK

Micklegate Bar, one of the old city gates. Photo by Harry Mitchell.

• Walking the City walls.

• Bird of Prey Centre.

• National Railway Museum.

• Eden “Experience the sights, sounds and even smells of life on both the Home Front and the Front Line. ”

• York Maze.

• The Castle Museum “a living-history museum which recreates everyday life during Victorian and Edwardian England. ”

• The Shambles, a small, narrow “Dickensian” street.

• York Minster’s impressive interior, stained glass, stone carvings and elaborate tombs.

• Castle Howard, set in massive, scenic parkland, this historic structure was built in 1699 and houses furniture, paintings, porcelain and statuary.

• the Jorvik Viking Centre, a recreated Viking experience including sounds and smells. Adjacent Coppergate was a genuine Viking settlement a thousand years ago.

A typical old town street in York, north England

A typical old town street. Photo by Steve FE Cameron.

More York Sights

The Tudor era Hospitium, York,England, UK

The Hospitium was built in the 14th century, probably as temporary accommodation for visitors to St Mary’s Abbey. It’s now appropriately a hospitality centre again, after renovation, offering weddings and wedding receptions. Photo by Kaly99.

York Tower, aka Clifford's Tower, England, UK

York Tower, aka Clifford’s Tower, the 13thC keep and curtain walls of York’s first castle. Photo by Robert Kilpin.

River Ouse, Lendal Tower and Lendal Bridge, York, England, UK

The River Ouse, Lendal Tower, Lendal Bridge and a couple of tourist cruise boats. Photo by Jhsteel.

A River Ouse booze cruise is one popular tourist excursion (trivia: Ouse is derived from Celtic word for water, usa). The city’s original site was chosen for its location at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss.

Weather

Best season is indisputably summertime, from May – August, which statistically racks up the least rain and the most sunshine hours. Average highs in midsummer range from an unimpressive 19C (66F) to a quite warm 21C (70F), so remember to take your woolies with you, this is the far northeast of England after all!

In winter you can expect rain/snow at least 50% of the time and average temperatures hovering between 1C (34F) and 4C (39F).