The Ultimate Travel Guide to York, England
York’s rich history and fabulous Yorkshire hospitality make it an ideal spot for business, a weekend getaway, romantic break or just to celebrate. Walk the historic walls or bask in the glory of York Minster, Northern Europe’s largest Gothic cathedral. Explore the Roman, Viking and Medieval heritage at the castle and museums. Wander the boutique shops and tearooms of the Shambles’ cobbled streets. Or enjoy a flutter at the racecourse or picnic on the banks of the River Ouse, before kicking back in the welcoming embrace of the wonderful York hotels.
Check out the ultimate city guide to York
How to get to York:
- By car – York is situated only 20 minutes from the M1/M62 motorway network. Frequent Park and Ride bus services operate into the city centre.
- By train – York is on the East Coast mainline. It takes less than two hours to get to York from London. York is served by East Coast and Grand Central Trains. National Rail enquiries call 08457 48 49 50 (in the UK) or +44 (0) 20 7278 5240 (overseas) or visit https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
- Virgin Trains East Coast runs fast, frequent train services from stations along the London- Scotland East Coast route. VTEC operates 72 weekday services between London King’s Cross and York, including a non-stop service each hour through the day, taking as little as 1 hour 49 minutes to complete the journey. VTEC also has direct trains to York from Scotland, North East England and the East Midlands. York Station is a short walk from the city centre. Visit www.virgintrainseastcoast.com
- Grand Central runs train services between the North East of England and London, calling at Sunderland, Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk, York and London. For information/reservations: call 0345 603 4852 or visit www.grandcentralrail.com.
- By coach – If you are travelling by coach, you will be able to get a direct service to York from many UK cities. National Express coach services call 08717 81 81 81 or visit www.nationalexpress.com.
- Car Hire
Europcar – call 0871 384 1087 or visit www.europcar.co.uk
Sovereign Chauffeur Company – call 01937 541881 or visit www.sovereign-chauffeur.co.uk
- York is served by three key international airports: Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Doncaster with superb routes across Europe and the rest of the world. A direct rail service operates from Manchester Airport into York. Leeds Bradford Airport: take a taxi to Horsforth, then direct train to York (1 hour).
- Hull is the nearest ferry port served by P&O Ferries with daily overnight crossings from Rotterdam and Zeebrugge (www.poferries.com).
Where To Stay
There are some amazing places to stay in York! I had the pleasure of staying at Hotel du Vin a luxury boutique hotel close to everything. Let me tell you the heated floors blew me away. I loved it. It’s the little things I appreciate. Also, their creme brûlée is legit!
Read More: Our Stay At Hotel Du Vin In York, England
Another notable place to stay in York is The Judge’s Lodging, an official Judge’s residence in York from 1806. Situated in an enviable position right in the center of the city of York, the Judge’s Lodging is a Grade I listed Georgian townhouse full of history and character. It’s known for their characterful rooms, locally sourced food and fantastic range of real ales, gins and whiskey. They offer the perfect mix of character and 21st Century luxury and elegance.
Grays Court Hotel, possible the oldest continuously occupied house in the United Kingdom is another place to stay. Dating back to 1080 and commissioned by the first Norman Archbishop of York. It’s now an upmarket hotel, with one of the most beautiful surroundings in the city. It is a boutique hotel and historic heritage property with 11 individually designed bedrooms, furnished with an electric mix of period elegance and modern luxury. Fun fact, it was once owned by the Duke of Cumberland, Queen Jane Seymour’s brother, and visited by King James I, James II, and the Duke of Cumberland.
Every hotel or B&B has more history than the next. Other great places to stay include the Judge’s Court, The Golden Fleece (most haunted and with only 4 rooms), Bar Convent (oldest living convent in England), The Staymor in the City (passionate about local produce and being eco-friendly), or The Fort Boutique Hostel.
If you’re looking for more of a self catering vibe try one of these apartments:
- 34a Shambles – stay on York’s oldest shopping street
- Trembling Madness Luxury Holiday Apartments – The timber framed building is over 650 years old, with remains of a Norman house built in 1180AD
- Lendal Tower – stay in a part of the city’s medieval wall defenses next to the River Ouse
- The York Hop Store and Malt House – stay in The Old Brewery!
- Dovecote Barns – luxurious converted barns, very eco-friendly
Where To Eat
York is the second largest foodie capital of England! This place has the food y’all! It’s also a great place to have afternoon tea! Not to mention the chocolate! York is home to chocolate so I suggest heading there hungry! I made sure to eat the traditional fish and chips while I was there with a York brewery beer and it was delish!
Read More: A Foodie’s Guide To Yorkshire, England
What To Do
Seriously, 48 hours was not enough. There is so much to see and do in York. You could spend an entire day shopping and walking around in the shambles. It’s incredible seeing the history thats been kept in place yet mixed with the modern shops. I went a little crazy shopping so if you’re like make, make sure to bring an extra bag or leave room in your suitcase. I think I bought 4 pairs of new shoes while I was there. Skip the nick nacks and get something you’ll actually wear or use.
You can also walk the city walls, the top thing to do while you’re there, in my opinion! You can also see the city by boat, which is super cool! Head to a brewery, definitely do the chocolate story, and if you like history go to the Viking Centre!