This writer is very lucky to have the historic city of York within easy travelling distance. York has history by the bucket loads, it also has shopping, a wealth of museums, beautiful nearby countryside, the races, Castle Howard a short distance away and so much more.
When you visit York, be it for a day, a weekend or a vacation you will find that there is just so much on offer. Located in the county of Yorkshire, God's Own Country, England, there are the Dales and coastal resorts close by.
Take a boat trip down the River Ouse in the heart of York to the Bishop's Palace; experience a flavour of days gone by at the Jorvik, Viking, museum with smells, sights and sounds of the past; visit the quaint shops in The Shambles or check out the Castle Museum which needs a full days' visit in order to do it justice.
Around 1,000 years ago York was one of England's leading cities. Its power may have gone but this has been replaced with bags of tourist appeal.
Just a few attractions on offer
The Castle Museum
York's Castle Museum is very large. It includes life-size replicas of days gone by and gives the visitor glimpses into bygone years. These are in the form of sitting rooms, prisons and streets, for example. The museum shows a wealth of history over quite a period of time. Its recreated Victorian Street includes an actual shop that was moved to the museum. Displays around the museum include the sixties and Castle prison.
Castle Museum covers a large area and may not suit those with mobility issues. There is a museum cafe and shop.
For further details contact:
York Castle Museum, Eye of York, York, YO1 9RY. Telephone: 01904 687687
Clifford's or The Jews Tower
As children in 1950s England we tended to refer to CliffordsTower as the Jews Tower. This was because in 1190 the Jewish community of York took refuge in the tower. At that time the tower was made of wood.
Some of the persecuted Jewish community taking part in this siege committed suicide.
Eventually the tower was set ablaze and those Jews who did not die in the tower were killed when they emerged. This early anti-semitism was very much a sign of the times.
When you visit Cliffords Tower there is little to actually see inside but it does offer wonderful views of York. It is also quite a poignant place to visit as you read a little of the history of the Jews and the Tower.
Jorvik, Viking Centre
When the Jorvik Viking Centre first opened the queues waiting to enter were huge. Boards were placed along the queues indicating how long the waiting time was to enter. It was often more than a three hour wait to enter this unusual museum.
During the last 25 years over 15 million visitors have visited Jorvik. Thankfully the waiting time is usually much less these days, however, queues are still the norm. Avoid the school holidays for a more relaxed visit.
Jorvik has a full program of events each year. As an example of pricing a standard adult ticket is £10.25 but there are concessions.
National Railway Museum
At one time the National Railway Museum at York was called the Transport Museum. However, its modern name is fitting, as York played such a huge part in the English history of the railways. With over 300 years of history and over 1,000,000 objects the National Railway museum is popular with both young and old. The bonus is that entry is free but you can leave a donation.
The museum is located at Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ.
The museum's opening times are:
Daily 10.00am - 18.00
Closed 24, 25, 26 December
The Shambles is not just one street but rather an area of medieval twisting lanes with quaint houses that overhang the road. The upper floors of these houses are close to each other. So much so that people could reach out to each other from the upper floors. There are many unusual shops around the Shambles but just wandering around the old buildings is interesting. The Shambles is always busy with visitors and this means that shopping here can be pricey.
York City Walls
The ancient city walls are open for the public to walk around. You may find however that some areas are restricted. The wall was built by the Romans in the first century AD. The original walls took a series of batterings over the years and much of them was re-constructed in the middle ages. Walking the walls gives great views and a lesson in history but take care.
Whether you have religious belief or not York Minster is a great place to visit. Having suffered a serious fire some years ago it has been lovingly restored. As well as the Minster there are many churches well worth visiting around York.
York Mystery Plays.
When I was a teenager studying at school our class visited the mystery plays at York. Held in the open air, close to the ancient city walls the setting is perfect. Visitors from around the world visit the York mystery plays but England being England remember that it could be cold when you visit. We took outwear but still found that toward the end of the play, as darkness fell, it was very cold. The atmosphere is brilliant though.
York races may not be host to the biggest national racing events but they play their part in the racing calendar. Check out upcoming race meetings.
Castle Howard, film set of the TV series Brideshead Revisited, is near to York. It is a magnificent stately home with indoor and outdoor attractions.
A boat trip on the River Ouse
Boat trips along the River Ouse are popular. You can take an organised boat trip and enjoy lunch on board. The excursions usually pass the Bishop of York's Palace.
York's tourist Guide
If you are considering a visit to York or just want to learn more about this fascinating city check out the link to the tourist guide. Details of local attractions, addresses and prices are available on the site. There is also information regarding suitable accommodation.
York has good train service, bus and coach links and is only a 45 minutes drive from the Leeds/Bradford International airport.
The attractions briefly detailed above are only a sample of some of the best available in York. Check out The Treasurer's House, Yorkshire air museum at Elvington, York Dungeons, York Art Gallery, Mansion House, Barley Hall, The Ghost Walks and so much more.
Where in the world do you want to go today? One Woman uses personal experiences to show you some of the best places to visit in the United Kingdom and beyond. Enjoy!