Voted in 2018 as the second-largest tourist destination in the UK, York is the perfect mix between the past and present. The city has impressive walkways, bustling nightlife, and a fantastic blend of medieval architecture. It is no wonder it attracts around 8.4 million visitors annually.
If you’re considering visiting it, this guide to the perfect day in York should be an excellent start for everything from racing and betting to sightseeing and shopping. So, let’s jump in.
- Bettys Tea Room
The best place to start your day is by visiting what is easily one of the most popular tea rooms in the UK. Because of this, there is generally a line of people waiting to get in to try the unique tea blend and the assortment of tasty treats.
Bettys can be found in St. Helen’s Square. This makes getting your hands on a delicious scone or moist cake easier. It is also the perfect way to start the day before you venture off to the next items on this list.
- Clifford’s Tower/York Castle
Known by either of the above names, this distinctive landmark is said to have been built around 1068 AD. Historically, the tower formed one part of the administrative centre in the city and was surrounded by a prison, currency mint, and even courts of law.
Today, the tower gives terrific views of the greater York area and lets you delve into history as you explore its interior. It is located on Tower Street and requires a decent amount of energy and cardio to reach, making it a perfect way to work off your Bettys breakfast.
- York Racecourse
As one of the more popular racecourses in the UK, York Racecourse gives those itching to bet a great place to spend a few hours. This is especially helpful considering York doesn’t have any other gambling establishments for UK players – unless you prefer to gamble on an online casino site.
The racecourse usually only holds races in the season from May to October. Events like Ebor Handicap take place in August. The racecourse is located on Tadcaster Road and offers thrilling entertainment and chances to win.
- York City Walls
Originally a walled city when it was under Roman rule around 71 AD, York still has approximately 21.5 hectares of city walls. These wrap around the city centre and let you view the hustle and bustle of modern urban life while visiting a part of history.
The walls are the best way to experience the city while getting your step count in for the day. They are also the most intact city wall remaining in the country today. However, be prepared to go for a decent walk, as it takes approximately two hours to walk the entire length.
- York Museum Gardens
Once you’ve completed walking the city walls, York Museum Gardens gives you the perfect place to relax. Aside from picturesque views of sweeping lawns and enticing fauna, the gardens are also home to various interesting historical adventures.
These include an old hospital, a stunning art gallery, and a several-hundred-year-old museum. The gardens are located on Museum Street and let you delve into history, grab some fantastic pictures for your social media, and enjoy the sunshine in summer.
- Guy Fawkes Inn
For lunch, few places can compete with Guy Fawkes Inn. Located within an old building that has retained its old style, the inn is also home to a fantastic pub.
Well known for the tasty cuisine and the famous Sunday Roast, the pub will offer everything you need to help quieten your stomach after a morning of adventure and exploration. The inn and pub are located at 25 High Petergate Road.
- York Minster
One of the most stunning parts of this great city is the York Minister Cathedral. Opened in 627 AD, it is one of the oldest and most architecturally breathtaking cathedrals you’ll see. It also offers unparalleled views of the city from the top of its tower, which requires ascending 275 steps.
The cathedral is located on Deangate, right next to Dean’s Park. When visiting, you can choose between guided tours of the main cathedral, a special tour (such as the Undercroft Museum tour), or even call to worship during certain hours.
- The Shambles
No day in York would be complete without grabbing a souvenir or doing some shopping. So, towards the end of your day, head to The Shambles, one of the oldest streets in York that offers fantastic shopping. Each shop is unique and gives you the chance to stumble upon something you aren’t expecting.
The street and buildings that make up The Shambles have been dated back to the 14th century. They also give you an unforgettable view of the past while letting you test your photography skills.
- Parliament Street
If you fail to scratch your retail therapy itch at The Shambles, a great place to call it a day is Parliament Street, located in the city centre. Here, you will find even more great retail stores and boutiques.
This street also offers a great selection of cafes to grab a light dinner after a long day exploring the city. It is also home to the Shambles Market – a great place to look for deals on unique items.