The city is located at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss, which has been an important factor in its development and history. The surrounding countryside of North Yorkshire is known for its rolling hills, picturesque villages, and rugged coastline, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Overall, York is well worth a visit for those looking to explore this beautiful part of the country. If you’re planning a visit to York, then you’re in for a treat. In this article, we’ll provide you with a five-day travel itinerary designed by a native, to help you have the best time.
Day One: Explore the City Centre
On your first day in York, it’s best to get your bearings and explore the city centre. It’s a good idea to pick this area as your base for your stay in the city. Plan in advance to find cheap flats to rent in York as the city is popular and the good places get snapped up fast. You’ll be walking distance from all landmarks and activities and can relax after a long day of sightseeing.
Start with the famous York Minster, a stunning example of Gothic architecture, with soaring spires, intricate stonework, and intricate stained glass windows.
The Minster has a rich and fascinating history, dating back to the Roman era, and has played a significant role in the religious and cultural life of the city for centuries. Visitors can stroll around and see in person the impressive nave, transepts, and choir, and catch the best views of the city from the top of the tower.
After that, take a stroll down The Shambles, a mediaeval street that is lined with quaint shops and restaurants. Be sure to check out the iconic “Harry Potter Shop” which features merchandise inspired by the famous wizarding series.
In the afternoon, head to Clifford’s Tower, a striking landmark and a fascinating piece of history located in the heart of York. Originally built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the tower was later used as a royal mint, treasury, and as a prison during the turbulent mediaeval period. The tower is surrounded by a picturesque grassy area, which makes it an ideal spot for picnics and relaxing on a sunny day.
Guided tours are available for those who wish to learn more about the tower’s history and its place in the wider context of York’s rich cultural heritage.
Day Two: Visit the Museums
York is home to a range of museums that offer a glimpse into its rich history. Start with the York Castle Museum, which showcases the city’s past through a series of exhibits and artefacts. Next, visit the Jorvik Viking Centre, which offers an immersive experience of what life was like in Viking times. Finish off with a visit to the National Railway Museum, which is a must do activity for train lovers.
In the evening, catch a performance at the York Theatre Royal, a historic theatre that hosts a variety of shows throughout the year.
Day Three: Explore the Surrounding Countryside
You can’t go wrong with Yorkshire countryside, and there are plenty of ways to explore it from York. The scenery is some of the absolute best in the whole country and is exactly what you imagine quintessential British countryside to be, rolling hills, winding pathways and leafy fields. You can hike or cycle through the rolling hills, take a scenic drive, or enjoy a picnic by a tranquil river.
Day Four: Experience the Food and Drink Scene
York has a thriving food and drink scene, with plenty of local delicacies to try. Start the day with a hearty Full English Breakfast at a local café, and then head to the Shambles Market, a vibrant and bustling hub located in the heart of York’s city centre.
The market dates back to the Middle Ages, and today it is a lively destination for locals and tourists alike. Visitors to the market can find a wide range of stalls offering everything from fresh produce and handmade crafts to vintage clothing and antiques.
The market is a great place to discover local artisans and try some of the region’s specialties, such as Yorkshire pudding, local cheeses, and real ale. Shambles Market is also home to a variety of cafes and eateries, offering a range of cuisines to suit all tastes and budgets.
Shambles Market has something for the entire family and is a cool spot to hang out in. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the vibrant culture of York
In the afternoon, head to the York Brewery, for a well deserved delicious pint. You can not only drink delicious beer, but also learn all about the great history of the production. In the evening, dine at one of York’s many restaurants, which offer everything from classic British cuisine to international flavours.
Day Five: Relax and Unwind
On your final day in York, take it easy and relax. Walk yesterday’s pints off down the River Ouse, which winds its way through the city. Stop at one of the many riverside cafes for a coffee or a light bite to eat.
After that, indulge in some retail therapy at the Designer Outlet York, which is home to a range of high-end fashion and homeware stores. Alternatively, take a walk around the beautiful gardens at Castle Howard, a stately home that is surrounded by acres of parkland.
Before you know it, it will be time to pack your bags and head home, after an unforgettable time in York.