I think I lost a piece of my heart in York, what an interesting and truly beautiful city! The more I tour the UK, the more wonderful places I come across! In summer 2014 I took my friend Stefania to London and we had a few spare days before we had to be in Edinburgh for a teaching course, so we decided to have two 24 hours stop-overs in Cambridge and York. Best idea ever! London and Edinburgh are amazing cities, but so are Cambridge and York.
Like Cambridge, you can get a good feel of York even if you only have 24 hours to spend in town. Here is my suggested itinerary. As you can see it’s a bit of a messy itinerary, that’s because all the narrow streets in the old part of town are actually worth walking through, the narrowest hidden lanes aren’t even showing on the map, so I suggest you just go with the flow and if you see something interesting explore it. Anyway, my walk starts at the train station as I think that’s where many of you will arrive. Walk along the walls, or if you want even on top of the wall, and enter the old part of town. After crossing the river Ouse, turn right until you reach the York Mansion House. Behind the Mansion House you can find the historic Guildhall. On the same square as the Mansion House, St. Helen’s Square, you will also find Bettys (1), the famous Café and Tea room. Stop there for brunch, lunch, tea, a piece of cake… or just to buy a little something to take home. There’s usually a long queue outside so avoid the peak hours, or just book your table in advance. Next head towards the Shambles (2), a very old and picturesque street where butchers used to have their shops. I just loved the overhanging timber-framed buildings! It was quite difficult to get a decent picture as the street is packed with tourists. We stopped there to have lunch in a little tearoom. Then we headed towards the Castle Museum (3). At first we were unsure whether to visit or not, but I’m glad we did. It was interesting, and there were many different things to see. What I liked best at the Castle Museum was the rebuilt Victorian Street, I bet my niece and nephew would love it too!
Just outside the museum you will see Clifford’s Tower (4), what remains of York Castle. Climb the tower for a great view on York’s old town.
Next walk towards the river, if the sun is out you may want to stop in one of the bars that have tables outside and relax for a while (5). Then head into the old town again, it’s time for a little shopping.
While shopping slowly get nearer York’s Minster (6), the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. After visiting the cathedral, it’s time to relax in the beautiful Museum Gardens, in the shadow of St. Mary’s Abbey ruins (7).
The walk ends back in the old town, where you should spend your remaining time to explore as many streets and hidden corners as possible ;)Download the walk here. Enjoy York!