The walled city of York is named the European Tourism City of the Year and is the safest city in England. But the city’s long history has seen more than just action since it was founded by the Romans nearly two thousand years ago.
It surrendered to the Viking invasion and drove it away almost 100 years later. It was a place of rebellion after Norman conquest in England and a long siege during the civil war. Even Guy Fawkes, who was known to have tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605, was born here.
At the turn of the 20th century, York was an important railroad center that supported the distribution of the famous chocolate brands Rowntrees and Terry.
All this inspires nearly 7 million visitors each year to explore the charming stone streets, medieval castles, Gothic cathedrals, family-friendly museums and cozy pubs.
You must visit
Start from the excellent Visit Information Center of York on 1 Museum Street, a few steps from the train station for a city map.
History buffs will love Cliffords Tower. Built at the behest of Wilhelm the Conqueror as part of York Castle, it was used as a prison and prison until 1929. Climb the spiral stairs to enjoy the beautiful views of the city and enjoy the lively conversations of actors who tell stories of their turbulent lives. Ticket prices are £ 5 for adults and £ 3 for children.
The entertaining York Dungeons are a pleasure for horror fans. A number of talented theater actors take you on an interactive 75-minute tour of more than two thousand years of horrific events in a city with more than a few black comedies. Tickets start at £ 16.95 and online discounts are available.
Must be explored
York Minster (c) Bella’s backpack
Reach your walking shoes and follow the rocky winding cobbled streets of York dominated by the impressive York Minster Cathedral. A well-preserved medieval wall is a popular two and a half mile walk.
York’s most famous street is The Shambles of the 14th century. Formerly an open slaughterhouse or meat market, butchers have long closed this beautiful medieval alley and replaced it with souvenir shops, boutiques, and tea rooms. Outside the city walls, the river Ouse offers beautiful hiking opportunities.
If you are a fan of KitKat bars or Terry’s Chocolate Orange, then York is your spiritual home because this city is the proud birth place of many of the most popular chocolate bars in the world.
Rowntree’s Cocoa Works, now part of Nestlé, was founded in York in 1862 by Henry Isaac Rowntree, who ran the company with his philanthropic brother Joseph.
Another family-run chocolate maker is Terry’s of York, the creator of the famous round orange chocolate treat and the All Gold selection box.
Chocolate lovers must go straight into York’s chocolate history to try goods while feeling the stories presented by passionate guides and high-quality interactive productions.
The tour costs £ 11.50 for adults and £ 9.50 for children and includes special take-away treats.
Have to drink
It was reported that York has a pub for every day of the year. There may not be 365 of them, but of course there are broad choices if you like a sip: the 2016 census found the city has more than 200 pubs serving 328 types of real beer.
Some of these public houses are hundreds of years old, including Ye Olde Starre Inne. Look for the 1733 mark. Every summer the city hosts Assize of Ale, a medieval style pub that you can collect for charity. This tradition dates back to the 13th century, when a British law called Assize of Bread and Ale was introduced to regulate the production and sale of bread and beer – the first of its kind for British food.
York only has one five-star hotel, the Grand Hotel & Spa, which opened in 2010. It is centrally located in an impressive turn-off location from the North Railway century headquarters. Its original features include arches, marble fireplaces, and front windows. Spacious rooms with high ceilings start at £ 133 a night and some offer enviable city views. To maximize your stay, look for packages such as Grand Afternoon Tea and full use of hotel health facilities.
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Get it there
Because trains are an important part of York’s heritage, this is certainly the most appropriate and elegant way to get around the city. Direct train from London Kings Cross only takes two hours and pre-sale tickets are available with Grand Central Rail starting at £ 12.80 (one-way). Arrive at the amazing Victoria train station in York and start your visit in style.