York - England's Medieval City England

York - England's Medieval City

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York is a small city bursting with life and history that has an awful lot packed within its city walls, including 365 pubs – one for every day of the year! The city is easy to reach, less than two hours by train from both London and Edinburgh and from the station making it the perfect stopover between both capitals.

Day 1  - Walk the walls

Begin the day in York with a walk around its famous walls. Get to the walls via the steps at Bootham Bar. From here they lead to Monk Bar (in York ‘bar’ means ‘gate’). Walking the walls this way, you will enjoy breathtaking views over this medieval city, and in particular York Minster, the cathedral that dominates the city’s skyline.

Once you’ve completed the walk, after lunch visit York Minster, also known as the Cathedral and Metropolitan Church of St Peter, the cathedral you can see for the duration of the walk around the walls. Built between 1240 and 1480, it is the largest medieval gothic cathedral north of the Alps and is a treasure house of 800 years of stained glass. Along with cathedral itself you can also explore what is beneath your feet in the ‘Undercroft’, while you can also enjoy breathtaking views over the city from the top of the tower, once you don’t mind climbing the steep, tight, spiral staircase to the top.

After leaving the cathedral, wander through the narrow streets around the cathedral. These include the Shambles, Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma Gate and Stonegate, which are great places to wander and to shop.

York is a city that really comes alive after dark. Before going out, if you’re looking for some traditional Yorkshire pub food with large portions and good beer visit The Varsity. Afterwards, party into the wee hours of the night in pubs like The Evil Eye Lounge, a lively cocktail bar open till late or the Stone Roses, the north of England's leading Indie bar with live music on Thursdays and Sundays.

Day 2  - York

Widely regarded as one of the city’s ‘must-sees’ is the Jorvik Viking Centre, a recreation of the Viking City of Jorvik, built on the very site where archaeologists uncovered the original City's Viking remains. This attraction is popular all year-round.

York is also full of some fascinating museums. One of its best known is York Castle Museum. Here you can experience life as a Victorian, walk down old cobbled streets and peer through the windows of shops long gone. Beside this famous museum is Clifford’s Tower has views over the city to rival those from atop Minster Tower.

A novel way of spending the evening that doesn’t involve one of York’s numerous bars is on one of its numerous Ghost Walks. The Ghost Hunt of York, which leaves nightly from The Shambles at 7.30pm is fun. This nightly is a journey that promises to scare and make you laugh also.

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