York is a little treasure trove of history made famous thanks to things such as York Minster, its medieval streets, Guy Fawkes, railways and that lovely Yorkshire charm. Packing all of its sights into 48 can be tricky but my favourite was the York Castle Museum, which houses a complete replica of a Victorian shopping street. For me, it felt like I was stepping onto the set of a film. The museum also houses other displays about the history of York, and at the moment you can see an exhibition on the First World War. Entry is £10 per person (I got it for £5 as it was my birthday and the guy was really nice), and you should allow a couple of hours to get around it all.
Next up on my list is The Shambles, which is a narrow medieval street which is fascinating with its old shop fronts and slanting buildings. In 2010 the street was named Britain's Most Picturesque Street, and is so old that it is mentioned in the Domesday Book (making it over 900 years old).
York Minster is definitely worth a visit on your trip to the city. Beautiful on the inside and on the out, it costs £10 to go inside and view the altar and stained glass windows. If you just want to view it on the outside, there is a nice park behind it where you can enjoy the sunshine and the view.
The National Railway Museum is a hidden gem that I wouldn't have thought about visiting until it came recommended to me. I thought it would be a place for nerdy train folk, but what they have done with the place is fantastic and best of all it is FREE (donations gratefully accepted). The Station Hall is set up to look like a vintage railway station and houses royal train carriages and a platform cafe complete with vintage memorabilia. The Great Hall includes a high speed Japanese bullet train which I found pretty cool.
After all that shopping you'll need to put your feet up, so I recommend going on a river cruise with York Boat. For 45 minutes you'll be cruising up and down the River Ouse and will take in some of York's river side history and historic buildings, including the Town Hall that was bombed during the Second World War.
Another must for any visit to York is a walk on the city walls. You can join the wall at various points, but make sure you take in Micklegate which is the proper medieval entrance to the city.
One of my favourite things about York was the food. These Yorkshire people sure do know how to do homely comfort food! On my first night in York I went to Brigantes, which promised craft ales and comfort food- its the sort of place I could see myself being a regular if I lived in York. On my visit I had lamb sausages with vegetables and mash potato, and my boyfriend had a beef burger with chunky chips. We washed this down with a York blonde ale which tasted like honey and I loved it!
If you need a coffee fix in York then I recommend The Perky Peacock which is in a little turret by Lendal Bridge, or if you're more of a hot chocolate kind of person then you HAVE to visit the cafe at York's Chocolate Story and try their hot milk chocolate with cream and marshmallows....SOOOO good!
For dinner on my second night, we went to Missoula Montana Bar & Grill, which has a nice deck where you can enjoy views of the River Ouse. The interior is just as interesting as the exterior and is a mix of American ranch and what my dream living room looks like.... but you're probably more interested in the food right? well it was perfect! they had an offer on the night we went for 2 courses for £10 which was a total bargain given the quality of the food. I had sticky BBQ pork ribs for a starter (it was lick the plate kind of good), and then mushroom ravioli (too good to share). My boyfriend has spicy chicken wings (he didn't offer to share) and then a beef burger (I swear that boy lives on burgers!). In the end we were completely stuffed and I wished we'd had another day in York so I could come back and eat there again.
If you need a beer to wash all that food down with then my favourite pubs were Ye Olde Starre Inn (York's oldest licensed inn) which also happens to be haunted.... thank god I didn't know that before I went in as I probably wouldn't have enjoyed the ambiance as much. If you don't want ghosts with your pint then you could head to the Guy Fawkes Inn, which is built on the site where he was born, but this place is probably haunted too due to its age.
Put simply, York, I am just a little bit in love with you.
More travel articles here