Despite having lived in England for my entire life, I’ve barely explored the UK! My boyfriend is currently at university in Leeds, so I have been up to Leeds many times but find it a bit “meh”. There’s lots of shops, pubs and clubs… but that’s about it in my eyes. A great student city but it doesn’t satisfy my wanderlust!
So I managed to convince my boyfriend that we should take a day trip to York from Leeds and boy is it beautiful!
But of course, being the absolute idiot that I am, I went to York armed with my trusty camera and 3 batteries. Yes. Three. How many of those batteries were almost dead? You’re right. Three. So please excuse some of the less high-quality pictures, my phone had to make do for most of the day! I suppose this is an excuse to go back!
York has a very well connected train station which is probably your easiest bet! Trains run from London Kings Cross directly to Leeds very frequently and the journey takes approximately 2 hours 20 minutes.
If you’re travelling from Leeds (like us!), be sure to get one of the fast trains that will get you there in 25 minutes (there are some slow trains that go to many more stations and will take an hour). The trains run approximately every 20 minutes and are relatively cheap – so you have no excuse not to visit!
You won’t be stuck for things to do and see while in York. I simply scrolled through TripAdvisor and fell in love with everything (there’s too much to see and do in one day!). Plus I have a friend who currently lives in York who gave us loads of fab tips. Without further a do, here’s my recommendations for a fab day in York!
1) York Minster
Entry price: £10 for a ticket that can be used as many times as you want within 12 months
Time spent: 1 – 2 hours depending on how much you love cathedrals (I love them A LOT)
The defining beauty of York is “York Minster”, the largest cathedral in Northern Europe! You’ll be able to spot it from most areas in the city, so don’t worry about trying to find it! The cathedral is bloody beautiful and bloody huge. I kept thinking we were done on the inside but kept stumbling across new places to explore. There are guided tours that run throughout the day, but we just found our own way around (taking lots and lots of pictures obviously). £10 is a steep entrance fee (discounts are given for children, seniors and students) and this is one of the reasons I barely explore the UK, things like this in mainland Europe tend to be free!
2) The Shambles
Entry price: £0 but you’ll probably end up spending your pennies in the shops!
Time spent: 30 mins to 1 hour
I love shopping and I love cute old-style streets and buildings, so if you’re anything like me, you need to head over to the Shambles! Once again, super easy to find as it’s right by the exit of York Minster. York has loads of super helpful sign posts throughout the city which point out the main tourist attractions, so you’ll never be lost!
3) City Walls
Entry price: Free!
Time spent: 10 mins – 1 hour (depends on how much you like walking!)
The entire city is encapsulated by the Roman”city walls”. Apparently it takes about an hour to walk the entire way around (we just hopped on and off as we wished and ventured into the centre to see more sights). I don’t know why I love city walls like this so much, I got excited every time you got to a new section/there was something exciting to see. Along the way, you’ll come across various towers and attractions. Plus you get great views of the city! I now have photos of York Minster from EVERY angle…
4) St Mary’s Abbey & Museum Gardens
Entry price: Free!
Time spent: 30 mins
As the title would suggest, within these gardens there is a museum. But seeing as I much prefer wandering around exploring than wandering around looking at items in a museum, we decided to skip the Museum… the gardens are well worth a visit though. St Mary’s Abbey is beautiful, eery and pretty damn huge!
5) Clifford’s Tower
Entry Price: £4.70
Time spent: 30 mins
We never actually entered the tower. We were late visiting and therefore missed the last entrance time. But not to worry, by the sounds of the TripAdvisor reviews, we didn’t miss out on much inside! £4.70 seems like a lot for something so small. However, I would recommend going to see it from the outside. Now the city has formed around it, it seems like such an odd location for a tower! Plus if you visit in Spring, the hill has lots of beautiful yellow flowers on – makes for a great picture!
6) Betty’s Tea Room
Entry Price: depends how much you’re willing to spend on tea and cake!
Time spent: 1 – 2 hours eating (maybe up to an hours queuing too!)
We visited the Tea Rooms at completely the wrong time (i.e. just after lunch time) meaning we had to queue up for the best part of an hour outside in the rain (GREAT!). But it was definitely worth the wait. The tea room itself is beautiful, as is the food! There’s also a great gift shop. Everything is pricey, but this is the most famous tea room in York, so what more could you expect?
And some more things that we didn’t get a chance to do but were highly recommended to us!
7) York Chocolate Story
8) York Dungeons
9) Evil Eye Cocktail Bar
10) The Ghost Tours
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
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