When In York
York, a beautiful City that is close to our hearts and is only a 2 hour journey from London by train! Renowned for its rich history, exquisite architecture, tangle cobbled streets and of course, its beautiful Minster, York is certainly worth a visit. It's also the City where we are from, so we wanted to share with you a few of our favourite places should you wish to turn your trip into a memorable visit.
Things To Do
If you've never visited this Minster before then it is a must. Experience breathtaking views of the City and climb the Central Tower - the highest point in the whole of York! If it's a clear day, you can even see views of the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. The Minster is the second largest Church of England building in the UK and is a stunning example Gothic architecture. The Minster opens to the public at 10am Monday to Saturday and 12:45pm on Sundays.
York City Walls
At 3.4 kilometres long, the beautifully preserved walls are the longest medieval town walls in England. It comes as no surprise that around 2.5 million people walk along the City walls each year! The completion of the entire circuit will take approximately 2 hours- but don't worry, there are five main gateways which you can come and go from. There are also some great pubs at each of the five main gateways!
York Museum Gardens
Set in the stunning surroundings of the Medieval ruins of St. Mary's Abbey, the Museum Gardens is a beautiful place to unwind with friends and enjoy some Al fresco dining with a picnic. Yorks Museum Gardens is a tranquil place in the heart of the City and runs right down to the River Ouse. Best of all, its completely free!
Walk down York's most famous street, The Shambles. Arguably the best preserved medieval street in the world. Many of the buildings on the street today date back to the late fourteenth and fifteenth century (around 1350-1475). The street features quaint cafes and shops - a fantastic place to take a stroll down. The Shambles is even said to be the inspiration for Harry Potter's Diagon Alley!
Where To Eat
Bettys & Little Bettys
No visit to York would be complete without a trip to the famous Betty's tea room on St Helen's Square. Its interior decor is inspired by the Queen Mary ocean liner and has been around since 1936. We'll let you in on a secret, did you know there are in fact two Betty's in York? Little Betty's on Stonegate is a hidden gem that's known for its cosiness, romantic nooks and crannies and its quaint timelessness. We recommend ordering the Betty's Fat Rascal - a plump and fruity scone hand decorated with a cheeky cherry and almond face!
Mannion & Co.
Situated on Blake Street, down from York Minster, Mannion & Co is a cafe, takeaway and bakery. A popular destination for breakfast and lunch. The cakes are a knock-out too and we guarantee it will leave you smitten.
The Perky Peacock Coffee Shop
Selling delicious homemade cakes and freshly ground coffee, this quirky coffee house is housed in a Medieval stone tower on the banks of the River Ouse. An experience like no other in York!
The Pig & Pastry
This cafe sits nestled between a variety of small independent stores, think "Notting Hill of the North". The Pig & Pastry is situated on Bishopthorpe Road, just a short walk from York city centre and is without a doubt a cafe not to be missed! This family run, neighbourhood cafe is a firm favourite of ours. Some of our favourites on the Pig & Pastry menu are:
The B.A.F.T.A sandwich (bacon, avocado, feta, tomato and aioli) - It is delicious and only £6.50!
Chorizo and scrambled egg on sourdough toast (Chorizo from Brindiso, Borough Market) - £6.50
The breakfast burger (bacon, fried egg, avocado, lettuce, cheddar cheese, smokey mayo and tomato relish) - £5.95
The Pig & Pastry also make a wide range of cakes and pastries every morning, the Portuguese tart is incredibly tasty and a worthy companion of a Pig & Pastry Illy coffee. We are sure you'll love this cafe as much as we do, we may even see you there! The cafe is open between 8:30am - 4:30pm Monday to Saturday and the kitchen serves food until 3pm.
Where To Shop
The Shop That Must Not Be Named
For all you Harry Potter Fans, or for the ones who are just curious, this shop is one to pop into. Park your brooms at 30, The Shambles and experience the magic this store has to offer. Here you can pick up everything Harry Potter, from wands to broomsticks!
Another independent shop full of magic, experience a lifestyle store like no other. Styled with the aesthetics of a Victorian curiosity shop, escape the ordinary and discover unique and affordable luxuries for you and your home. Don't forget to stumble to the back of the shop and experience a winter wonderland with an all year round Christmas shop!
The Shambles Market
Soak up the atmosphere in a historic and vibrant open air market situated in the heart of the City, ranging from an exceptional source of fresh produce; from fresh fruit and beautiful flowers, to grabbing a bite to eat in the new street food area.
Based in the iconic Mulberry Hall building in Stonegate which dates back to 1434, with its splendid Tudor front and a “priest hole” on the upper floor, you can immerse yourself in a magical Christmas world. York is home to Käthe Wohlfahrt´s only shop in Great Britain, this is the only place where you will find their most popular Christmas designs from Rothenburg, Germany. The experience of this Christmas shop would not be complete without a visit to the 1st floor Cuckoo Clock room, where you will see a large selection of beautiful, traditional cuckoo clocks. Experience a little bit of Christmas all year round!