The city of York lies in the north of England and has an impressive assortment of cultural traits. Boasting a rich history of Roman, Viking, and Mediaeval figures, there’s a lot to see and do in the quaint city.
Chock full of breathtaking landscapes and world-class museums, York has something for everybody. With all the city offers, people often struggle to decide what to do first. But don’t fret — planning and enjoying the ride is the key to getting the most out of it.
While York is a popular tourist destination, it still has the charm and unbeatable prices that are hard to come by in other English cities.
Since the city is so big, it’s full of unique accommodation options. There are classic choices like renting a hotel or an Airbnb, but some people have complained that those accommodations didn’t meet their needs.
Luckily, a few alternatives to Airbnb are just as affordable and unique. For example, you can find a short-term rental which gives you the perfect middle ground between a hotel room and the comfort of home.
There are even some avid travellers who swap homes with others in a thrifty tradeoff. This gives travellers an authentic experience of what it’s like to live in York from the moment they walk through the door. Additionally, some people find lodging in historical buildings, perhaps the most authentic way to experience the city.
How to Get There
York is a very well-connected city, so there are various ways to get there, including by air, rail, coach, or boat.
The closest airport is Manchester, which has a direct train to York. It takes about an hour to arrive. Visitors from neighbouring countries such as Ireland or the Netherlands will sometimes take the ferry. The closest port is Hull, an hour away from York’s centre by train.
If you’re travelling within the UK, getting to York is relatively easy. As it’s the largest city in Yorkshire county, York is a central train station. It’s just over two hours from London and three hours from Edinburgh by rail, so it makes for an excellent day trip.
Roam the Roman Ruins at the Yorkshire Museum
If you’re an Ancient Rome enthusiast, the Yorkshire Museum is the place to be. They have loads of interactive exhibits about the Roman times in York.
Not to mention, they also have excellent permanent exhibitions regarding astrology, biology, and archaeology. The museum is also home to an impressive dinosaur exhibit about North Yorkshire’s coastline, known for its Jurassic activity.
The Yorkshire museum also has lovely gardens to stroll through, so you can enjoy the fresh air as you reflect on the city’s rich historical past.
Dive Underground with the Vikings
Although York is well known for its Roman past, the city was also home to the Vikings. Arriving around the 8th century, the Nordic sailors invaded the island and took up shop alongside the Anglo-Saxons.
Many of York’s street names were named by Vikings, but not much of their culture remains above ground. Most Yorkers weren’t aware there were any remnants left until the 1970s when archaeologists discovered an entire Viking settlement under the streets of York.
According to historical documents, the Anglo-Saxons referred to the land as “Eoforwic,” which the Vikings changed to “Jorvik.” Over time, Jorvik shortened to “York,” the city’s name today.
Wander the Shambles
The Shambles is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting York. The shops were built around the 15th century and remain active storefronts. There’s even a market where you can find all sorts of hearty foods and drinks.
Besides the fact that you’ll feel like you’ve walked onto the Harry Potter film set, they are also a historical miracle. They are the best preserved European shopping streets, so it’s a great way to experience a little bit of what life was like way back in the Mediaeval era.
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