York Racecourse makes for a convivial day out, with its racing fixtures including the Yorkshire Ebor Festival and Family Sundays. Just outside the city centre in Knavesmire, the races are a change of pace from visiting historic attractions like York Minster and the Jorvik Viking Centre. Need somewhere to stay before donning your finest clobber and heading to the Country Stand? From friendly B&Bs to upscale hotels with pools, there are a clutch of top places to stay nearby – all bookable on Culture Trip.
With ivy creeping up the handsome brickwork of this garden-set hotel, it’s easy to believe you’re in a country idyll rather than a quick drive from York’s city centre, racecourse and university. Seven rooms have antique four posters, and, across the road, there are also one-bedroom suites with sitting rooms and kitchenettes. The hotel brasserie offers well-priced classics. Save room for the sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce.
The Hotel du Vin brings its brand of affable, modern comfort to this 19th-century mansion house in the Mount area of York. Here, you’re away from the tourist hubbub, although both York Racecourse and the medieval City Walls are a manageable 20-minute walk away. Enjoy dinner in the popular French-style brasserie, beneath the high glass ceiling and cascading foliage.
Dating back to the golden age of railway, this grand Victorian station hotel is on the right side of the city for the races. Expect understated glamour in the rooms, each with marble-clad bathrooms featuring rainfall showers. Dine on the terrace in the summer months or cosy up in the dining space come winter, after a dip in the indoor pool. Afternoon tea in the garden room is something of a York rite of passage.
Middletons is made up of six Grade II-listed buildings, centred around a courtyard garden. Stylish, unfussy bedrooms include larger boltholes with king-size doubles and two bunks. Following a day at the races, you can tuck into favourites like beef and ale pie in the lounge or out on the lawn. Cardio enthusiasts should make a beeline for the light, airy fitness studio, plus there are yoga classes for zen-seekers.
Even the studios come with king-size beds, fitted kitchens and dishwashers at this modern aparthotel. Need a little more space? The split-level one- or two-bedroom apartments are good options for groups and families. On site, there’s also a free-to-use gym. Pick up your grab-and-go breakfast, then stroll along the banks of the River Ouse, through leafy Rowntree Park, to reach York Racecourse.
Owners Ricardo and Fiona Gabbiadini have years of hospitality experience, which shines through this six-room bed and breakfast to the south of the city. The comfortable rooms are spotless, and given notice, the amenable hosts will tailor the award-winning breakfasts to meet a range of requirements. A wander through the park, across Millennium Bridge, will lead you towards the racecourse. Alternatively, you’re a 20-minute walk to an array of city-centre bars and restaurants.
There are plenty of pretty period touches at this double-fronted Victorian guesthouse, and an abundance of friendly hospitality, too. Ensuite rooms include a family option with bunks, and generous breakfasts are served in a homely dining room. The Limes is a handy 20-minute walk to York Racecourse, and about the same to the city centre. Order a drink at the bar and nurse it by the open fire.
For a more central stay, check out the best boutique hotels in York, or some cosy B&Bs to experience a warm Yorkshire welcome. There are plenty of ways to spend a weekend, not least by visiting one of the many colourful gardens in the city.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.