The Insider Guide

In a city that dates back two millennia, there’s much more to York than the Shambles and York Minster. Here’s our insider’s guide to exploring not just the big attractions but the lesser-known sights that are often overlooked.

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The Main Attractions

York might just be England’s most charming city – it’s full of history, best seen by strolling the cobbled streets and winding alleys. The best way to get your bearings is by taking a walk around the city walls – the two-mile loop will lead you through the main four gates, known as bars. Learn about the Viking era – authentic smells included – at Jorvik Viking Centre, one of the premier Viking museums in the country. See the remains of medieval York and discover the history of the period at Barley Hall and the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall. Soak up the views over the city from the 13th-century Clifford’s Tower, the last remaining structure of York Castle. It’s located across from York Castle Museum, which once housed the town’s prison. Thanks to its convenient location on the railway line, York has remained a prominent northern city since the Victorian period. The National Railway Museum exhibits the history of the railways up to the present day – and best of all, it’s free to visit. Not fussed about history? You’ll still find something to keep you busy in York. Enjoy a walk along the River Ouse before heading to York Museum Gardens – the best time to visit is spring, when the gardens blossom with daffodils and tulips. Dive into the city’s foodie scene, featuring everything from cosy cafes to superb venues serving up British and international cuisine. Or enjoy a pint at one of York’s many quaint pubs – rumour has it there’s one for every day of the year. If you want to go further afield, the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks are on the doorstep. Read on for our insider guide to discover the real York and this stunning destination in the heart of Yorkshire.

Neighborhoods in York