York, a thriving city with a wealth of culture and heritage
Whether you’re visiting for the day or plan to spend the whole weekend here, York is a thriving city with a wealth of culture and heritage. Thanks to its medieval walls, these attractions are well-contained, allowing you to visit all the highlights within the short timeframe of your trip. Moving around the city is fairly easy and you have the option to hop on a bus tour when necessary. Trains to York are regular from different regions of the country, so it is also straightforward to arrange transport to and from the city for a no-fuss getaway.
York is known as one of the most haunted places to visit in Europe, and there are countless ghost walks and tours to show you around the city. Here you will find thousands of years of gruesome history and mysteries underneath the streets, including the iconic York Dungeon. A guided tour of the city will typically take you through narrow passages and dark avenues where you can listen to gristly tales from centuries ago. If you’re a lover of ghosts and all things supernatural, consider booking a tour during your visit, particularly at night time if you want the best possible spooky experience.
Arguably one of the most iconic areas in York, The Shambles is a medieval street located in the centre of the city. The name comes from an old term used for open-air meat markets where butchers would originally line the streets selling their produce, with the groove in the middle of the street being used to drain the blood from the area. The Elizabethan buildings still look pristine to this day and have even inspired the easily recognisable Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series. The market nearby is a must-see, with its variety of hand-made products and vintage memorabilia. There is also the infamous York Ghost Merchants located here, where you can find a collection of uniquely designed ghosts that are not sold anywhere else in the world – however, be prepared to wait in a queue to be able to get your hands on one of these sought-after collectables.
The best views of the city can be found from the top of the walls, which is perfect if you are wanting some scenic photos for your travels. The length of the walls equates to a two-hour walk but can be broken up into sections, so you don’t necessarily need to go around them all at once. These medieval walls are the longest in England and have been so well preserved that they are near identical to how they were many decades ago.
Those who are passionate about history will find themselves submerged in the history of the Vikings at the Jorvik Viking Centre, which is more of an attraction than it is a museum. Here, you will spend the majority of your time travelling on a cart through an immersive world as you’ve never seen before. At peak times, you can find yourself waiting for long periods, but the wait is most definitely worth it if you plan to experience York the right way.