York is a city that is steeped in history. Although I have not been, it is most definitely on my list. Famous for Viking settlements and once-upon-a-time Royals, it’s somewhere that everyone who lives in the UK, or are merely visiting, should come to check out. If you’re looking for a chilled weekend away (or even longer), York is a place with plenty to do whether you’re young or old.
Like most places across the UK, York is easily accessible no matter where you are. The train station is massive, with plenty of trains coming in from all over the country throughout the day. Because of this, it doesn’t matter if you’re coming from Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, or London, there will be a train taking you up North (or down South, depending on where you are).
If you’d prefer to drive, York is minutes from the M1 and M62, making it easy for anyone to take an A road from wherever they are and enter the Land of the Vikings.
As Soon As You Arrive
Most people upon arriving in York will want to head straight to the pub. However, if you can put off that first pint for an hour or two, the Railway Museum located, conveniently, right next to the train station is a fantastic place to start.
This museum has real-life models of trains that go back to the carriages enjoyed by the royal family to transport them up and down the country. They are as elegant as you’d expect. However, some of the decor and designs are something that will make you just a little annoyed at the current state of UK rail services.
In the showroom, you’ll find a range of both classic and modern train models that are both cool and fascinating. If you’ve got kids, they may also want to take the short loop on the miniature railway.
If the Weather’s Good
After you’ve enjoyed the railway museum and you’ve checked into your hotel or Airbnb, you may as well get outside and enjoy the weather, mainly if it’s a lovely sunny day.
Thankfully, there’s a wide range of things to do in York when the weather behaves itself. You can sample a drink at one of the many pubs and alehouses overlooking the river, but if you want to keep the drinking to a minimum (at least for now), you can take part in the Wall trail that stretches around the former city limits. This is a sort of hop on/hop off situation that allows you to jump off to check out the local stores and do a little shopping as you go.
Similarly, there’s Clifford’s Tower, which boasts centuries of history, and is located at the top of a hill, while at the very top of the tower, you can marvel at how the city stretches and catch all the famous landmarks there.
Another fantastic option to pick is to take a cruise down the river or even rent a Self Drive boat and see the city at a different level. However, because of the potential for rain and more, these are only available from February to November.
And If It Isn’t…
Being in the UK don’t be surprised if the weather doesn’t play along with your plans. However, there’s still enough to do to keep you entertained. From cosy cafes and bookshops to spend the hours to the Jorvik Viking Centre and York Minster will give you a little culture and history that, for many, is the whole reason people come to York.
Once you’ve gotten your fill of the best York has to offer, the wide range of pubs, both modern and traditional will welcome you with open arms, and if the weather is particularly grim, there’s nothing wrong with a little crawl through the city, with a bite to eat along the way.
When the Sun Goes Down
Those staying overnight will relish the York nightlife. From a range of pubs including the two House of Trembling Madness locations with craft beer galore to a very British Wetherspoons seemingly everywhere you look, you’ll have no worries of running out of things to do.
York is, of course, about more than just drinking, though. You can do some axe throwing, enjoy the wide variety of restaurants, and visit the Shambles to poke your head (or even whole body) into whatever catches your eye and enjoy a night that has no plans, no commitments, but plenty of fun to be had.