A guide to a city break in the historic city of York

The city of York has so, so much to offer for any tourist. This hotspot, voted The Times’ best place to live in the UK in 2018, provides the setting for a beautiful getaway. The compact walled city is half the size of Leeds and less than two hours away from the northern heights of Newcastle and the capital of London. The little romantic and historical city of York is a must for any tourist – whether you currently reside in the UK or are travelling from further afield.

Here, used Mercedes dealers Lookers run through exactly what you need to see and do in this northern gem.


Okay, most cities have a tour bus for you to go sightseeing on and York is no different. If you don’t like following suit, you can even hire your own self-drive hire boat on the River Ouse and explore at your own pace. Just note that all journeys are subject to river conditions and because of this, trips in December and January are sparse.

For a little bit of variation however, why not hop on the York Boat so you can see what the city and its countryside has to offer? There are many different boats operating throughout the day and if the sun is out, you can normally take advantage of the open top deck that’s on offer on most vessels.

York Minster

It’s worth checking out the York Minster website to see find out about activities or events on at your time of visit. If you’re a religious person, take in one of its daily masses, while for those who just want to bask in the glory of such a magnificent building, you can purchase an admission ticket to tour all it has to offer.

A trip to York wouldn’t be complete without taking in the York Minster. One of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals, the Minster has stood at the centre of Christianity in the north of England since the seventh century and glistens via its exquisite handcrafted stone and unbelievable medieval stained glass.

The city walls of York York Minster

If walking is something that interests you, be sure to also check out the array of walking tours the city has to offer. If you head to York, it’s a must that you walk the city’s walls.

These well-preserved delights mark the longest stretch of medieval walls in any English city. The walk is likely to talk about two hours to complete, as it runs for 3km.

What attractions will be available during my visit?

York offers a unique ambience, with a host of historical buildings breaking up the modernised brilliance.

York Shambles

Be sure to read up on the past story of the Shambles before your journey so you can fully appreciate all that the street has to offer. York Shambles is now bursting at the seams with a bright mix of independent retailers which allow you to shop ‘til your heart’s content.

It’s no surprise that another attraction to visit happens to be steeped in historical stories - with so much history packed into such a small space. Shambles is one of the world’s most famous streets, with a host of timber buildings dating back to the 13th century packing the narrow pathway.

The multi-award winning attraction - York Maze

Created from over a million maize plants, this award-winning spectacle is the UK’s largest maze and offers a fun-filled day out for all the family. Packed with over 20 rides, attractions and shows, let yourself get lost in its beautiful glory, or take in some of its wonderful events, including pig racing! Check online to see what’s on and when.

Quirky places to drink?

There’s pretty much a pub for every day of the year in York. From quirky cocktail dens to watering holes in haunted basements, you’ll be sure to find the atmosphere you’re looking for here.

If cocktails are more up your street, check out the Evil Eye Lounge situated in Stonegate. The quirky bar transforms from an East Asian restaurant and internet café in the day to one of the trendiest night-time haunts that has allegedly been frequented by stars such as Johnny Depp. Check out its QR code menus too, which are hidden in the walls!

If it’s a ‘real pub’ experience you’re wanting, try Ye Olde Starre Inne. This public house is one of the oldest established drinking spots in the city and offers its own unique experience.

Food hotspots of York

If it’s a quick bite to eat that you’re looking for, look no further than Greek Street Food Souvlaki York. Voted number one on Trip Advisor, the Silver Street eatery offers fast Mediterranean food to tickle your taste buds — the gyros have gained special mention from many reviewers.

If you want to sit in, but you don’t want to splash the cash, try Circles Café and Gin Bar. While it goes without saying that there is an array of gins on offer to wash down your food, the establishment in East Lodge provides a nice and simple snack menu. Why not pop in and enjoy their homemade delicacies and light bites while overlooking the city and the River Ouse?

Head to Arras Restaurant at the Old Coach House for a fancy wine and dine experience. The official website states that it bucks the trend and captures the imagination of the public with its tongue-in-cheek take on British banquets. Originally set up in Sydney, Australia, the company’s owners felt the need to return ‘home’ to the UK and the extravagant Arras Restaurant found a place in the heart of York in 2007.

So, there you have it. A quick run-down of some of the top spots to visit on your next trip to the lovely city that is York! Happy travels!