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Voted ‘Best UK City’ by the Telegraph’s travel section in 2008, York is a favourite amongst even the most seasoned of travellers. Cobbled streets with crooked old buildings bent double with age play host to fabulous boutique shops, snug little pubs, and a stack load of hip bars and top restaurants. It’s this blend of old and new that sustains York’s reputation as the Jewel in the Crown of Yorkshire.

Gorgeous things to see and do in York…

Spiritual cleansing

As one of the most important cathedrals in world, the York Minster is suitably awe inspiring. Whatever your thoughts on religion, walking into this ethereal building lifts the hairs on the back of your neck and leaves you speechless. The sheer magnitude of the construction along with the enormous stained glass windows is just breathtaking. The Great East Window panel is particularly stunning. Try to visit during Sunday morning service, when the choir boy’s angelic voices resonate around the walls and set the skin tingling. Once suitably revived in body and soul set your sights on climbing the 275 steps up to the top of the Minster’s Central Tower – the view of York and the surrounding countryside is fantastic.

What a shambles

Thought to date back over 900 years, York’s oldest street and the most perfectly preserved medieval street in Europe, The Shambles wouldn’t look out of place in a Harry Potter film. You can just imagine Dumbledore tumbling out of one of the crooked old doors. Interestingly, in past times the street was home to mostly butchers, with records from 1827 detailing around 26 butcher shops. Today it plays host to a variety of tourist focused shops selling everything from fudge to fine art. The Shambles is also a good place to join one of the many ghost tours around the city.


Dust off the anorak and head for the Railway Museum situated close to York station. Although it is really good for kids, it’s fun for adults too – honest! They have a fantastic range of pristine locomotives for you to hop on board and have a play with. Housed in several large buildings, our favourite is Station Hall where you can experience the luxury and indulgence of rail travel in days gone by – just try to keep that image in your head on Monday morning’s commute…

Shopping heaven

Although York has always been a good bet for Christmas shopping because of the sheer volume of independent and quirky shops, in recent years the city has seen something of a commercial renaissance.
Alongside all of the high street favourites like Zara, H & M, Mango and Karen Millen, designer boutiques have been popping up all over the place, with Vivienne Westwood’s store on Blake Street just the latest. You’ll find most of the high street biggies around St Helen’s square and along Coney Street. Refuel at Betty’s Tearooms before pushing on…

Pint of your finest

Local folklore has it that there are 365 pubs in York, one for every day of the year. It would be a travesty to visit this gorgeous city and not sample at least some of them. Some of our favourites include Koko International Bar – a cosy little place on Goodramgate with an excellent selection of beers and wines from around the globe, Guy Fawkes Inn – bags of character and an excellent choice for food and the Punch Bowl on Stonegate – a favourite with tourists and locals alike…

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