Hi everyone! I hope that everything is going well, that you have already received good offers from your university choices and that, of course, you are considering to come to study at York.
As I had promised in my last blog post , I am going to share my list of favourite places in Yorkwith you.
I have been in York for almost a year and a half and still I haven’t seen all of what the city has to offer. Writing a complete list of every single interesting place to visit in York would be impossible… so I have decided to share with you my top 10 places you might find interesting to visit when you next come to York next time (for an open day, a family day trip or in your first term) .
So, let’s start:
- The Minster: it’s one of the most photographed sites in York and is almost a symbol of the city (like the Eiffel Tower for Paris).
It was built in the Gothic style in the 13th century and it has a certain something of Notre-Dame de Paris, making it one of the largest and most beautiful cathedrals of its kind in Northern Europe. Being wonderful from the outside doesn’t exclude it from being absolutely stunning on the inside. I definitely recommend visiting it (it’s free for University of York students). If you are fit and brave enough, you can go up to the tower to look at York from the sky.
2. The City Walls: York doesn’t have just Gothic churches or medieval alleys, but also Roman ruins. Around 70AD Romans decided to build a fort to defend the territories they had conquered in, then called, Gaul. Around the fort a city began to grow and the Romans, as is their usual habit, built a wall with guard towers and doors all around it. It is still possible to walk on the well preserved walls that circle the whole modern city of York.
3. Fossgate: this little gem is actually one of my favourite places to spend time in. It is a cute and small street that dates back to the Viking times when they built a bridge over River Foss. There are loads of small cafés and nice little shops, all in old medieval buildings. You can find details about the former use of the edifice on the doorways.
4. York’s Chocolate Story: if you are gluttonous as I am, this is the place for you. York is famous for its chocolate factories since the 18th century. In this magical place (where you expect to meet Willy Wonka every 10 seconds), you will discover about the art of chocolate making and you will be able to make your own chocolate as well.
5. Jorvik Viking Centre: if Romans don’t interest you and Vikings are more your jam, then you should definitely visit Jorvik Centre. Here you can discover everything about ancient life in York, so you can discover what people did before nightclubs were built!
6. The Shambles: at one end there is an open-air market that sells everything, from bags to groceries. Then there is a medieval alley, where time seems to have stopped passing. It’s full of sharp-cornered buildings that have shops on the ground floor. Here you can buy chocolate, tea, souvenirs or clothes.
7. National Railway Museum: this is one the places that surprised me most in York. It is, actually, a museum that keeps trains. They have any kind of train you can imagine: from Victorian times trains, Royals’ trains, Eurostars and modern trains. It is a nice place to spend a different kind of afternoon and take a picture with the train Queen Elizabeth used to cross the countryside during WWII.
Clifford’s Tower: it is what remains of the old Norman castle of York. After having overcame the biggest obstacle (the numerous steps to get to the top), you will be able to see York from the height of this medieval building on top of a green mound.
9. York Museum Gardens: a stunning small park near River Ouse, where you can walk though the the medieval ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey. I suggest to go there at the beginnig of the autumn: the colours are AMAZING!
10. Stonegate: it was the main road in the ancient Roman city. Nowadays, it has a mix of medieval and Georgian buildings. Higlights of the street are the most haunted building in York (18-20 Stonegate) and the Ye Olde Starre Inn that is supposed to be the oldest pub in York.