The city of York is vibrant and bursting with culture and heritage. Ever since arriving in York, I’ve found many lovely places, from quaint bookshops to cute hidden cafes. These are places I now dearly miss whilst we’re in lockdown. Here are some of York’s hidden gems!
This isn’t really one of York’s ‘hidden’ gems, but I actually never visited it until the end of my first year. I brought my friend and my family here when they came to visit over Christmas. It’s near King’s Manor and the York Art Gallery. You can walk on the pathways and admire the greenery, flowers and occasional squirrels that run about. It’s a great place for a picnic or leisurely stroll. If you exit the gardens near the York Explore Library, you can enjoy some freshly-baked scones and cakes at Brew and Brownie, which is across the street.
The Little Apple Bookshop
I visited this shop for the first time whilst on a bookshop crawl with the Sober Society. It’s definitely one of York’s hidden gems. If you’re having trouble looking for birthday gifts, or if you just want to buy something for yourself or someone special, this shop is worth having a look at. While it’s mainly a bookshop, they also have a selection of plushies (from Moomins to the Gruffalo), tote bags, greeting cards and other novelty items like Shakespearean insult badges. I bought a Moomin cookbook and a small plush toy of Little My from the Moomin franchise when I was there last.
Wheldrakes and Café Feva
These two are cafes that serve incredible food! Wheldrakes has a lovely, hearty breakfast menu (I love their Eggs Benedict). Café Feva has a quaint atmosphere and is located above an antique shop. They’re excellent places to take your friends or family to if you don’t want to go to one of the bigger restaurants in the city.
The Donut Kitchen
This is a food truck which is based mainly in the city centre on Silver Street. They’re also based in Parliament Street during York’s Christmas Market and Food Festivals. They serve piping hot doughnuts coated with cinnamon sugar and they’re absolutely divine! It’s the place to visit if you want a warm sweet treat during a chilly day.
This is a bookshop located on Goodramgate. It sells various geek merchandise, from board games and graphic novels to action figures. There’s an amazing selection of manga at the back of the store with a wide range of titles. Upstairs there’s even a relaxing board games area where you can play games with your friends!
This is York’s very own LGBT+ bookshop, and it’s located near the Shambles Market. It has a diverse range of books, from novels to comic books (both new and secondhand) with LGBT+ characters and by LGBT+ authors (like Noelle Stevenson and even classic authors like Oscar Wilde). They even have a selection of adorable crocheted items in the colours of the pride flags! The shop owner is lovely and the shop has a welcoming atmosphere.
This list is non-exhaustive of course, as York is brimming with a plethora of places to visit and corners to explore. Whether you’re a lover of desserts or a fan of independent bookshops, or even a Viking fanatic, York has something for everyone to enjoy whilst you’re here for university.
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