York Essentials

Buildings steeped in history

If there’s one building that epitomises York, it’s York Minster. And if this majestic Gothic cathedral could talk, it would tell stories of Emperor Constantine, St Paulinus and famous Archbishops. Luckily the famous tower and undercroft are well versed in bringing history to life. Visits to Fairfax House and Beningbrough Hall are a must for lovers of everything Georgian and for those looking for an uplifting experience (and spectacular views), Clifford’s Tower – almost all that remains of York Castle – is well worth a visit. Clifford’s Tower is currently closed to visitors for conservation work, and will reopen in the summer. 

Take a walk on the dark side

If you’re in the mood for something a little more daring, York is happy to oblige. First stop has to be the famous Jorvik Viking Centre which is one of the UK’s most popular attractions outside London. And it’s no wonder when you get to travel back in time to see 1,000 year old streets, smell ye olde home cooked stew and even meet a Viking! Next stop is the frightfully gruesome York Dungeons, followed by the even scarier Original Ghost Walk. It sets off at 8pm, if you dare.

A grand day out

Day or night, there’s always an opportunity to experience something extra special. Trot over to York Racecourse for the thrill of the chase and see famous jockeys in action. Take in a show at York Theatre Royal – the best of the best dramas, comedies and dances are literally lining up to keep you entertained. Or perhaps the York Grand Opera House has a touring production that will catch your eye. For a completely different perspective of York, head to the river and cruise the Ouse on one of the City Cruises York sightseeing boat trips. Alternatively, hire one of their red boats for your own, self-driven, aquatic adventure.

York’s lush green spaces

The city is blessed with a number of relaxing green spaces to discover. The Museum Gardens, with its botanical plants, here you might even spot a #OnlyinYork Tansy Beetle an endangered species who only live in a 30km stretch of the River Ouse. Other delightful spaces include Dean’s Park at the foot of the majestic York Minster and the grounds of the Treasurer’s House. Rowntree Park is popular with families with its playgrounds and cosy Reading Café. Venture out of the city to explore the countryside and green spaces on York’s doorstep. Discover the stunning green spaces of Stillingfleet Gardens, the grand stately home and grounds of Castle Howard and Breezy Knees Garden. You’re spoilt for choice with the array of natural attractions, grounds and estates to enjoy.

York Pass

Make the most of your stay with York Pass, the Official Sightseeing Card for the city of York and North Yorkshire. The York City pass is great for short stays giving you access to 18 attractions located in the city.

About York

York is one of the most visited cities in the UK, not far behind the top two of London and Edinburgh, and roughly halfway between the two, geographically.

If it’s good enough for the Emperor…

York was once the seat of the Roman Empire, during two periods the Emperor made his home in the city, which tells you a lot about the place and its glorious surrounds.

Centrally Located

Very centrally located in Yorkshire, York has therefore got the Yorkshire Dales to the West, the North York Moors to the East, Herriot Country just North, and West YorkshireEast Yorkshire and South Yorkshire are all within a relatively quick day trip to the South of York itself.

The information above in this page will give you plenty of information about visiting and staying in York, while below is more information about the place, it’s history, and some general facts and figures to provide a little background as to why York is one of the greatest places to base your stay in Yorkshire.

Discover More: York & North Yorkshire.