You have got to go here…The City of York – York, United Kingdom.
I knew nothing of the city of York when my tour operator (who thankfully for me specialized is a UK Destination Specialist) Across the Pond Vacations suggested it as somewhere to visit on our first trip to the United Kingdom. Being the type of person who likes to find hidden gems and get advice from locals, I didn’t do too much research in regards to what to see. This was both good and bad. Had I known how much awesomeness there was I would have stayed longer. BUT our favorite things about York turned out to be places that were suggested to us by our innkeeper.
So, I am going to fill you in on my favorite spots, but of course I won’t tell you about everything…you need to go and discover new things too!
Let’s start with where we stayed. I am sure that there are many lovely places to stay, but I am not sure that you could get better hospitality than what I received at the Alcuin Lodge. Darren was such a great host. He met us personally when we arrived and spent time giving us tips on what to do in the short amount of time we had to explore. Just an fyi – every amazing place in this blog was as a result of a Darren giving us the inside tip. (I know what you are thinking…he is probably just referring you to the touristy places. This was not the case, most of the spots he sent us to where off-the-beaten path and places he frequents as a local.) Not only did we love Darren, but we loved the lodge too! Super clean, very modern for being such an old home and we had an amazing breakfast cooked for us the next morning.
While the lodge ins’t inside the city walls, it is just a short and beautiful walk through an historic neighborhood, ancient ruins and a magnificent park to get you to the city center.
OK, so we literally had 24hrs in York and if I had to do it all over I would visit these four places again:
Really Chocolate??? Yes, really! York has a history rich in Chocolate so I had to try some of the goods. The trip here was well worth it. I had the best hot cocoa and chocolate milk that I have ever had in my entire life. Don’t judge me, yes…I went twice in 24hrs! No pre-packaged mix here, only fresh real chocolate went into these drinks.
I have been to several train museums in the United States, but nothing like this. It is huge and full of so many amazing train cars and history. OH and it is FREE!!! Donations however are accepted if you feel so inclined! I highly suggest you pay the small fee and ride on a steam train like we did. In no way is this museum just for kids either, there is plenty of things for the whole family!
I don’t know about you, but this was the first time I walked on something built by the Romans and I was so excited. These walls line the outside of the city center (only some portions still exist so get a map when you arrive) and are FREE to roam and offer a lovely view of the city. You know by now that I am big kid, and there was truly something magical about taking the same steps that ancient soldiers took as well.
What is Trembling Madness you ask? Only the best pub I visited while on my trip to the U.K. Located above a unique and very expansive liquor store sits a small and intimate pub that serves delicious food and drinks. The ambiance is fantastic; I really felt like I stepped back in time. This is the perfect place to meet locals and relax. I also have to thank Trembling Madness for introducing me to the most yummy cider my lips have ever touched.
Believe me when I say that these few places I visited are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things to see and do in York. I didn’t even touch on the Abbey destroyed by Henry VIII, the boat trip and the amazing shopping. Do yourself a favor and make York part of your trip if you are ever in the U.K.