If you’re planning a trip this year why not stay local and discover some of the hidden gems on your very own doorstep? Go back in time and witness a breathtakingly beautiful city that combines grand historic architecture with stylish, modern shops and attractions.
“I was born in York and grew up there so I have a great fondness for this remarkable city with its winding, cobbled streets and beautiful architecture. I have happy memories of my days at the Mount School and my first appearance in the Mystery Plays. The city has evolved over the years, with the arrival of new and exciting attractions, a wealth of interesting shops and a vibrant café and evening culture. However, some things never change and, no matter how long I am away, that first glimpse of the magnificent Minster towering above the city will never cease to inspire and move me. I will always be proud to call York my home.” – Dame Judi Dench
As soon as you arrive in the city of York you feel like you have been transported back in time. The striking buildings give the city a sense of grandeur and you feel as though you’re part of some rather opulent film set. Not only is the place a real treasure for those with a love for architecture, but with a great mixture of attractions, it is an ideal destination for everyone to enjoy.
The medieval streets are beautifully preserved with a large part of the city remaining traffic- free, allowing you to soak up the atmosphere peacefully, without the noise of revving engines and car horns and without breathing in polluted air filled with car fumes. Two of York’s most well-known stylish shopping streets, Stonegate and Petergate, still run along the same routes as they did 2,000 years ago when they were called Via Praetoria and Via Principalis, once again showing how well the city has blended the old with the new.
Shoppers will be delighted to know that this is only the start. Amidst some major high street and designer stores as you walk though the small cobbled streets you will discover a number of individual cafes and boutiques. Walk through the famous Shambles, a former street of butchers’ shops, where you can still see the wide windowsills on which goods were displayed for sale and even the hooks upon which the meat was cut. Whether you’re looking for bespoke hand made gifts for family and friends or some delicious hand made delicacies – York has the answer.
Speaking of delicacies the city is notorious for its chocolate, partly due to the factories created by Rowntree’s and Terry’s during the 20th century. Learn about the history of chocolate and even sign up for a chocolate making workshop where you can discover how to make delicious truffles and even take a few home for friends to try.
If this doesn’t tickle your fancy then perhaps a ghost walk is more up your street. You can choose from a whole host of different walks which range from in-depth story telling in York’s most haunted locations to evenings of horror and hilarity. Children and adults can also head down to the York Dungeons if they haven’t already been spooked enough.
A visit to the National Railway Museum is a must when in the city. Attracting close to a million visitors each year it is the largest railway museum in the world, featuring over 100 engines, interactive displays and lavish exhibitions.
If you’re lucky enough to visit in February you can also take part in the JORVIK Viking Festival, otherwise the JORVIK Viking Centre is open all year round where you literally feel as if you’ve travelled back in time as you experience the sounds, smells and images of the city of Jorvik in AD975.
With a number of other attractions including the City Walls, York Castle Museum, York City Art Gallery and river cruises you are sure to run out of time before anyone even begins to complain of boredom. However, one must- see before you leave is the York Minster. Renowned all over the world and the largest medieval gothic cathedral in northern Europe, it is over 500 feet in length, 100 feet wide and has a central tower 200 feet high. Taking over 250 years to complete it is the most visited cathedral in Britain and sure to take your breath away.
Finish off your day with a quiet meal or head into town for a few drinks at one of the many bars and clubs that prove to be rather popular with stag and hen parties. Either way, enjoy a trip with a difference, which will surely leave you wanting to go back for more.
For more information visit www.visityork.org
Pukaar Magazine is giving readers the opportunity to win a pair of two-day passes for York, which will provide free access to over 30 attractions. To enter simply pick up a copy of the magazine (or view it online) and turn to page 31 for competition details.