The Best Things to Do in York… in English Style

Winter in England – Grey, dreary, rainy…

Somehow, the old English streets and shambles have a particular kind of tragic romance and beauty of December rain.

York is one of the most visited English cities, and it is the “York” that today’s New York is referring to. New York has sparkled and become the city of everything, but the “old York” retained its rich British flavor – yes, it is where the English time stands still.

Every year, waves of tourists came to this historic English town. I agree it is kind of nice to book a bed and breakfast and spend a day exploring the city if you are in England. (Except the weather was so incredibly unpredictable, my bedroom’s windows were blown away upon a torrential downpour, and then the sun comes out) I reckon it is pretty easy just to walk around the city and it is impossible to miss anything. The must-sees in York are:

The York Minster

Amongst all the historic buildings (like Clifford’s Tower and Abbazia di St Mary), the Minster is the landmark of the city, and it is a classic Gothic-style cathedral built 600 years ago. The York Minster today remained one of the highest and most prestigious offices of the Church of England.

The cathedral itself is magnificent inside and out, and the surrounding area is the main tourist area where you could find shops, cafes in all kinds of English traditional flavor.

Heritage sites closed by includes the Clifford’s Tower, the York Castle Museum… – walk along the River Ouse, and take pictures of the beautiful scenery. My friend described the River Ouse a “teabag” river because it always looks muddy, but the river is certainly lively, too!

Check out more about my favorite cathedrals at My Top 12 Cathedral in Europe (1)!


The Shambles


The shambles is the narrowest old street in York, with unique shops and boutiques along the alleys. If you are a Harry Potter fan (well I am), soaked into the HP vibe.

The York National Railway Museum and Museum Gardens

I suppose the railway enthusiasts would like this national railway museum!

Yes, it’s a national museum, it’s big, it’s free, and it’s awesome!

Honestly, I didn’t expect the museum was so big and so many things to see. I am a train fan (also a Harry Potter fan) and I enjoyed the museum very much – just because it has a huge warehouse that showcased real, life-size locomotives with over 200 years of railway history. Besides, the museum showcased precious information about the development of trains, railway networks, technologies, and development.


Have a sip of English tea!


Okay. It’s always time for TEA! and I do believe no first-time visit to York is complete without having a sip of tea and a taste of the legendary scone at a traditional tea house. I know everyone’s talking about Betty’s, which is the biggest, and the most eye-catching café and tea rooms around the corner of St. Helen’s square and Davygate, but like most of the travel books promoted places, the long queue in the afternoon time was a nightmare. Avoid the peak hours, get a scone take-out in the pastry shop, or don’t even bother waiting outside for a table. Just looking for a nice, cozy, warm café that you like in the nearby streets, there are lots of them and sometimes, you will be surprised.

York Bettys!.jpg


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