Short Breaks to York

Short Breaks to York

Dating back to the 13th century when it was established as a town by the Romans, York has a long history, which remains ever-present. The two mile-long city walls, the longest and best preserved in England, are interspersed with ancient gates known as bars (not to be confused with pubs!) where heads of traitors including William Wallace and Richard, Duke of York, were once displayed.


While proud of its heritage, York has brought itself into the 21st century. Its narrow, cobbled streets are lined with independent boutiques and high street names and the city has developed a thriving café culture and craft beer scene. The annual York Food and Drink Festival is the biggest of its kind in the UK, celebrating and showcasing Yorkshire’s local producers, chefs and cooking with a market, street food and pop-up bars.

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Travel Information

There are regular trains to York from London, Edinburgh and Manchester.

  • Currency: Pound Sterling
  • Time difference: GMT (same as the rest of the UK)
  • Visa: Visa not required for UK passport holders
  • Language: English
  • Regional drink: Yorkshire ale (try Frothingham Best, Gold winner at the World Beer Awards 2013)
  • Regional dish: Afternoon tea or Yorkshire pudding
It's good to know that English Heritage members receive discounted entry into Clifford’s Tower.
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York Activities

Located just over an hour from the Yorkshire Dales, York is an ideal base for a day trip to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, by foot or by bike or visiting the stately Howard Castle. Back in the city, visitors to York can walk along the city walls’ stopping in the bars along the way – Micklegate Bar is the most important as it was once the main entrance from the south – or spend an evening learning about the city’s spooky past (it is claimed to be the most haunted city in Europe). For an alternative view of the city, take a cruise along the River Ouse.

York Food & Drink

A stay in York would not be complete without a trip (or two) to one of the city’s pubs; locals have laid claim that there are 365 within the city walls, one for every day of the year, from well-known chains to little known taverns frequented by locals. Afternoon tea complete with mini sandwiches and scones with jam and cream, is a tradition still alive and well, and you’ll find a host of tearooms throughout the city. A farmers market, selling local meats, bread, pastries and preserves, is held every third Saturday of the month.

York Attractions

The crowning glory of York attractions is York Minster, the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe with stunning stained glass windows interactive displays in its underground chambers; climb to the top for panoramic views over the city. A cultural mecca, there are over 30 museums to explore including the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens examining the city’s history and the National Railway Museum. Visitors to York can also take in the views from Clifford’s Tower, the last remnants of York Castle built by William the Conqueror.  

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