A monument of medieval gothic architecture, York Minster is the centre of Christianity in the North. Stunning stained glass shines multicoloured light through the East Window, telling stories of the Bible. Venturing inside, explore every hidden room and tower, and be sure to look up for magnificent ceilings. Nearby, you can take a stroll along the historic City Walls to your next location.
Deep within the nature reserve of St Nicholas Fields is a secret mini Stonehenge. Carefully crafted from ancient church stones, the sculpture itself is just over 25 years old. Once a tip, this area was reclaimed and transformed into a place of beauty, with wildlife and flora aplenty. Visiting when the sun rises and sets casts dramatic light on the scene, perfect for photography.
Medieval and Georgian listed buildings line the street of Stonegate, where boutique shops and street performers are plentiful. The devil is in the details; take a peek above No.33 to spy a statue of one perched above an old printers. Escape the cold and cosy up by the fire in Ye Olde Starre Inn, grab a creative cocktail in Evil Eye, or step back in time with a beer in the House Of The Trembling Madness.
A must-see in York, Shambles is one of the best-preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe. Some places are so narrow you can touch both sides with your arms outstretched. The rumoured inspiration for Diagon Alley, explore independent shops like Paperesque and the Ghost Merchants. No visit is complete without the Food Court, especially gyros from Stam & Maria or African street food from Los Moros. What magic will you uncover?
Freshly baked artisanal bread and scrumptious charcuterie boards await you in Mannion & Co. Ever changing menus ensure no two visits are the same, but fresh, local ingredients create an unrivalled culinary experience. With a restored Tudor frontage, exquisite food is paired with a relaxed environment. Pop in for a passing brunch or spend the evening sipping wine and sampling delicacies by award-winning chefs.
Housing unique Scheduled Monuments and listed buildings, York Museum Gardens are a must-see. Look out for hidden touches such as the walk-on mosaic map, partially created with fossils and discarded stone from the Minster. Almost 200 years old, this registered botanical garden is alive even in winter. Before you enter, grab a coffee and a cake from The Perky Peacock or a vegan chocolate snack from Tempt.
In November and December, York gets a little more magical. Delicious treats and handmade gifts from a collection of local businesses line the streets in festive celebration. Decorations perfectly complement the historic architecture and cobbled streets, a unique setting for a more authentic experience. Keep cosy with a hot chocolate, or if you fancy something stronger, try a delicious mulled wine.
Indulge your sweet tooth. York was once known as the Chocolate City, and the York Cocoa House is on a mission to reignite the city’s confectionary heritage. This independent business prides itself on being fine, flavourful, and fair; no guilty pleasures here! Join a hands-on workshop where you can learn, taste, and create your own bars, then stop in the cafe for a dreamy mug of hot chocolate.