Image: York Minster in the background

Founded by the Romans in 71 AD, the city of York boasts one of the richest histories in the U.K. In the late 9th and 10th centuries it was invaded and controlled by Nordic Vikings. In the subsequent years the city has withstood numerous rebellions and invasions due to its position as a site of significant political and economic advantage. More recently, in the late 19th century the railway promoter George Hudson established York as a major railway centre in the country. 100 years later the Shambles, a popular market street in the city centre, served as inspiration for Diagon Alley in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. 

There is plenty to see and do in York. Take some time to wander along the river or around the city’s numerous gardens. For a longer walk, the city wall loop is a good way to see the whole city and would take 1-2 hours. If you are interested in learning more about York’s history, the Minster is the ideal place to start. The impressive and ancient architecture alone is worth the visit, but you may also want to visit the museum and climb to the top for stunning panoramic views. A 5 minute walk from the Minster are the shambles, a maze of quirky streets with independent shops and eating places for you to try. Do also consider a trip to the National Railway Museum and Jorvik Viking Centre. 

For places to eat, the Ambiente Tapas bars are worth trying, as are The Hop and Dough Eyed restaurants, which do a fantastic selection of beers and pizza. For a scenic view over the river, look no further than The Star Inn and King’s Arms pubs. For evening drinks, Brew York, House of Trembling Madness and Pivini are worth checking out if you like craft beers and ales, as is the Drawing Board which does a wide selection of reasonably priced cocktails. Contrary to popular belief, York does not have 365 pubs; however if you are a night owl, a short wander around the city will certainly reveal a plethora of fantastic spots to relax and socialise.