Post 35 – Must-see highlights in the City of York


On the 31st August 2009 I moved to York to undertake my postgraduate degree in theatre. The aim after the completion of my degree was to move to the capital to embark on a glittering theatrical career, however thinking of moving away from this stunning historical city was something which I could not think about. Here are a handful of ideas of what you must see during your visit to this beautiful location:

York Minster

York Minster - photo by Ellen Writes Stuff

Standing proud in the heart of the city, York Minster is one of the largest gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe and has people flocking to it from all over the world.

Discover York Minster’s colourful history through fascinating guided tours, explore The Undercroft – an abundance of interactive underground chambers, attend one of the Minster’s hallowed services or challenge yourself by climbing to the top of the Central Tower to witness some of York’s most breathtaking views. Any visit to York Minster throughout the year will show you why this place has appealed to so many.

Museum Gardens

Museum Gardens

Situated in a beautiful scenic location, the Museum Gardens is a ten acre botanic area around the Yorkshire Museum. There are several historic buildings in the gardens including parts of a Roman Wall, an Anglian Tower, the ruins of the Abbey Church plus much more.

Throughout the year many activities take place in the grounds, including open-air theatre performances, festivals and charity-run events. Entry into the Museum Gardens is free!

The Willow

Photograph from Flickr

Photograph from Flickr

When people think of York’s so-called ‘cosmopolitan night-life’, establishments which spring to mind might be Salvation, Society Bar and of course Kuda. However, if you are feeling daring, and are lucky enough to have something of a studenty look about you, you could find yourself enjoying some charty-party and retro pop cheese into the small hours of the morning at The Willow on Coney Street. Once a Cantonese Restaurant, now purely a late-bar/club, I truly find this a unique place to party where you might meet people from all over the world. But be prepared to take it as you find it and wait until past midnight before the night really gets going!

The Shambles

Photograph from Flickr

Photograph from Flickr

Renowned as being one of the most picturesque streets in the world, The Shambles is one of the top tourist destinations in York. With cobbled pathways, timber-framed buildings and an abundance of quaint independent traders, walking down The Shambles is like walking into the past.

York Cold War Bunker

Photograph fro Flickr

Photograph from Flickr

Just a short bus journey out of the city of York, you’ll find the York Cold War Bunker, which is one of English Heritage’s most modern and spine-chilling properties. Uncovering the secret history of Britain’s Cold War, a tour of this authentic property will allow you to investigate the more unusual side of York’s heritage as well as having the opportunity to get involved with many interactive activities.

If you have time to visit other places around this beautiful haven of York then I would recommend Clifford’s Tower, Jorvik Viking Centre, York Chocolate Story and not to mention a trip to Betty’s Cafe for an afternoon of indulgence.

What are your favourite places to visit in York? comment below!

Ellen x

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