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Things to do in York

This legendary Yorkshire destination welcomes visitors all year round. The museums, the Minster, the Art Gallery, the City Walls, the shopping and the burgeoning restaurant scene means there is something for everyone, every single day of the year, whatever the weather. There are always things to do in York.

Things to do in York

HISTORY

Picturesque York is a beautiful location in North Yorkshire, England; sitting on the banks of where the Rivers Ouse and the River Foss converge. York is the principal town of the historic county of Yorkshire with a population of approximately 200,000 people.

The town is particularly well known for its famous historical landmarks such as the Minster and the city walls, along with a wide range of both cultural and sporting activities which run throughout the year. An incredibly popular tourist destination in Northern England, over 6.9million tourists visit each year. During the past five years, the total number of visitors has increased by nearly 500,000 and the amount spent in the local economy rocketed by more than £100 million.

Founded by the Romans in 71 AD when it was a major wool trading centre, it later became a religious centre with York Minister playing a paramount role. In addition, the town dating back beyond Viking times, is thought to be one of the world’s most haunted. There are estimated to be 500 ghosts living here, including those of ancient Roman soldiers.

York Castle

During the 1800s, the town became an important nerve centre of the country’s railway network and also a major hub for confectionery manufacturing, a merit which it retained well into the 20th century. Sadly, during World War 2, the centre was bombed as part of the Baedeker Blitz. Here was less affected by the bombings than other northern cities such as Kingston upon Hull, however many historic buildings were devastated with restoration efforts continuing well into the 1970s.

In modern times York has been consistently voted one of the Top 10 places to live in the United Kingdom for ten years running, and in 2018 was voted by the Times newspaper as the ‘best place to live in the UK’.

ORIENTATION

This glorious getaway hotspot provides the perfect setting for a great UK vacation; there are so many things to do in York! The compact walled city is half the size of Leeds and is conveniently situated less than two hours away from both the northern heights of Newcastle and the southern capital London.

The capital of Yorkshire is located 280 km from London and is approximately 25 miles north-east of Leeds and 34 miles north-west of Kingston upon Hull. The walled city is the largest settlement in the county of North Yorkshire and lies in the Vale of York; a flat area of fertile arable land bordered by the Pennines, the North Yorkshire Moors and the Yorkshire Wolds.

The main bridge namely Lendal Bridge crosses the Ouse River. Further afield, and just one hour by car, you can explore the North Yorkshire coastline including seaside resorts such as Scarborough, Bridlington, Flamborough Head and Filey.

WHAT TO SEE IN YORK

York Minster

York’s Minster is one of the world’s biggest cathedrals, taking 250 years to build from 1220 to consecration in 1472. Along with St. Peter’s Basilica located in the Vatican City; the papal enclave which is within Rome, York Minster is one of only two churches worldwide boasting its very own police force.

York Minster

The Minster is 160 metres long and 76 metres wide. The Lantern Tower is 71 metres high and weighs 16,000 tons, the same as 40 jumbo jet aeroplanes. Most people would associate the Minster as being the city’s most recognisable icon.

The cathedral is of Gothic architecture and even today, work continues to refurbish and renovate the wonderful collection of stained-glass and stonework carvings that add to the beauty of one of Britain’s best loved buildings.

One of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals, the Minster has stood as a centre of Christianity in the north of England since the seventh century, and shines with its beautiful architecture of beautifully handcrafted stone and medieval windows.

Visitors can enjoy one of the Minster’s daily masses, while those who just wish to enjoy the glory of such a impressive structure can buy an admission ticket and tour all it has to offer at their leisure. Two million people each year visit the Minster, making it York’s most recognisable attraction and a definite on your hit list of York things to do.

Over the years York Minster has been raided by looters during the Reformation years and also suffered a huge fire in 1984 which destroyed much of the south roof section. The Minster prides itself on housing one of the most impressive collections of Medieval stained glass in the world. Much of the beautiful artwork here still possess their original panels, dating back as far as 1270.

When standing in the Minster, look up at the southern tower and you’ll see the Rose Window; an iconic glass work which commemorates the end of the War of the Roses, between the red and white roses of Lancaster and York.

The Minster’s central tower is a staggering 230 ft tall. The highest point on the city skyline, climbing the steps to the top offers wonderful views of the old city of York. The Minster currently employs a group of stonemasons and glaziers, who work tirelessly on the building, maintaining the style of their 13th century peers.

York City Walls

If this ancient destination is your chosen vacation, then it’s certain that you must tick off walking the city’s ancient walls. Its one of the top things to do in York. These wonderfully well-preserved ancient relics mark the longest stretch of medieval era walls in any English city. Walking the full circuit is likely to take approximately two hours. The wall runs for three kilometres and is a living Yorkshire museum.

York Walls and the Minster

If for health reasons, or because you don’t have the time to walk the full stretch of walls, then you can opt to walk shorter sections of the wall. There are intersections along the route where you can climb up steps to start at any point to suit your itinerary. There are many walking tours that are made available by professional tour guides in the city. Read below for full details.

York Boat Rides

The River Ouse meanders through the centre of town and so plays a perfect role in seeing the area from a different perspective. There are the standard Hop On, Hop Off sightseeing bus tours which regularly run around the city of York but here in the city centre you can see the famous landmarks by hopping on board the York River Boats.

River Ouse York

The River Cruises run throughout the day, seven days a week, and generally come any weather conditions. Some of the river vessels are open top making them the perfect way to sightsee the city centre in the warmer summer months. If you’d prefer to explore the river scene at your own pace then you can always chart your own self-drive hire boat on the River Ouse.

The Shambles

The narrow street called the Shambles was originally home to numerous butcher’s shops. The Shambles street is so very narrow that the buildings on ether side of the road almost touch overhead. The word Shambles is normally associated with something of a messy nature – some would say the Shambles looks a little this way, but uniquely wonderful at the very same time.

The Shambles is noted as the oldest shopping street in Europe, with a host of timber buildings dating back to the 13th century crammed into the narrow pathway. Renowned worldwide, tourists flock from all over the world to come and visit the tiny little street in Yorkshire, the Shambles.

More recently the Shambles has become home to an increasingly popular Harry Potter shop – which feels remarkably like stepping into Diagon Alley. Previously home to butchers and other local traders, the tiny road now oozes with a unique selection of independent retailers, allowing guests to shop for curiosities and quintessentially different produce.

One of the top attractions to see in York, the Shambles was originally full of butcher’s shops, up to 25 at a time! The butchers would discard the offal and blood down the gutter in the middle of the street. Thankfully the street looks considerably different to that today.

Today the Shambles is full of souvenir and fudge shops and can be extremely busy during peak holiday times so plan your visit wisely, perhaps first thing in the morning before the crowds start to mass.

Betty’s Tea Rooms

Betty’s and Taylor’s of Harrogate is a family owned business in Yorkshire. Bettys Café Tea Rooms are traditional tea rooms serving traditional meals with influences both from Switzerland and Yorkshire. Bettys products are handmade and use high-quality ingredients, usually sourced locally. Specialities include Betty’s Fat Rascals, Betty’s Florentines and Betty’s fruit loaf.

One of the main eating attractions, Betty’s is located on St Helen’s Square and Betty’s Little Tea Rooms can be found down the delightful Stonegate. Be prepared to queue outside for a table at this fabulously popular dining establishment, or book ahead to prevent disappointment on the day. No “things to do in York” list would be complete without a visit to Betty’s Tea Rooms.

Jorvik Viking Museum

York was captured by the Vikings, hence why it was called Jorvik. This amazing Viking Centre based near Clifford’s Tower (the keep of York Castle) is a popular tourist attraction which helps visitors and tourists to the area to understand what the city of York was like under Viking rule. Known as Jorvik during Viking times, many people came from Scandinavia and settled in the area.

The Jorvik Viking Centre is a museum and visitor attraction, containing lifelike mannequins and life-size dioramas depicting Viking life in the city. Visitors are taken through the dioramas in small carriages equipped with speakers reciting an informative narrative. It was created by the York Archaeological Trust in 1984 and remains as popular as ever today for both children and adults alike.

YORK FOR CHILDREN

This medieval city has a history immersed with chocolate. Rowntrees, famous for their fruity fruit pastilles and the legendary chocolate oranges of Terry’s both had their origins in the walled city of York.

You can explore York’s chocolate making past at the city’s Chocolate Story Museum, or why not have a go at making some of your own chocolate, to suit your personal taste, at the ever popular Cocoa House. This is a real hit with children looking for things to do at York and an easy way to pass a morning or afternoon in the delightful city.

York Castle Museum

With family-friendly activities and fascinating exhibitions, there is something for everyone at York Castle Museum! In one of the top attractions, families can step onto the cobbles of the Victorian street, Kirkgate, to meet local characters, visit the authentic shops and discover the weird and wonderful collections from this bygone era. Venture into the original prison cells that once held the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin and surround yourself with a spectacular costume collection from the past 400 years

National Railway Museum

No “things to do in York” list would be complete without a visit to the railways As the centre for rail travel during the 1800s, the railway station is an architectural masterpiece. Furthermore, the nearby National Railway Museum boasts the world’s largest collection of historic trains. In addition, it is also the only place outside of Asia to house a Japanese Bullet train. The Shinkansen trains can hit speeds of 200 mph and run the length of Japan from Hokkaido to Kyushu.

No visitor to the National Railway Museum can help but be impressed by the 100 or so locomotives which are housed in this gigantic railway hall. Trains date from the 19th century right up to the present day. Children of all ages will love what the National Railway Museum has to offer and what’s even better – it’s free to enter! For very little ones there is a play area and there are plenty of interactive displays at this attraction for older children too.

York Maze

Created from over a million maize plants, this award-winning spectacle is the UK’s largest and best maze and offers a fun-filled day out for all the family. York Maze is packed with over 22 different rides, spectaculars, demonstrations and shows.

Popular with families of all ages this is a sure fired way to spend a day out with the little ones. You could even experience pig racing! Be sure to check the Maze’s website before you book as seasonal activities and special events are definitely worth looking out for before your visit.

QUIRKY YORK

York city is thought to be one of the world’s most haunted. There are estimated to be 500 ghosts living in the city, including those of ancient Roman soldiers. York city centre is also home to the nation’s most haunted pub, the Golden Fleece. Spend a night locked in at this devilish boozer if you dare!

There are many things to do York if you like a tipple. There are over 365 pubs, one (or more) for each day of the year. York city also hosts the UK’s largest food festival, for 10 days each September along with a beautifully festive Christmas Fair each year in the main market square.

Guy Fawkes, the famous conspirator in the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, was born here and a plaque on the wall in Stonegate commemorates his birth. The building that he was born in is now the historic Guy Fawkes Inn. Fawkes’ family lived on Stonegate, and Fawkes attended St. Peter’s School as a youth. The school still refuses to burn an effigy of their former pupil as part of Bonfire Night celebrations on November 5.

TOURS

Our things to do in York list continues with some great attractions in the form of guided tours. These are great if you want to dig deeper into the history of a particular aspect of the area.

The Best of York on Foot

Contained within a ring of medieval stone walls, 2000 years of history are concentrated into a remarkably small area. This ninety-minute tour begins at Bootham Bar, the northern entrance, from which every period of the town’s development is visible, from Roman times to the present day.

You’ll then enter the tranquil, green oasis of the Museum Gardens – a Victorian botanic garden which contains an 18th Century observatory, the remains of a Roman fortress and the spectacular ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. From here it is a short walk to the Minster – the largest medieval gothic cathedral in the country – which has dominated the skyline for over 900 years.

The Minster lies at the heart of a warren of ancient streets whose layout is Viking in origin. You’ll hear tales of Viking invasion while delving deep into the maze of secret passages known as ‘Snickelways’; passing an unhappy mermaid and a little red devil as well as catching a glimpse of a 15th Century banqueting hall.

Finally you’ll emerge into the Shambles – once a row of butchers, now instantly recognisable to Harry Potter fans as the inspiration for Diagon Alley. In our opinion, this tour is one of the best things to do in York.

From £18 per person. Bookable online at www.getyourguide.co.uk/york

Comedy Horror Show – Ghost Bus Tour of York

Let the darker side of the town’s history send a chill down your spine as you discover its dark and terrible secrets. Board the Necrobus and get ready to embark on a 75-minute theatrical sightseeing tour. Enjoy a comedy horror journey around York’s seedier past as your creepy conductor shows you the sights from a classic 1960s Routemaster bus.

The on-board actors and eerily decorated bus will ensure you have the spookiest ride in town. Learn about the sinister side of many of the most famous landmarks including Clifford’s Tower, the Minster, and Dick Turpin’s grave.

Let your imagination run wild as you hear about the ghosts that reside within the medieval walls of one of England’s spookiest cities. From £16 per person. Bookable online at www.getyourguide.co.uk/york

City Hop-On Hop-Off York Bus

If you’re wondering what to do in York then the hop-on-hop-off bus tour may be a good option. Enabling you to see many of the attractions in a day, this is a great way to get around.

Founded by the Romans, York soon became England’s Second City, and has witnessed wars, peace agreements, and prosperity throughout its 2,000 years of existence. King George VI reflected on the city’s central role throughout the years when he said, “The history of York is the history of England”.

Visit the magnificent Minster, with its priceless display of stained glass; walk on medieval streets or on the 800-year-old Bar Walls; visit award-winning museums or enjoy excellent restaurants and shopping facilities. From £14.50 per person. Bookable online at www.getyourguide.co.uk/york

York’s Chocolate Story Guided Tour

Make your way to the Chocolate Story in the historic heart of the town. Meet the guide and spend 1 hour and 15 minutes on a comprehensive tour of the museum. Discover the secrets of making delicious chocolate as you explore the facility’s 3 floors filled with interactive exhibitions. See a chocolate-making demonstration in one of the area’s best attractions.

Learn about the town’s prosperous association with the sweet treat and learn about 300-year-old chocolate-making traditions as well. At the end of the guided tour, visit the museum’s café and the gift shop, bursting with artisan chocolate and other delicious creations.

From £13.50 per person. Bookable online at www.getyourguide.co.uk/york

North York Moors and Whitby Tour from York

See the best of Whitby and the North Yorkshire Moors on this fascinating and exciting full-day tour to one of Britain’s most scenic areas. See the charming market town of Pickering before heading off the beaten track into the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, where there will be plenty of chances throughout your day to capture memorable photos and time to enjoy the picturesque scenery.

You can also visit the scenic moorland village of Goathland and see the station turned into ‘Hogsmeade’ for ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. Discover the traditional seaside town of Whitby, enjoying a lunch of fish and chips and then taking a stroll along the harbor or visiting the dramatic ruins of Whitby Abbey, which was the inspiration for the novel ‘Dracula’.

Drive through more classic Yorkshire countryside as you make your way through Egton and Egton Bridge towards Glaisdale. This peaceful village is home to Beggers Bridge, a 17th-century bridge with a fascinating romantic story behind it. From £32 per person. Bookable online at www.getyourguide.co.uk/york

River Ouse City Cruise

A cruise along the river is a one of the best things to do in York and provides an entertaining and informative tour of as seen from the River Ouse. Enjoy the sights from a different perspective as a friendly and knowledgeable team guides you leisurely up and downstream. Boats depart from both the King’s Staith landing and the Lendal Bridge landing.

Admire the scenery from the comfort of the enclosed saloon or the upper deck and treat yourself to a refreshing drink from the bar. The duration of the cruise is either 45 minutes or 1 hour and is determined by the weather on the day and by demand. Your ticket will be valid for whatever duration is offered on the day of your visit.

Typically the 1-hour cruise follows a route that heads upstream to Clifton Bridge on the northern outskirts and then downstream as far as the Millennium Bridge on the southern outskirts, before returning back upstream to the original landing stage.

The 45-minute cruise operates in the same area without going quite as far in either direction, passing through the center. During the cruise, the captain will keep you entertained with live commentary about the sites you pass.

Learn about the town’s history of flooding and its prosperity as an inland port, as you sail along the river that brought the Romans and the Vikings to this site. You’ll sail on a vessel that features an enclosed and heated saloon, rest rooms and a fully stocked bar serving beers, wines, spirits, soft drinks, hot drinks and snacks.

From £10 per person. Bookable online at www.getyourguide.co.uk/york

A Harry Potter Themed Walk of York

If some of the things to do in York for you include playing quizzes and games then this could be for you. Experience some fantastic costumed re-enactments, and learn about the Harry Potter universe and history of York. Set off on your journey around town, enjoying Harry Potter trivia quizzes from your guide along the way to earn points for your house.

With an animated scoreboard, video clips of movie scenes, costume pieces, and reenactments, this is an interactive experience that allows you to live out your Harry Potter dreams. You also have the chance to use your spell knowledge to outwit members of other houses. Marvel at locations, such as the fictional Diagon Alley, invisible to the Muggle world, platform for the Hogwarts Express, soak in the views from the Roman walls!

Explore the fantastic Harry Potter shop! And so much more!

From £5 per person. Bookable online at www.getyourguide.co.uk/york

SLEEPING

An impressive living heritage has made it one of the top three UK cities for visitors for the last three years running, so there’s oodles of choice when it comes to choosing the perfect place to stay in town. Most of these picks can be found close to the medieval heart of town and this is definitely the best place to stay if you are interested in England’s history.

If you’re planning a visit and want to book one of the best places to stay, get organised and plan well ahead – it is a very popular and busy destination all year round. Hunt around online to find the best prices as there are always deals to be found on the big booking search engines.

Best Value

The Bar Convent Guesthouse is unusual, historic and a great value place to stay. It is a convent guesthouse, attached to a real convent which is one of England’s oldest, founded in 1686. You’re in the centre of town and there are all the necessary modern conveniences.

For a City Break

The Principal York, a classic Victorian station hotel, offers elegant yet contemporary accommodation in light hues. Enjoy afternoon tea in the Garden Room for a quintessentially English experience! A great base from which to get to know York. Recently refurbished to the most exquisite standard. Marvel in the central staircase and opt for a Junior Suite for a special occasion – with the York Minster view!

For Romance

For something more unique, try Middlethorpe Hall & Spa a National Trust property with 29 rooms. Originally built as a 17th Century manor house this hotel is majestic, elegant and memorable and has an award-winning restaurant overlooking beautiful gardens.

For Opulence

A well-named hotel in a historic, former railway-company HQ, the Grand York offers five-star levels of service, a spa and a choice of dining options. Bedrooms are vast, comfortable and designed for the modern traveller. The Bar oozes luxury and is the perfect spot for a pre-dinner cocktail…or two!

EATING OUT

If it’s a quick bite to eat you’re craving, look no further than Greek Street Food from Souvlaki. Voted number one on Trip Advisor, the Silver Street eatery offers fast Mediterranean food to tickle your taste-buds – the gyros are particularly worth a try.

If you want a sit-in experience that won’t break the bank, try Circles Cafe and Gin Bar. While it goes without saying that there is a wide array of gins on offer to wash down your food, the establishment in East Lodge also provides a nice, simple, and – most importantly – tasty snack menu. Why not pop in and enjoy their homemade delicacies and light bites, all whilst overlooking the city and the River Ouse?

However, for the fancy wine and dine experience, head to Arras Restaurant at the Old Coach House. The official website states that it bucks the trend and captures the imagination of the public with its tongue-in-cheek take on British banquets. Originally set up in Sydney, Australia, the company’s owners felt the need to return ‘home’ to the UK and the extravagant Arras Restaurant found a place in local punters’ hearts in 2007.

Other wonderful culinary delights include The Star in the City nestled next to the banks of the Ouse. A contemporary restaurant with a riverside terrace and an all-day menu of Modern British dishes. Alternatively Roots on Marygate is a stunning sharing-plate restaurant serving lunch and dinner that brings Tommy Banks’ Roots right into the heart of the town.

A recent addition to the restaurant scene is the Ivy located on St Helen’s Square right in the heart of the city. A beautifully decorated restaurant with bar area to match serving a wonderful menu of food and drink. The opulent soft furnishings are what stand this restaurant choice out from the crowd.

DRINKING

Lovers of a tipple are spoilt for choice in York. There’s pretty much a pub for every day of the year in the walled city. From quirky cocktail dens to watering holes in haunted basements, you’ll be sure to find the atmosphere you’re after here. To start off, Ye Olde Starre Inne offers as authentic a ‘real pub’ experience as you’re going to get. It’s one of the longest established drinking spots in the city and offers a unique experience.

If cocktails are more your bag, check out the Evil Eye Lounge situated in Stonegate. The quirky bar transforms from an East Asian restaurant and internet cafe in the day to one of the trendiest night-time haunts – one that has allegedly been frequented by stars such as Johnny Depp. Check out its QR code menus too, which are hidden in the walls!

ENTERTAINMENT

Live Music

Venues across the city showcase everything from national names to local talent. Listen or play! There are acoustic and open mic nights happening most days of the week including Ruby Tuesdays open mic night at Sotano and Vinnie’s Open Mic Nights. The biggest venue in the city, York Barbican, puts on mainstream and nationally acclaimed artists. Practice your jazz hands at The Phoenix Inn. They have live jazz jams on Wednesdays and Sundays which are usually free!

Nightlife: There are a huge number of pubs and bars in the compact city centre, including traditional pubs, cosy bars, indie nights and cheesy clubs. If you’re into real ale and craft beers you’ll be spoilt for choice in York at pubs such as the House of Trembling Madness, Brew York, Pivni and York Tap. For a cocktail or a mocktail Evil Eye, Sotano and Bar Lucia are all well-known spots.

Escape Rooms

Try your hand at escaping from a number of Escape Rooms within the city of York. A perfect pastime for couples, families and larger groups. There are a number of Escape Room offerings in the City of York including Can You Escape, Mindlock Escape Rooms and the Gr8 Escape. All bookable online.

Art, Cinema and Comedy

There are plenty of options to soak up some culture in York – a haven for art lovers, film buffs and theatre fanatics. The town has also recently become a UNESCO City of Media Arts. For film-lovers there are two city centre cinemas, an out of town multiplex and Aesthetica Film Festival, a BAFTA-recognised short film festival.

York City Art Gallery has a great collection showcasing modern art through to 16th century masters. The Arts Barge Project is the brainchild behind a quirky arts venue on a barge, which will be coming to York city centre. They also organise community arts events.

Festivals and Events

Being a major tourist destination, there are activities and festivals all year round. For one weekend a year, the Ice Trail transforms the centre into a sparkling ice sculpture. Celebrate York’s Viking heritage at the largest Viking festival in Europe.

York Pride is an event to recognise LGBTQ history, protest for ongoing equality and celebrate what has been achieved so far.

SHOPPING

Whether it’s designer clothes, quirky homewares, large shopping malls or tiny antiques treasures you’re looking for…York has it all to offer!

Shopping in York

Kathe Wolfahrt

Would you like it to be Christmas every day? Well, look no further than Käthe Wohlfahrt on Stonegate. Open all year round, there’s enough here to satisfy even the biggest Christmas junkie, with the world’s largest selection of Christmas ornaments, cuckoo clocks, snow globes and nativity scenes. Taking up two festive floors of the 15th-century Mulberry Hall, it’ll brighten your worst Grinch day!

Monk Bar Chocolatiers

When you picture a dream chocolate shop, it probably looks like Monk Bar Chocolatiers on the ancient Shambles. Pretty on the outside, with an equally soft centre, you’ll find row-upon-row of shiny, glazed chocolates in over 65 flavours. Everything is made by a family team who work with Belgian and French chocolate exclusively.

McArthur Glen Designer Outlet

A shopping centre for discounts on international designer and high street fashion brands and homeware based on the outskirts. Enjoy savings on over 104 designer brands all year round. Always up to 60% less. Fabulous fashion and delicious dining, just 15 mins from York. 125 Designer Brands. Luxury Designer Shopping. Up to 60% Less. Shop Your Heart Out. Open 7 Days Per Week.

TRAVELLING TO YORK

York is a well-connected city and is easy to get to from pretty much anywhere in the UK. If you’re coming by car then it is near the M1/M62 motorways. It’s a good four-hour journey by car from London if you’re in luck with the traffic and don’t get stuck in any traffic jams!

The nearest airports to York are at Manchester (MAN), Leeds Bradford (LBA), Humberside (HUY) and Doncaster Sheffield (DSA).

If you’re travelling from London the train is the quickest way, taking only 2 hours. Book your tickets in advance for the best prices. You can visit York as a day trip from London – it makes a wonderful day out!

GETTING AROUND

York is a compact city with lots of things to do within the magnificent Roman walls and also beyond them. This beautiful ancient location is best explored on foot, and it’s easy to get from one side of the city to the other in just 20 minutes. Alternatively, you may prefer other modes of transport, all of which are easily accessible: –

York Buses and Park & Ride

If you’re travelling into York by car, you could always use one of the six handily located Park & Rides sites surrounding the city for a stress-free journey. Simply leave your car safe and secure at one of the free parking spaces and hop on the Park and Ride bus into the centre.

York Taxis and Car Hire

York is serviced by numerous taxi companies most of which can be lighted from the York Train Station. You can also hire a car to enjoy the City and beyond at your own pace and in the comfort of your own privately hired vehicle. Rental companies in York include Budget, Avis and Hertz.

York Cycle Hire

If you fancy getting a little more active then cycling is one of the top things to do in York and a great way to get around! An activity which can be enjoyed with all the family, York is the perfect base for all kinds of biking adventures, from leisurely rides around the city to exciting rural routes over moorland and through forests.

There is plenty of choice for bike hire, including companies offering road bikes and mountain bikes to children’s bikes and specially adapted bikes.


As you can see, York really is a magical city, rich with culture. Where cobbled medieval streets and Georgian architecture tell the stories of its people and its history. Modern day meets old, where there are hidden gems and unique experiences around every corner. Only in York can you go on an adventure exploring the longest medieval walls in England, discover the oldest five sailed windmill in the country and a secret nuclear bunker. Where in the world can you enjoy a pint in a pub above a Roman Bath ruin or experience a ghostly encounter as you stroll along one of the many narrow streets and Snickelways?