18 Must See Attractions York England! – Ultimate Tourist Guide!

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18 Must See Attractions in York England! - Ultimate Tourist Guide!

18 Must See Attractions York England - Ultimate Tourist Guide provides additional information to our Quick Tour Guide - What To See and Do In York England!

York, England is the best place on the planet if you’re a true tourist at heart or if you have a deep love for history! There is a wealth of heritage, stemming as far back as Roman times when York originated as Eboracum in 71 AD. Even so, archaeologist have found evidence that suggest settlers in the York region actually dates as far back as 8000 BC to 7000 BC. Then there’s the Vikings era, which lasted from 866 AD to 1066 AD. During that time York was called Jórvík. The architecture of the medieval era dates back to the start of 1066 and can still be seen today!

You’ll definitely never run out of things to do while vising York! It truly is a remarkable destination to put on your bucket list. Wherever your interest takes you, one thing is for sure, you just cannot escape the beauty this quaint little city has to offer!

To get you started on your way, we’ve put together the top 18 must see attractions in York!  This is the ultimate tourist guide for your travels!  

1. Museum Gardens

museum gardens tourist guide

Museum Gardens is an absolute stunning sight to see!  This beautiful 10 acre botanical garden is surrounded by what is left of the medieval ruins of St. Mary's Abby.  Tours are offered on Sundays from 1pm to 2pm.  Yorks Museum Gardens are open everyday from 7:30am to 8:00pm and Free to the public!

2.  York City Bar Walls

At 3.4 Kilometers, York Bar Walls are the longest medieval walls in England! Originally the walls were built in Roman Times around 71 AD and have since been altered Much of the Bar Walls remain today.  There are four main bars and 2 minor bars, meaning gates into the center of York!  The hours vary and there is no specific set time to access the bar walls walking paths.  however keep in mind they do close in evening hours to keep pedestrians safe!

bar walls tourist guide

3. York Minster

York Minster 1 tourist guide

Known as the York Minster, The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York was originally built in 627 AD.  The original Church was constructed of wood.  The Stone restructure was completed by 637 and named after Saint Peter.  York Minster has been rebuilt several times over.  It's seen many fires and wars and each repair has brought more magnificent beauty!

4. York Castle Museum

castle museum tourist guide

York Castle Museum was founded in 1938.  The museum is housed in 18th century prison buildings that were constructed from the stone from the ruins of the castle.  The museum takes you through period rooms in the Victorian era, the old prison and world war I.  It's quite fascinating to see how well the history has been captured and preserved for it's visitors to take a walk back in time.  

5.  National Railway Museum

rail museum tourist guide

The National Railway Museum is the largest railway museum in England.  It houses over 100 Historically significant locomotives and other artifacts pertaining the the railway history.  Notably, the museum has Hogwarts Express (taken right out of Harry Potter), The Mallard, the Flying Scotsman and the Royal Train Saloons from Queen Victoria!  I'ts quite a site to see.  Make a day of it and stop by the platform for refreshments!

6.  York Shambles

york shambles tourist guide

With it's cobbled streets and kittywampus architecture Shambles is one the most well preserved streets in history.  This medieval street is well known for it's long history of being occupied by butchers, H.  It's difficult to find how far the Shambles dates back, but we do know it's been in existence well over 900 years.  The first mention of Shambles can be found in the Doomsday book by William the Conqueror in 1086.

7.  York Races

york races tourist guide

While the York Racecourse first meeting was recorded in 1731, there is a long history of horse racing dating back over 2,000 years to Roman times.  Sports of the Kings!  York Racecourse is one of the most premier courses in the world.  It's an absolutely fantastic day out.  Get yourself suited and booted.  Fancy dresses and hats are a must!  Don't forget to stop by the Champagne Bar!

8.  York Art Gallery

york art gallery tourist gallery

Exhibitions at the York Art Gallery consist of a collection of painting from the 14th century to contemporary art.  The entire collection consist of thousands of paintings, water colours, studio pottery, drawings, prints and decorative arts!

9.  York Theatre Royal

york theatre royal tourist guide

Beneath the Stage of these theatre lies an ancient Roman well and still seen in the architecture is the remains of a 12th century hospital. The theatre was founded in 173 and then built at the site it remains in today in 1744.  The theatre is one of England's leading producing theatres and entertains over 200,000 guest a year! 

10.  York Dungeon

york dungeon tourist guide

Walking through York Dungeons can be compared to walking through a medieval haunted house.  The tour is a 75 minute long walk through over 2,000 years of York's horrific history.  There are theatrical actors, special effects, stages and scenes that will keep you on your toes!

11.  Bettys Café Tea Rooms

bettys cafe tourist guide

 Bettys Café Tea Rooms is world renowned for it's exquisite cakes and of course Tea!  It was founded by Swiss baker Fredrick Belmont in 1919.  There are currently 6 Bettys Café Tea Rooms in North Yorkshire with the original Bettys in Harrogate.  York is the most visited and as result there are currently 2 Bettys.

12.  Shambles Market

shambles market tourist guide

It's Market day every day at Shambles Market!  You can find just about everything under the sun here.  Fresh produce, goods, arts, crafts, flowers you name it and there is probably a stall that has it!  Shambles Market offers over 85 all year round!

13.  Ghost Walks

ghost walks tourist guide

​With all it's medievel history York has more ghost stories and haunted locations than anywhere in the world.  If those walls could talk.  The Original Ghost Walk offers you a night of history and mystery as your guided through the streets of york with chilling stories!  No reservation needed just show up at 8:00 pm at Nightly from The King's Arms Pub - Ouse Bridge (The Famous Pub that Floods)

14.  Clifford Tower

clifford tower tourist guide

Clifford's Tower is the largest remaining tower from York Castle.  It's located South of River Foss on a mound looking over York City. Some of the best views of York can be seen from Clifford's Tower! Over 900 years of history lies in tower.  

15.  Pub Crawls

pub crawls tourist guide

​The questions is, Where isn't there a pub in York?  There is some debate over exactly how many pubs are in York!  York is said to have over 365 pubs and disco's within the city walls.  There is never a shortage of night life when vising York!

16.  River Cruises

river cruise tourist guide

​Don't miss out on the spectacular views from the river boat cruises down the River Ouse!  River Cruises are 45 minutes to an hour.  Grab a drink at the bar, kick your feet up and enjoy the beautiful architecture and history that surrounds York!

17. Jórvík Viking Centre

jorvik tourist guide

The Jórvík Viking Centre is not just any museum.  Experience the history of what York was like back when Vikings ruled the lands!  The Viking Centre is build on the very site that archaeologist located the Vikings workshops, houses and back yards bringing you a truly unique experience!

18.  Yorks' Chocolate Story

Chocolate story tourist guide

Who could resist a little chocolate while learning about the history of York's Sweet past!  York is the home of chocolate and one of the biggest chocolate producers in the world!  Stop by the Yorks' Chocolate Story and see how Chocolate shaped the area.

There is so much to see and learn about the history of York!  However, If you love to get out of the city hit the country side for some beautiful picturesque sites and quaint places to visit!  Illkley Moor (Bartat) is at the top of the list for beauty and rich history.  

Ilkley Stepping Stones

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    • Tay
    • October 7, 2016

    Thank our for the list!

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 7, 2016

      Thank you Tay! Almost finished, accidentally hit publish before article was finished.

  1. Pingback: Journey through history and adventure: Leeds CastleSalt & Sandals

  2. Reply

    WHAT? No Guy Fawkes attractions. York, England is a very fun and historic place. So much to do for everyone!
    Charles McCool recently posted…8 Great Things to Do in AmarilloMy Profile

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 16, 2016

      I know, November the 5th will be here soon. Bonfire night, He was born across the street from the Minster! I didn’t even think to mention him! There is so much history here and have been loving learning about the area this past year!

  3. Reply

    The Chocolate story….love it.worth a visit

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016

      Thank you Wangui!

  4. Reply

    Great guide, I have done quite a few on the list but there are still some places I have to visit. It’s only about a 45 drive for me, yet it’s not a place I go often unless it’s for a night out!!! Really need to try and get there for a day next summer 🙂

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016

      Hopefully a nice sunny day! 🙂 I moved here not long ago from America and have learned to take advantage of the sun 🙂 But it doesn’t rain in the pubs for a perfect night out!

  5. Reply

    The National Railroad and Chocolate museums look the most interesting to me. York is one of the larger cities in Pennsylvania (where I’m from), so I would love to see the original!
    Brian recently posted…Urban Adventures: Locals on Tap City Meet-Up Tour GiveawayMy Profile

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016

      Thank you Brian, Pennsylvania is very beautiful. I have actually been to Hershey Pennsylvania, and of course loved the chocolate!

    • Bee
    • October 19, 2016

    I would spend a lot of time at the market, Clifford Tower, and River Cruise. Such an informative article. Thank You

  6. Reply

    Still on my bucket list of amazing places to visit. This is such an informative guide, definitely a must-read for a tourist!

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 19, 2016

      Thank you! I love York!

  7. Reply

    Awesome! I would definitely love to visit York Shambles. It seems to have a great historic feeling to it. My question is, how much would I be spending around for this kind of visit to these awesome places? This is a great article. Great information!
    Thank you for sharing

  8. Reply

    I’ve been to England a few times, but I’ve never had the chance to make it to York! This list has been such an inspiration for my next trip. York Shambles looks incredible and I MUST check out one of those tea rooms!

    Lauren @ http://www.televisionofnomads.com

  9. Reply

    Oh my…. York England is beautiful. I would love to visit them all. Lovely photos and the places all look really stunning. This is definitely in my bucketlist

  10. Reply

    Eboracum, Jorvik, and then York! Who knew? The dungeons and pub crawl and walking through the town to see all the nice architecture are the things that resonated with me most!

  11. Reply

    York sounds delightful. I would definitely be up for a pub crawl. Oh and chocolate! I love chocolate 😀

  12. Reply

    I have never really been attracted to England, but if I do decided to come through I am going to use this list. I would like to have some high tea, chocolate and beer after ghost hunting and exploring dungeons. It looks like York covers its bases.

  13. Reply

    My friend is moving to York next year so this post is perfectly timed! She has told me how pretty it is but I had no idea there was so much to do there. I love the Shambles area. It looks so well kept and old style.

  14. Reply

    Looks like I have to go and visit York! And with such a guide, it’s gonna be awesome!

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 22, 2016

      Thank you Sascha!

  15. Reply

    I super love the richness of this list! Never been to York but will definitely bookmark this! Thanks for putting this together!

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 23, 2016

      Thank you Trisha!

  16. Wow you guys have been travelling a lot and you both are inspiring. York England, i have just heard about this place and all the tips that you have provided and the guide would be really a help. Everything is very interesting, I would love to tour around the York Dungeon as well, I find it special. Please feed us more of your travels.

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 23, 2016

      We will work on that soon 🙂 Thank you so much!

  17. Reply

    This is a good list. I want to go to everything. How many days will it take to cover it?

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 23, 2016

      Hi Karla, It really depends on how long you want to hang around each one, But to really take in the experience I would think 3 days you could get to all the places!

  18. Reply

    I’ve done the ghost walk in York! Such a great city. I also had several visits to a place called Cafe Concerto which had the best bread pudding I’ve ever tried!

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • October 23, 2016

      hahah, I just had bread pudding there last week with mom in law 🙂 Thanks Vanessa

  19. Reply

    York is one of my favorite English towns. The Cathedral is so beautiful! I also loved Betsy’s tea house the best place for a snack or English tea!

  20. Reply

    I have never been to York though I loooove Englands cute towns and the coast. Time to change it then (yes, I am a true tourist 🙂

  21. Reply

    I really want to see the Clifford Tower. I didn’t realize there was so much one could do in York. I have a list for my next visit.

  22. Reply

    York seems interesting! and what a great list, looks like I won’t be running out of things to do if I make that visit, putting it on the list now, thanks!

  23. Reply

    Totally agree with you, England is full of heritage and a great place to learn about history! I love York, especially the York Art Gallery is a must for art lovers. Ree Love30

  24. Reply

    York looks like my kind of place! I’d love to stroll the Shambles. Beautiful photos and great post, thanks for sharing 🙂 Happy travels!

  25. Reply

    I guess there are still a lot of beautiful attractions in that l place since I’ve heard that York England is a really beautiful place and it’s Instagram-able hihi. Great list huh, thanks for sharing!

    • Kris
    • October 31, 2016

    The York Minster totally looked awesome! I’m a fan of sweets so I would also love to try the York chocolate story. 🙂

    • Joe
    • November 2, 2016

    York is definitely a great place, and one of the highlights of the UK. I’d quite forgotten just how many things there we to do here! For me, the best thing about York are it’s friendly locals, it’s famous Yorkshire Pudding and its locally brewed real ale, the ‘Guzzler’ 😀

  26. It’s been a few years since I was in York but I loved it! It’s such a beautiful, historical place. I really loved the atmosphere as well. And I clearly have to go back since I have missed quite a few things on your list!

    • Mimi
    • November 6, 2016

    Great list! Always keen to go visit that part of the world! When is the best time to visit?

  27. Reply

    What a great guide! I never visited York but I see it has so much things to do. Really would like to do the Ghost Walks, since is such a different tour. And, because I’m a huge chocolate fan, a trip to the Yorks’ Chocolate Story would be a must!

  28. Reply

    I visited York last winter when I still lived in Leeds. It was so beautiful, I remember the Shambles well! Gonna go back next year and visit everything on this list!

  29. Reply

    Nice presentation with picture and write up.
    The ghost walks sound so exciting, but I don’t have the courage to do it. 😛 🙂
    I am keen to do the canal tour, a city always looks different from a river when compared to the view from roads.

  30. Reply

    York seems amazing! I would love to visit someday. There seems to be so much to do and see.

  31. Reply

    Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive list. I am definitely going to refer back when planning a trip to York England.

    • hannah
    • January 1, 2017

    I’ve never been to York. Looks like there are a great number of places to visit

  32. Reply

    I’d love to visit York its great that there seems to be quite a bit to see and do.

  33. Reply

    I’ve been in York twice and loved it so much and been to most of the places on this list! It really makes me want to go back again!

    • kay
    • January 1, 2017

    I haven’t been to York in years! Would love to take the kiddies one day. xxx

  34. Reply

    I hope to visit York as soon as I am able to drive long distances, so many awesome attractions to see.
    Anosa recently posted…January 2017 Monthly Goals My Profile

  35. Reply

    Great selection of paces to visit, the tea room and chocolate story would be top choices for me. I’d love to try the cake and chocolate. 😉

  36. Reply

    What a great list of places to go to! I’m especially intrigued by the river cruises as they are probably one of my favourite things to do if possible when away. I will definitely be saving this post for when I visit York England!

  37. Reply

    I absolutely LOVE going to York, the shambles is my fave place to walk around xxx

  38. Reply

    I’ve been lucky enough to visit York quite a few times and love to have tea at Betty’s x
    stephanie recently posted…A dreamy duo to keep your lips hydrated in winterMy Profile

    • Kira
    • January 2, 2017

    I love york! I’ve been to the minster and railway museum but I haven’t had the chance to go to many other places (museums wise)! Really hope I can get to the Jorvik this year!
    Kira recently posted…New Year Resolutions 2017My Profile

  39. I have never been to York. I would love to one day.

  40. Reply

    I have been wanting to go to York for many years now, and still have not go as far as it! I plan to travel there this year for definite so will be trying out some of your recommendations; especially Bettys! Thank you xx

  41. Reply

    The ghost walk, dungeon and shambles seem like my kind of thing. I have never been to Yorkshire though xx

  42. Reply

    I would LOVE to go see the York Castle Museum. I really love the victorian era so that appeals to me 🙂
    Tamsin recently posted…Let’s Talk About EndometriosisMy Profile

    • Jennifer durrans
    • January 3, 2017

    York is my second home I love it and it’s so magical and special!

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