Last week, Matt and I got away for what we called a mid-week weekend. York has been on the “to see in England” list for a while now. We booked a hotel a couple months ago, and we could hardly sleep Tuesday night in excitement! York is an absolutely stunning city. It is old, but the newer parts are built right into the old parts. A wall runs through the city centre, and some buildings are actually built into the walls. We packed a ton of activities into two days, and I’ve been looking forward to sharing this post.

Wednesday morning, we woke up early (ugh) to catch a train. Our first stop was the National Railway Museum. The museum has a great presentation of the evolution of trains over time. There’s an example of the first train ever made as well as the Japanese bullet train. We were lucky because we got to see The Flying Scotsman (pictured below) which is famous for breaking speed records. It has been on world tours and still runs every so often for additional touring. The best part for me was The Warehouse which is rows upon rows of various train-related things that aren’t on display but are still there for us to view. It includes things like signs, maps, models, and seats.

After that, we went on a mini train to reach our next destination which was the Yorkshire Museum. This wasn’t free, and it wasn’t worth what we paid. It lays out the history of York and how it was developed over time. This knowledge did come in handy when we went to the York Minster. Outside the museum were some beautiful ruins which I chose to include here.

We wandered around and dropped our stuff off in our room before we went to York Minster. This was the best part of the day. Both the interior and exterior of the building are clearly stunning.

Part of the experience of the Minster is climbing up to the top. There are 275 spiral steps that get thinner, and it certainly feels like more than 275! However, the views from the top are breathtaking. We took it easy on our legs before we called it a night and enjoyed some chip (fries) from Drake’s Fish and Chips as an appetizer. Needless to say, we slept well!

Thursday morning, we started off by walking down the city walls as far as we could. Like I said, the old walls currently surround the city centre, but they were once a fortress.

We went to Clifford’s Tower which is the only surviving tower from a castle built by William the Conqueror. You could also walk up along the edge of the tower. The views are also beautiful from the top, and you could see remnants of fireplaces and living spaces within the tower.

Across the street is the Castle Museum which was the best stop of the trip. They had different rooms from different time periods. They also had a Victorian street set up inside with all the little shops. They even had the lights dim and brighten to simulate the times of day. We went into an old fashioned sweet shop and the guy in there told us about the history of Terry’s sweets. We also walked outside to look at the millhouse and sit on a bench by the river. The Castle Museum was the best attraction by far.

Afterwards, we walked around the Shambles which is a famous street in York. At the end, the buildings are about a metre apart at the top. We went into a sweet shop and got some old fashioned hard boiled candy that is probably going to last us for months!

For the rest of the day, we decided to give our weary legs a rest and went on a boat tour. We got to see some nice riverside homes and learn about the history of York and how the river was utilized.

All in all, this is my favourite trip so far. We stayed at Best Western Monkbar Hotel (not sponsored) which was less than five minutes to the city walls. It was on the pricier side, but it’s definitely worth it for the location; we could see the city walls from our room and vice versa! This trip was unforgettable. We managed to pack so much into two days, and I definitely suggest you do the same if you’re in York – including the exhausting climb up the Minster!

Have you ever been to York? 


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