York – The perfect day trip from London
Whether you’re looking for a trip up North, or simply a day out from London, York is the perfect destination. With a wealth of history, culture and endless shopping possibilities, this city should be high on everyone’s list.
Take the train from London’s King’s Cross Station (Harry Potter fans for sure know what I’m talking about), and a short journey of about two hours will take you all the way up to this beautiful medieval town in North Yorkshire.
It was my first time visiting this region in England when I made my way up there for work, earlier this month. Coming out of the station and making my way up to the city centre, I noticed the impressive Gothic structure in the heart of town straight away. York Minster is one of the first things you’ll see when you enter town. It’s one of the most famous cathedrals in the world, and can be visited daily.
I saved my visit for the end of the day, meaning it was a brief one. I had a train to catch! However, the short time I spend inside this prominent construction I was filled with awe. It came to a real surprise to me how large the building was and how many different areas there are to explore. My camera didn’t stop making clicking noises.
The real reason I was in York was to experience the Afternoon Tea Cruise operated by my colleagues up there. The River Ouse runs through York and further out, which was the route the cruise took. With good company, a nice Afternoon Tea and interesting commentary by the captain, it was a very enjoyable experience.
It’s all about the detail
If I noticed one thing in York, is that it’s all about the detail around there. Just look up (or down) for some interesting ornaments, beautifully decorated shopfronts and signs.
The famous shopping street York Shambles is a good example of such detail. Some of the historic half-timbered houses date back to the fourteenth century, and are skewed. This gives the street its distinctive and iconic character. Adding to that the properly themed shopfronts and signs, and the picture is complete.
Jorvik Viking Centre
If you really want to experience all that York has to offer, you can better book a few weeks’ stay, as the endless options of restaurants, bars, museums and attractions are too many to mention.
We decided to visit the Jorvik Viking Centre, which is a fun and interactive ‘ride’ through the archaeological discoveries that were done between 1976-1981. It tells the story of the Viking-Age city of Jorvik as it stood almost 1,000 years ago. It’s really hard to explain in words what the experience is like, so I’ve added a little video.
I had a few minutes to spare in which I was able to walk inside the beautiful Museum Gardens. These botanical gardens are right next to the riverside, and house an array of plant species and wildlife. The weather really didn’t do the place justice in my pictures I’m afraid. You’ll have to take my word for it that it’s stunning!
In the gardens, you can also find the remains of St Mary’s Abbey, which was first built in 1088, as well as the Yorkshire Museum, York Observatory and St Leonard’s Hospital.
We also found that York is doing extremely well on the shopping front. From the high street brands to luxurious boutiques, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Including some lovely markets!
It may be clear that York is a vibrant city with (to my opinion) a very classical English feel to it. I’ll definitely return one day to do some more exploring.