We were fortunate to visit York in April of 2004 on our way from London to Edinburgh.
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire. The city offers a wealth of historic attractions, of which York Minster is the most prominent, and a variety of cultural and sporting activities.
We spent there only three hours and had a very interesting excursion with a local guide – a very intelligent woman (our guide Anatoly knew almost nothing about York but his English was perfect because he lived for a long time in Australia. That's why he worked as an interpreter in York).
Besides the Minster I well remember the Roman Wall and Fortress, the picturesque street named the Shambles with the Shrine of St. Margaret Clitherow.
You can watch my 2 min 51 sec Video York part 1 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
I had just wanted to visit Barley Hall because it was an interesting historical attraction - but when I arrived there, I realised that (again!) I was incredibly lucky and was visiting somewhere just at the right moment to see something special, without having known about it!
There was an exhibition showing costumes from period dramas and historical films. It was called "From Hamlet to Hollywood", and because of the Royal Jubilee it had a special emphasis on costumes worn by Royal characters in films. There was for example a dress worn by Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth I in the film Elizabeth, one of Helen Mirren's costume from The Queen, and one of Colin Firth's suits from The King's Speech. There were also other costumes from films not involving royalty, especially from several Jane Austen adaptations - actually these were my favourites!
I am somewhat of a period drama nerd, so I loved this exhibition and spent ages here reading about every costume and looking at all the wonderful details.
Fondest memory: It was fantastic to see those costumes, on the one hand because it was so exciting that these were the very costumes worn in films that I loved, by actors I admired, and on the other hand because even without this added value, the costumes were just beautifully made and wonderful to look at. It was fascinating to see all the details and the fabrics that you don't really notice when watching films. I could not believe how lucky I was, because there were even several costumes worn by some of my favourite actors and actresses, such as Kate Winslet and Keira Knightley.
The exhibition will be there until April 2013.
My main picture shows Kate Winslet's and Alan Richman's costumes from Sense and Sensibility, and Colin Firth's costume from Pride and Prejudice. The second picture shows another costume of Colin Firth, this time from The King's Speech, along with one of Helena Bonham Carter.
I have created four different travelogue to show my favourite costumes from the exhibition:
Female Costumes I
Female Costumes II
Always leave something for the next visit! These are the things I didn't do in York so far and that I want to do when going back:
St Mary's Abbey - pay a proper visit when the constructions for the play are not there
Railway Museum - a huge museum about the history of trains etc. The picture was taken during a walk along the Ouse.
Mansion House - see if it is possible to visit the interior
Minster Library - dito!
Explore more of the Museum Gardens - there are still some features I haven't seen yet!
Medieval Churches Walk - another of the Explore York walks, taking in many interesting medieval churches
many, many day trips - there are so many other interesting destinations within easy reach from York, such as Castle Howard, Filey, Harrogate, Eden Camp, Skipton, Helmsley... I would also like to visit Pickering and Whitby on a day trip each to spend more time there.
The Tourist Information Centre is located right in the city, close to the minster and Bootham Bar. You get a lot of information there and if you have any questions, they give you a free map. The map is quite small, but I used it all the time because it covers all the important sights and streets. You can also buy souvenirs, I got some pretty postcards. Staff in the information centre were very friendly and helpful.
There are two computers that you can use for a charge of £1 for 30 minutes. As I did not have any wifi device with me and my accommodation did not have any computers, I was happy to find this opportunity to quickly check my mails and VT notices. It is not something I would like to do more often though, as the connection was not that good, and considering that, the price is quite expensive.
Opening times: from 09.00am daily except from 10.00am on Sundays
Adress: 1 Museum Street
Directions: Between the minster and Lendal Bridge/Museum Gardens entrance
Phone: 01904 550099
I loved York! We walked and walked everywhere. People are friendly, there is so much to see and do here and we have to go back :-)
I am only staying in England temporally, so will not probably get to go there again, but hope I do! It has lots of history, great architecture and talking points.
York is certainly a fascinating medieval city and there is more to do there than I had time to cover. You really need a couple of days at least there.
Apart from York Minster which was magnificent, I just loved the old houses and buildings and the narrow streets like Ladies Row which is York's oldest street. The houses are the oldest buildings in the city and also among the oldest in England. For almost 700 years, they have remained as if just built in their original condition.
Favorite thing: This was in November 2000 when we visited York...we had heard about the flooding on the news so we were lucky to still get in and out of town without a problem...we later heard that the road were cut off at some stage during the floods.
Favorite thing: ......the Evil Eye on Stonegate, near the Minster. You have to look for it .....it's on the left as you walk towards the Minster, rather tucked away. I like this place ... the people are friendly, connection is fairly cheap and you don't get hassled. Coffee's good too!
Fondest memory: I slept in the coach while on the way to York and i missed my stop! Arghhhh! Bloody driver didnt wake me up and didnt wanna turn back! Good thing he stopped us in some town called Easingwold where i met some really kewl folks who showed us the way to get back! :)
feel history beneath your feet. The city is skirted by its 2.5 mile medieval wall, interrupted by the impressive battlements of the four gates, on which the heads of traitors were once displayed. York streets are as confusing as what they mean. In York, gate means street and bar means gate. Too old is this city perhaps today's Yorkers still refuse to buy what's defined in Webster.
Anywayz, you might want to climb the city wall, starting at Bootham Bar and walk north-east along the wall to Monk Bar, where you will catch a good view of the spectacular York Minster. Get down here to explore this city's treasure, the largest medieval cathedral in Northern Europe. If you are adventurous enough, you might want to climb up the central tower to capture York's unsurpassed views. While its interior is extensively decorated with stained glass, its facade and the other fronts are exquisitely embossed with medieval carvings.
My trip to York was planned to coincide with the Viking Festival. To give you an idea what's it about, it was the Vikings who gave York its name (derived from Jorvik or Yorwik) and in this special festive week Yorkers dress like the Viking warriors as if taking on a Jorvik odyssey. One evening they will march to battle, and if you happen to show your squeamish self to them, you will most definitely be pounced on.
From the Minster, enter the many south gates to experience the liveliness inside. I hope you know what I'm talking about. Have you not remembered gates are synonym to streets in York? Alright we've got a common understanding now. Go along Petergate to reach the Shambles, a medieval butcher's street.
At Shambles's south end, make a right into High Ousegate then Castlegate to arrive at the Jorvik Viking Center. This place transport you back in time into a Viking settlement, where the sights, sounds and even the smells of village life are recreated. Castlegate joins Tower Street, along which the Clifford's Tower sits on its prominent mound. This was where the Jews of York were slaughtered many years ago, and where the faked Vikings fought their battle that night. Did I mention 'street'? Like I've said, the network of streets can be confusing. If you go a little south along Tower street, you'll see the York Castle Museum, which contains artfully reconstructed streets and shops of the past. The fascinating collections of crafts and costumes, furniture and machinery, toys and weapons are meant to recreate the atmosphere of everyday life in Britain during the past several hundred years.
Go west along Tower Street to cross the Skeldergate Bridge over untroubled waters of River Ouse. It was this waterway that enabled the city to become a busy port and trading center. Today I reckon its job is to flood the city. Ohyah, I have read about serious floods in York.
There are not many attractions on the west side. The other half of the walls which encircles the town starts not too far away from the bridge. I'd suggest taking a slow walk along Skeldergate which runs parallel to and beside the river. You'll see the path changes its name, from Skeldergate to North Street to Wellington Row, then to Leeman Road. How more confusing can this get?
The National Railway Museum is located along Leeman Road. It chronicles the rich railway heritage and displays automobile engines and carriages from the 19th century to the present day.
Perhaps the best way to experience York is to join one of the many grisly ghost walks conducted in town. But tread cautiously along the passageways deep below the York's gates, otherwise you may never be seen again.
That's almost about York. Although its walls are nothing compared to the Great Wall, they certainly are less strenuous to climb.
From York, I went to Scarborough to seek parsley sage, rosemary and thyme. There are plenty to discover in this town, which is surrounded by dramatically beautiful coastline. The main attraction is the Scarborough Castle. Built in the 12th century it houses many figures of Kings and Queens, and provides spectacular walks with sweeping views over the sea. Unfortunately or fortunately I had only an afternoon in this town. Since I could have fallen into nostalgia of reminiscing she once was a true love of mine.
Fondest memory: This is just a thank you to my boyfriend, Gary, for surprising me with such a great holiday. I will always have great memories of the holiday and I am so happy we spent the week together. I look forward to many more holidays like this (hopefully!!).
Favorite thing: Here is a photo of my friend Monica - she has a small obsession with the red phone boxes. This one had a very picturesque back drop, I'll have to admit! I think we did actually phone home from there as well!
Fondest memory: I had a great time recently in York with my VT friends Pete_r and Cheekymarieh. We saw just about all there is to see, had lunch in Betty's (an experience not to be missed), sampled several pubs and had some mouldy sandwiches for Dinner. Lovely. Here we all are by the river.
wander the streets...
This is St. Helens Square. There are some good shops & restaurants around here, including Betty's and The Lendal Cellars.
Fondest memory: We went on holiday together for the first time after we were married and rented a flat in York for a week. It was an second floor flat and very nice. ONLY the man from the first floor flat had died the day before we arrived and he was Irish and catholic. His family held a 'wake' for him every night of the week we were there. the whisky flowed and they chatted and drank all night!! So perhaps FOND is not the good word here.