We went rock climbing for the day whilst on our holiday to York. We wanted to get out of the city and see the Yorkshire countryside while doing something exciting. I couldn't recommend it more! We had a great day out and were very impressed with the company that took us. They are a small local company that offers a very personal service and were very good at tailoring the day to suit us. We had never climbed outdoors before and were quite nervous about the whole thing but we felt we had a brilliant introduction and were made to feel very safe. It is a trully exhillarating sport and is definitely worth a try. The company is called Lost Earth Adventures and their website can be found at http://www.lostearthadventures.co.uk/
York has recently been designated a cycle city and has recently had its already great cycle network improved further. There are so many traffic free paths through the city and out into the North Yorkshire countryside and the Vale of York, it is an easier and quicker way of getting round than bus or car in the congested city centre!
Many places to park on Parliament Street and the Station, but dont forget your lock!!!
York is one of England's premier flat racing courses. It has a long history which the website will tell you about. Suffice to tell you that racing on this course dates back to 1730, and the city has records of horse racing taking place in Roman times.
I was there in July 09 for its 2nd biggest event - the John Smith's Cup. Historic in itself, as it was the 50th running of the race under the sponsorship of the John Smith's brewery. In fact, they sponsored the whole racecard.
It was a beautiful day, and that brought out a huge crowd. The downside was having to queue up to place bets, plus you could not get near the bars without a fight (I had a 4 hour drive home after the event, so it was water and not alcohol I needed).
Having been horse racing in France the previous weekend, some of the contrasts were stark:-
- A huge crowd in York for a big race with £150k prize money. A modest crowd in France for a main race worth a less modest €400k.
- Food and drink outlets everywhere in York (if you were prepared to push your way in) - 1 formal restaurant and 1 tiny cafe/bar at Chantilly.
- Cool and civilised people at Chantilly - many drunk and incapable at York.
- €4 admission at Chantilly; £32 at York (admittedly for the best enclosure, but at Chantilly you can go anywhere for your €4; parking free at York, but €2.50 at Chantilly)
I'm glad I went, but I'd pick a less popular meeting the next time.
Equipment: Sun screen if it's sunny.
Umbrella if it's not.
Cash for bets.
Inspiration to choose the winners.
Patience to queue up (or fight for) your beer/food.
(Check the dress code for the enclosure you'll be in).
Bootham Crescent is the home of York City Football Club. This is a traditional ground with standing on the terraces remaining in place. Of course you don't pay Premier League prices to watch a game and there isn't the 30,000 crowd (more like 3,000). In May 2004 the club was relegated from the football league down to the Conference.
Equipment: Take some warm clothing in winter time and something to cover your head in case it rains during the match. Not all areas of the ground have a roof over the supporters heads (especially if you are in the visiting team end!)
Prices range from £12 - £15 for adults.
Horseracing is big in Yorkshire with training stables centred around both Middleham and Malton and several racecourses. York is one of the biggest and has been voted "UK Racecourse of the Year" 2001 amongst other appreciations. You instantly notice when there is a race on as the way to the city centre through Tadcaster Road is clogged with traffic and Blossom Street pubs are full of ladies wearing hats and in various stages of intoxication. Not quite like Epsom up here :-) Nevertheless it is fun and Knavesmire which is normally a huge green stray where people play football and cows graze, becomes full of people and horses.