Two companies offering Ghost tours have an almost identical script and both state that they have the original one. It is the “Ghost Hunt” and the “Ghost Trail”. They are both excellent and have enjoyed both tours, but I would have preferred to have two different tours on two consecutive evenings. The jokes don’t have the same effect, if you heard them on the evening before… If you like good British humour and some good actors, go to ONE of this walks. But there is no need to go to both.
Betty's is an institution in York (and Harrogate), but few locals actually come here unless they are students whose family come to visit and treat them, or elegant shoppers from the nearby countryside. Bettys is not your average tea room but has dressed up service staff and a piano player so as you can imagine it costs more than average to have your cuppa here. If you are not elegantly dressed, you may end up along one of the less attractive tables away from the huge windows and well...it's just not my cup of tea :))) Having said that, Bettys also has a fantastic bakery so if you want to spend less money and still try it out, just pop in for a Yorkshire Fat rascal which is quite filling.
Unique Suggestions: Go for the whole shabang and treat yourself to everything on the trolley. It's also nice to do some window shopping for instance over Easter when they have glorious chocolate eggs displays and things.
Fun Alternatives: Shambles Tea Rooms are the best in the city centre I think.
I found York to be a very expensive tourist destination. City centre car parks charge £1.50 per hour although the park & ride will be cheaper if less convenient. Many of the attractions have very hefty admission charges (castle museum £7.50, York museum £5, Jorvik museum £8.50 basic entry rising to £13.50 for full entry, York Minster £5.50 basic entry rising to £9.50 for tower & crypt) these are prices as in January 2009 and for 1 adult only so be prepared to spend! There is a 1, 2 and 3 day pass available at £28, £36 and £42 respectively that gets you into all attractions but again this is just for 1 adult. Also a 1 day pass is pretty useless if you want to enjoy all the attractions as you will struggle to do them all.
Unique Suggestions: On the plus side the city art gallery and the National Railway Museum are free and of course there is no charge to walk the city walls, riverside and parks and gardens.
Fun Alternatives: There ain't no alternative. If you want to see York you have to pay.
This is a really popular attraction, and probably rightly so if you are a kid. But for me it wasn't up to scratch. The lines are usually very long, and it costs £8 to get in. And you get little out of it.
You go on a "ride" around York when it was a Viking Settlement, and wooden, papier mache animatronics comically move about. The whole thing takes about 30 mins.
I dont recommend it.
It is a shame though because the Vikings were so interesting and I would have liked to know more
Unique Suggestions: Book online beforehand so you don't waste time in the line.
The whole of Stonegate is a tourist trap but I still love it! On this old medieval street you will find the old city hospital turned into pub (Ye Olde Starre Inn) as well as the lovely Punchbowl pub where I love sitting by the open fire in the snug in winter. But then there are loads of shops full of Beefeaters, tartan stuff, London taxis and things with no association whatsoever to York! On top of that, you will find a teddy bear shop, a (wonderful) cat shop, lots of buskers, a Psychic Museum and lots more in similar style.
York Pullman coach tours. These leave from Bootham Bar (gate) and charge loads of money for a tour around the Moors or to Castle Howard.
Fun Alternatives: Better take a day trip with Eddie Brown Tours. They have an office opposite Clifford's Tower where you can pick up a leaflet and book a trip. Much, much cheaper trips to all over northern England but especially the Dales. You don't get a coach full of tourists either but instead local pensioners without their own cars who want to get out and about and who can tell you loads of interesting stories about the places you stop at which are funnier than any tour guide can be. See their daytrips at http://www.eddiebrowntours.co.uk/
Shopping here is only of interest for post cards; pens, cheap tourist tat.
Far better shops near-bye.
And other streets more photogenic.
Unique Suggestions: Go to the market only feet away...>>>>>>this way...>>>>>
Fun Alternatives: Shop at the market>>>>>>>>>>>
Lots of shopping down other streets near the Shambles.
Now it might be unfair, being from Sweden with lots of Viking museums etc, but this was, dunno.. just sad.
You enter, and it's extremely expensive, and are subjected to a pointless movie which only show a "time travel" (two models in various kinds of clothes against different times-backgrounds), then you enter the "real thing", a built up replica of a village of the Viking time, and it's really well done. The problem. You're in a ride that moves you past it in a minute flat, which enables you to see more or less nothing, before you're dumped at about 5 display windows (sort of ok, but basic) and then, of course, you're in the "oh, so expensive kitsch"-shop. The museum is ok, but paying something like £8 for something that's basically a 5 minute pointless ride..
Unique Suggestions: The most fun you can have, is to switch the language for the others in the ride.. amusing for about 10 seconds..
Fun Alternatives: Go to Denmark, Norway or Sweden :-p
Actually, in some weird way, York Dungeon, despite being just a commercial phoney, was far more informative than Jorvik
Do you like all the circa 19th centaury faux Britannia stuff? Do you really fancy queuing for ages to get into some ‘historic’ tearooms? Do you really fancy paying over the odds? Do you like being pressured to herd out to get the next load of suckers through? Are you over retirement age?
Fun Alternatives: If the answer to all of these questions is 'no' then I suggest you walk over to the other side of the square to ‘Harkers’. It’s a great bar that does good quality food and coffee during the day in a younger, funkier atmosphere than the overpriced ‘death’s waiting room’ of Betty’s.
Not worth it nothing to see. Far better to climb 285 steps up York Minster for a great view.
Yorvik is not worth the money 15 mins and it's over. £7.20
Better Castle Musuem ??£6 ?? Takes around two hours and more fun.
Unique Suggestions: Talk to the people there it helps you and them.
Fun Alternatives: The Top of York Minster.
Beware of the small print on the eat as much as you want offers. You will find that they are not valid on weekends and bank holidays.
If you are choosing from the ordinary menu prices are similar to branches all over the country but I have found that service tends to be a little slower.
Unique Suggestions: Visit the salad bar and fill your bowl with as much as possible!
Fun Alternatives: There are many good restaurants within the city. Or if you are after fast food visit the chip shop.
York Dungeon - It's not scary at all, but it does show the macabre side of York - which is different. The tales about the lost Roman legion, Dick Turpin, and the plague were somewhat entertaining - but probably not worth the admission price. Visitors take a self-guided tour through most of the York Dungeon. At certain points, employees dresses up in Halloween costumes give presentations about different parts of oh-so-scary York. One of the guides had some fun singling me out when she found out that I was from Texas.
More Info: http://www.yorkshirenet.co.uk/yorkdungeon/
Whip-ma-whop-ma-gate is the shortest street in York and tourists always look for it because of this distinction. Well, it didn't even look like a street to me, it looked like a low wall at the end of another street.
Unique Suggestions: If you must, go and take your pic like I did, but if you miss it, don't worry ;-)
Boat Tours on the River Ouse - there are quite a few big 'show boats' plying up and down the river, but give them a miss. There's not a lot to see on the Ouse, to be honest, although the bigger boats have licenced bars on them which is a bonus. Tours last about forty minutes, and you'll be none the wiser on disembarking. A better bet is to rent your own Red Boat for an hour and cruise where you want to go. Better still buy a bottle of wine or two and hire one for the day. You'll find Red Boats by finding the Kings Arms pub and following the river away from the town centre. They're about a two minute walk along the quay.
The York Dungeon...My uncle and I went here as he is an old horror addict and we were very disappointed...Imagine if you will an elementary school haunted house with a decent budget...I definitely don't think it was worth the money. We were dissappointed to learn the apparently, the London Dungeon is much better.