On Good Friday (yes, it’s taken me this long!) my good friend Hannah and I got up at the crack of dawn to take a trip to York. We spent a rather quick 6.5 hours in the city, so here’s a glance at what you can do with limited time in York!
York is one of the most historically interesting places in the country, especially when you consider it is a former Viking settlement!
Essentially, I got up earlier than I manage for anything that isn’t travel and began the mile-long trek up the ridiculously steep hill to the train station. Me being me, I arrived ridiculously early and so I explored the train station a little while I waited for Hannah to be dropped off (she isn’t daft enough to walk up that hill!).
We got on the train and swapped at Manchester Victoria; our total travel time was just under 3 hours!
When we arrived at York we just generally walked around. In contrast to my trips to Edinburgh or Birmingham, the goal wasn’t to visit a specific museum or attraction, simply to visit the city with a museum as a bonus (because they cost a small fortune in York and I’d rather not spend too much money).
York is beautiful. I’d highly recommend you take the time to walk, in full, the city walls and then make sure you visit the Shambles, for no other reason than they are beautiful. Normally I like to write a lot on these kinds of trips, but instead, I’ll let you just see it all for yourself.
For lunch, we dined at El Piano and I have to say this was the best burger and shake I have ever eaten (and I make good shakes)! I still think about that meal sometimes… I 100% recommend it to anyone who is visiting. Even Hannah (who is not [yet] vegan or even vegetarian) was delighted with her meal, commenting in particular just how filling it was. As a mushroom despiser, she left them but the waiters missed the hint and she ended up being too polite to decline the ‘doggy bag’ box of mushrooms and then proceeded to carry them around York with her for a few hours. I’m sure she will love me for sharing her social awkwardness with all my readers.
NOTE: El Piano is both vegan and gluten free! It’s a real crowd pleaser!
After lunch, we continued walking around the city walls before joining an incredibly long queue for the Jorvik centre. It is possible to pre-book a ticket online for Jorvik to dodge the queues, but we approached the trip with a very que cera attitude and if we missed it, we missed it. The queues were particularly long because:
- It was a public holiday
- The museum had only reopened that week
If you’re heading there in term-time, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
I had a lot of memories from visiting as a child, and I can honestly say it was like going somewhere else! When I was younger, I remember walking through, but they changed it now so you go on a ride through the museum with audio that you select yourself.
TIP: Set your audio to have subtitles (closed captions) too. I use subtitles when watching TV and even sometimes YouTube because I struggle to separate background noise from the “main event”, but there are 6 people in each car and if your experience is like mine, you will have to listen to a good number of different languages/ versions as you go around and that can require more concentration that it’s worth!
After the ride bit which shows you what the streets of York would have been like a long, long time ago there is a little museum where you can see historic artefacts that have been salvaged on archaeology digs on the site. There are members of staff that can do demos about jewellery here too, and it’s worth noting that there are actual human skeletons on display. It’s not gross, it’s actually really educational in looking at how diet and where you live/ your ancestry can impact your health and longevity.
Leaving here, there is a shop with loads of different knick knacks on offer.
After Jorvik, we decided to just walk back over to the train station in search of a pint, and decided to go to the pub that’s in the station.
On the whole, it was a great day and we didn’t pay too much for anything, with it being so long ago I can’t remember the exact details so I’ll do my best!
- Train from Hindley to York £24.50 (with Young Person’s Railcard)
- Lunch at El Piano £13.90:
- Baby Burger with Mathematical Chips £9.95
- Chocolate Shake made with rice mylk £3.95
- Entry to Jorvik £10.25
Obviously, I bought other things like drinks while I was there, but I can’t remember the nitty gritty!
York is quite an expensive city to visit. If you want to do and see everything, then expect to pay for the pleasure. It’s definitely worth budgeting in the region of £70 all in per day as a minimum, whereas you can spend a day in Manchester, Birmingham or Edinburgh for far, far less. To avoid being caught out: plan, plan, plan.
That brings me up to date on my trips and gives me time to start getting ahead on my information about my upcoming Disneyland Paris trip!