York: a city guide

York is one of the most beautiful cities in England and I had the best time when I visited, so here’s my guide to visiting York.

I visited York with my boyfriend in October 2019 and had the most perfect time. The city was even prettier than I thought it was. Here is my guide to how to spend your time in the beautiful city of York. I cannot obviously include everything to do in York as there is so much to do, but these are my recommendations!

Where to stay…

During our visit to York we found the most idyllic hotel located just outside of central York in the village of Escrick, home to The Parsonage Hotel. This hotel is set in the most beautiful grounds and countryside. Even though this hotel isn’t in central York it is pretty easy to get into York by bus or taxi.

On the hotel grounds there is Cloisters Spa and Health Club which we took full advantage of. There is a steam room, an aromatherapy salt room and a sauna! and my god did we take advantage of these! They are so good for de-stressing and detoxing your body. I found it so reasonable that they are included in the room rate!

Each morning we enjoyed the English and Continental selections at Breakfast and even though the breakfast was served as a buffet style, it was very high quality and I would recommend staying for breakfast! (The breakfast room’s aesthetic was beautiful too !)

Where to eat & drink…

We visited The Fat Abbot on our first night in York. It’s based in the grounds of the Parsonage and is the cutest gastropub and perfect for a cosy date night or spending the night catching up with friends. No word of a lie I had the best pie I have ever had at The Fat Abbot, if it is still available I would highly recommend the Chicken and Stuffing pie.

Another food recommendation is a must see, especially in York! The York Roast Co offer a Yorkshire classic of the Yorkshire Pudding Wrap, I thought this would be a love or hate thing but I loved it! I would highly recommend trying one. I would recommend a Turkey wrap with all the trimmings!

The Duke of York was a pub we passed every time we would be browsing around The Shambles and eventually we decided to visit after a rather disastrous meal elsewhere and the Duke of York delivered on the food front for sure. We both got a Yorkshire Dales steak burger and we were both in agreement that it was one of the best burgers we’d ever had!

We spent one of our evenings at The Golden Fleece, allegedly York’s most haunted pub ( We didn’t see any ghosts) but I’m sure people have! We had one of the best nights of our trip here with the live musician creating a good atmosphere around the place.

I booked the bar Evil Eye as a special date night gesture during our trip and it was amazing, the cocktails were so good and the live band did not disappoint! Evil Eye is perfect for a date night or for spending time catching up with friends. I recommend the ‘Curd your enthusiasm’ cocktail or the ‘Tom Collins’.

Where to go? How to get around?

York has so many great things to see and do, I obviously cannot fit them into one feature but we visited some beautiful spots around York. As every main landmark in York is in walking distance, this is the best way to get around the city especially to see all the little nooks and crannies.

The York Minster was a place we visited many times during our trip and it is one that is definitely not too be missed and hosts the perfect backdrop for a photograph. We quickly took a look inside and that was equally as beautiful. You cannot visit York without visiting the beautiful minster!

The Shambles was somewhere I always wanted to visit as I am a self confessed shopaholic. The Shambles was the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter books. If you visit York and you don’t visit The Shambles you haven’t experienced York at it’s best.

Some of my favourite shops in The Shambles include Paperesque a stationery store selling vintage style notebooks. Also, the Harry Potter inspired stores are great if you are a fan of the series. These include The Shop that must not be named and the Potions Cauldron.

The Jorvik Centre was an experience that I will never forget and something that would be perfect for families. You get transported through the viking era and how they lived in the city during this time. The mannequins and dioramas are so life like making it a truly great experience.

The York Castle Museum was a quick decision we made and I am glad we did. I absolutely loved it and would recommend it to everyone. You get transported through what life would be like during the Victorian times as you walk through the Victorian street filled with shops, pharmacies, school room and even a police cell.

Special mentions…

The Three Cranes pub, this small pub in the city centre, about a 3 minute walk away from the Shambles was lovely and cosy and perfect for a drink on a wintery evening. A specially named place too for us!

The Fudge Kitchen, a place we spent the majority of our money kitty in. The place we bought all our gifts for our parents and the place we ate our body weight in fudge and neither of us have any regrets. I recommend the lemon drizzle fudge and the Belgian chocolate and sea salt fudge. (Try not to eat it all at once!)

I would highly recommend a visit to York for so many reasons. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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