The City of York is located in the North-East of England, within easy reach of traditional English coastal areas famous for fishing, surrounded by areas of natural beauty and boasts history dating from the Viking ages to our current Queen Elizabeth. Given the 2-hour distance from London by rail, or 45-minute road journey from Manchester, itineraries ranging from 3-7 nights both allow time for impressive sightseeing.
There are a variety of hotels in York to suit all budgets, but The Grand Hotel and Spa was the original headquarters of the North Eastern Railway Company in 1897, and is reflected in the spacious architecture. High ceilings, wide corridors and light/airy rooms with excellent amenities. Being right in the centre of town, most sights are within easy walking distance
With its medieval streets and alleyways, a walking tour with a qualified guide will help establish your bearings and narrate the extensive history of York. Your walk will take you past Jorvik,(now known as York!) an attraction which showcases Viking excavations, the houses and backyards in medieval villages with the sounds and smells from over 1,000 years ago. Onwards to York Minster , which is one of the world’s largest and most magnificent cathedrals with its masterpiece in stained glass windows and stonemasonry rooted in 2,000 years of history. You’ll witness well-preserved Georgian architecture, gardens and the River Ouse-where you find an array of restaurants and bars. Finish the first sightseeing day with a relaxing afternoon tea aboard City Cruises York, with freshly, prepared scones and one hour of resting weary feet and enjoying the tranquil scenery. By the time you return to the hotel, you will be ready for a house cocktail in the hotels’ Terrace Bar.
Castle Howard is a splendid, majestic, stately home of Baroque architecture set within 1,000 acres of manicured lawns and gardens. This was the film location for Brideshead Revisited and more recently The Crown. Explore the endless works of art, with lavish rooms packed with antiques. Private tours or a peek behind-the-scenes are options for groups, which give a true insight to this manor which still acts as a family residence today. The gardens and views are far-reaching, rose and vegetable gardens serve the current household, with temples and monuments to investigate. If the nearby Yorkshire Lavender Fields are in bloom (subject to time of year), then a stop will take in the aromas of English lavender, with a visit to the enterprising shop selling local produce from the crops.
A day at leisure will allow you time to revisits those nooks and crannies that have hooked your interest; The Shambles are a collection of cobbled streets with artisan boutique shops, the largest railway museum in the world showcases the importance of the railways and interesting exhibits, York Castle Museum presents 400 years of fashion, food and life in York or the story of Noel Terry-York’s famous chocolate magnate, told in the York Chocolate Factory.
For itinerary extensions and attractions outside the City, options include English Heritage Abbey’s, Royal Horticultural Society Gardens, visits to local gin distilleries and breweries, or exploring the rich, maritime coastal heritage of nearby Whitby-known for some of the best fish and chips in the England!