We are really excited to tell you about all the things to see and do. I think my very favourite is the Minster – but Kevin’s is the Railway Museum. There are lots of things for everyone to do and see!
We’ve made a few suggestions – mainly because they are our favourites or recommended by our Guests. Our best advice is – explore and have fun. And be sure to tell us your discoveries in our Visitor Book.
About York and Ogleforth
York has always been a cultural and cosmopolitan centre that combines heritage with modern events, festivals and evening entertainment. Rich in history, ambience and fun, York is the perfect holiday destination for couples, families and groups. Renowned for its exquisite architecture, tangle of quaint cobbled streets, iconic York Minster and wealth of visitor attractions, York is a flourishing city.
Ogleforth is one of York’s most unspoilt streets. History breathes from every house. Many of the properties on Ogleforth belong to York Minster and are used as lodgings for staff. Some date from the 17th century, including the Old Brewery, which is a Grade II listed building.
Vikings in York!
The world famous JORVIK Viking Centre is a ‘must-see’ for visitors to the city of York and is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK.
With JORVIK Viking Centre being re-imagined following the flooding in December 2015 a series of special exhibitions have been created to continue to showcase the lasting impact of the Vikings in York at three iconic venues in the city.
The JORVIK Viking Centre will Reopen 8th April 2017
A visit to York would be incomplete without a visit to York Minster. York’s Minster is renowned all around the world and is the largest medieval gothic cathedral in northern Europe. This is religious architecture on the very grandest scales: over 500 feet in length, 100 feet wide and with a central tower 200 feet high. The cathedral took over 250 years to complete and is the most visited cathedral in Britain. The Minster contains some of the country’s oldest and finest stained glass, has the city’s best views from the Tower and is rich in historical artefacts, dating back to the Roman age.
Thirteen historic interiors reveal four hundred years of period dseign, recreated by a remarkable Yorkshire collector, Frank Green. Visit York’s famous Roman Ghost cellar or go up into the attics where the servants lived – both tours take you to quite extraordinary places and reveal an unexpected history. The Tea Room & Art Sales are free entry.
At 3.4 kilometres long, the beautifully preserved walls are the longest medieval town walls in England. About 2.5 million people walk along all or part of the City walls each year, enjoying some amazing views. The completion of the entire circuit will take approximately 2 hours. There are five main bars or gateways, one Victorian gateway, one postern (a small gateway) and 45 towers. The walls weigh approximately 100,000 metric tonnes. York Tourism has launched 4 self-guided walking trails for York – the City Walls Trail, Medieval Churches Trail, New Walk, York’s Georgian Riverside Trail and Time Team, an archaeological tour.
The City is honeycombed by a maze of hidden alleyways, all with colourful stories. The Snickelways enable you to travel back in time through some of York’s most picturesque backwaters. Mark Jones coined the word “Snickelway” in 1983 to describe all the picturesque alleys in his book, which is beautifully illustrated with fine line drawings. The word is made up of three existing words:
Snicket – passage between walls or fences; Ginnel – passage through building;
Alleyway – narrow street or lane. (You will find a copy of Mark’s book in the Apartment, please take a look and maybe try out one or two. There are copies of some of the shorter walks to take with you)
ApparentlyYork has more ghosts than any other European city and lots of gory stories to go with them. Every night of the week there are guided walks around the city in search of the supernatural and the unexplained. One of the many York pubs said to be haunted – and one of the oldest – is the Black Swan in Peasholme Green. Various ghost tours start at 7.30pm/8.00pm, no need to book in advance. The nearest Ghost Tour meets every night at the West Door of the Minster or in The Shambles – both @ 7:30pm.
Even though it’s very famous you should visit Bettys. Founded in 1919, Bettys mouth watering cakes, refreshing teas and friendly smiles have made it world famous. Bettys in St Helen’s Square is open from 9am to 9pm, making it perfect for everything from brunch to a three course meal. There’s also ‘Little Betty’s’ on Stonegate.
The Jorvik Viking Centre is a dynamic vision of York in the 10th century. This attraction should not be missed when visiting York as the visitor travels back in time to experience the sounds, smells and images of the city of Jorvik in AD975. State-of-the-art flying capsules fly the visitor over and through the city. Visitors even travel through the houses and bedrooms of the people of Jorvik.
Dig opened in March 2006, offering a unique and exciting archaeological experience. St Saviours Church (formerly the Archaeological Resource Centre), has been transformed into a simulated archaeological investigation including site huts, a science laboratory and research library. Visitors can try their hand at excavating parts of a Roman fortress, Viking City, Medieval burial site and Victorian workers cottages. Your can discover real artefacts that have been discovered by archaeologists from York Archaeological Trust in York over the last twenty-five years.
The Cold War Bunker opened in 15 May 2006 offering visitors the chance to take a guided tour of a semi-submerged secret bunker on the outskirts of York. At the height of the Cold War, Britain had a total of 1,561 nuclear shelters, designed to withstand severe bombardment. The shelter is one of the best surviving examples of its type in the UK and the first to be designated a Scheduled Monument. Complete with the original fixtures and fittings, visitors can experience an atmosphere, which is as authentic as that found in films such as the Ipress File or the serial Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy.
The National Railway Museum is home to a wide range of railway icons and millions of artefacts, from Mallard – the world’s fastest steam engine – to the only Shinkansen Bullet train to be displayed outside Japan, to a lock of Robert Stephenson’s hair, to the Flying Scotsman. The Museum’s archives include 1.4 million photographs, 15,000 books and 7,000 historic posters. Whether you’re interested in the social history of the railways, the design of the Eurostar, the Japanese bullet train or Thomas the Tank Engine, you will find it here. Entrance to the museum is free for everyone
York Castle Museum is famous for its collections of costumes, military and social history, with over 100,000 items to show. The collection of this museum was the brainchild of John Kirk, a country doctor and antiquarian, who between 1890 and 1920 rescued a variety of everyday items he realised were part of a vanishing way of life. In 1935, his collection was donated to the City of York. Everything you see is real; no item is replicated or fabricated. Many exhibits are displayed in a reconstructed Victorian ‘street’ where you can wander in and out of workshops, where saddlers, weavers and candle-makers plied their trade. The museum also contains a series of period rooms that reveal domestic interiors from various times, Jacobean, Georgian and Victorian.
York owes its existence to rivers Ouse and Foss. The island they created made York an ideal defensive site and the River Ouse has remained an important trading highway. The rivers are no longer for defence and trade has dwindled away, but much pleasure can still be had. Guided River Trips lasting approximately one hour sail regularly throughout the day, from 10.30am, from city centre landings at King’s Staith and Lendal Bridge. Boats have open sun-decks and comfortable lounges with panoramic windows to ensure views of the riverside landmarks. The captain tells stories of York past and present. There is a bar on board for tea – or something a little stronger. Tickets are available on boarding the boat at King’s Staith or Lendal Bridge landing.
A scary adventure through York’s darker past – certainly not for the faint hearted. Man’s inhumanity to his fellow men over the last 2,000 years is illustrated in a succession of grisly tableaux. The visitor is taken on a spine-tingling tour around plague ravaged streets of 14th century York, meets the ghostly roman legionnaires who march silently through the wall of a cellar and follows Dick Turpin on his way to the gallows.
Occupying one side of Exhibition Square is the city’s premier gallery, housing more than 600 paintings – from lustrous Italian altarpieces to the northern millscapes of Lowry. There are also a number of works by York born William Etty, whose statue stands outside. The museum runs temporary programmes next to its permanent exhibition. York Art Gallery underwent a £360,000 refurbishment project in 2005. Entrance is free to everyone.
This entertaining tour not only covers the development of the city through its 2000 years of existence, it also enables the visitor to understand the York of the 21st century. Lasting approximately two hours, you can experience the incredible variety of history, heritage, culture, shopping, eating & drinking and entertainment that York has to offer. It enables the visitor to carefully plan the rest of their stay in the city and thereby enhance their experience. Tours leave St Helens Square at 11am and 2pm every Friday and Saturday (February 6th to December 19th). No need to book in advance.
The Shambles is one of the best-preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe. Although none of the original shop-fronts have survived from medieval times, some properties still have exterior wooden shelves, reminders of when cuts of meat were served from the open windows. The street was made narrow by design to keep the meat out of direct sunlight. But you can readily imagine the Shambles thronged with people and awash with offal and discarded bones. The outbreaks of the plague that periodically erupted in the city may be blamed on such unsanitary practices. It is easy to picture the noisy, chaotic jumble the street once was. Today the beautiful old buildings have been restored and now house cheerful cafes and quirky boutiques.
In the city centre itself you will find shops with character, with everything from high street stores to unusual boutiques, cafes and restaurants and a plethora of antiques shops. Take a walk around Stonegate, The Quarter & The Shambles.
The market offers something for everyone, every day, with a diverse selection of stalls across the week, with potters, artists, designers, artisan breads, and a vast array of other crafts filling the stalls. The market also offers a fantastic selection of fresh meat and fish, fruit, vegetables, cheese and preserves for your every day shopping needs. Not forgetting the day-to-day lines, handbags, mobile phones, pet foods, hats, gloves, and scarves and army surplus.
This Indian offers a contemporary designed interior and an excellent menu with a wide variety of Indian and Bangladeshi dishes
Le Cochon Aveugle is a small, intimate French restaurant on Walmgate, York serving a weekly changing 6 course tasting menu for £30.
The dishes are all based on classic French bistro dishes in concept, but prepared using modern or forgotten techniques.
A family run Italian Deli restaurant nestled between York Minster and Monk Bar. Their passion for good food is reflected in the gourmet menu
Set in a 17th century listed building in the centre of York, the Ale House on the ground floor offers a range of Yorkshire Ales, and Bar Snacks. Upsatirs the Bistro serves homemade dishes using Yorkshire produce.
A traditional Real Ale House with high quality live music and serving stone baked pizza.
The Whippet Inn Steak & Ale House uses the best Yorkshire food produce paired with real ales, lagers, spirits and wines from around Great Britain.
Winner of Best Restaurant in the Visit York Tourism Awards 2014.
This vegetarian Cafe, Deli and Restaurant serves high quality dishes working without microwaves and aluminium pans. Most of the food is freshly made on the premises from only natural ingredients without additives, colourings or flavourings.
An authentic Italian Gelato shop with ice cream made daily on the premises. Also serves coffee, crepes, cakes and sandwiches
Ice Cream Parlour with quality handmade ice cream, sorbet and frozen yoghurt.
International Ale House serving craft beer and snacks in a 16th Century
timber framed building. Part of the award winning Sheffield Tap and
York Tap pubs. Awarded National Beer Range Pub of the Year in 2010 and in the 2014 CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Friendly and welcoming ale house serving Yorkshire Ales & pub snacks
Serving cask ales, many from York Brewery, and delicious sausages alongside standard pub fayre with warm hospitality
The Snickleway Inn is a 15th century galleried inn with a walled beer garden situated in one of the oldest parts of York. It is reputedly the most haunted pub in Great Britain. Serves cask ales, lagers and bitters with food served Monday – Saturday 12 noon – 3pm
Bistro café and deli with beautiful patisserie & artisan bakery. Serves high quality coffee and English loose-leaf teas with their freshy prepared cakes & patisserie.
Chloes is a family run tea room specialising in high quality teas and coffee, home baked cakes and afternoon teas. They use locally sourced ingrediaents wherever possible.
Fabulous artisan coffee, Chinese tea and homemade cakes served in a cosy cafe with reclaimed 1600s furniture.
Hand made chcololates and exquisite Hot Chocolate. Monk Bar Chocolatiers are renowned for the superb quality of their luxury handmade chocolate. With over 60 varieties, they make their chocolates using the finest quality, fresh ingredients and in small batches.
An informal and friendly environment to enjoy authentic, freshly prepared Korean dishes including Bibimbap, Kimbap and Sundubu Jigae.
Offering a varied menu featuring local ingredients, simply cooked with care and respect.
Home cooked food and good ales can be found in this historic pub. York Pub of the Year 2011
Homely Eastern European food is served in this small café & restaurant within York City Walls. The café serves Illy coffee and homemade pastries and cakes.
Located in the heart of of York, Khao San Road is an inviting and friendly Thai Bistro serving authentic Thai cuisine.
Established in 2010 Mumbai offers quality Indian & Bangladeshi Cuisine.
Founded in 1997, EL PIANO serves award winning organic vegetarian and gluten free spanish food The food is served tapas-style.
One of York’s most talked about restaurants, serving award winning food in a relaxed dining atmosphere. Highly commended for fresh fish dishes, home made desserts and fine wines.
Ambiente offers contemporary gourmet tapas.They also stock a range of over 50 sherries & wines by the glass. Our Guests say “Fab fab fab”…!
Rustique specialises in rustic French cooking in a busy, vibrant upbeat Bistro atmosphere, offering a large and varied selection of meat and fish dishes cooked traditionally, using local products. A second new Rustique in York is now open, located on Lendal in the former York Antique Centre
Castle Howard is a spectacular eighteenth-century palace, which has been home to the Howard family for 300 years. The construction of this magnificent palace took more than 100 years and spanned the lifetime of three Earls and numerous architects and craftsmen. As the house was built and decorated, the grounds were filled with lakes, temples, monuments and a grand mausoleum. Indoors, furniture, paintings, sculptures and a host of other treasures were assembled by successive generations after their tours of the Continent. Castle Howard is today still home to the Howard family
This fascinating museum is authentically based on a World War Two Bomber Command Station. The unique displays include the original Control Tower, Air Gunners’ Collection, Barnes Wallis’ ‘bouncing bomb’ and a superb Airborne Forces Display. The expanding collection of historical aircraft depicts aviation from its earliest days through to the World War Two. Items on display also include uniforms, logbooks, photographs and many other rare artefacts from WWI & WWII.
If you want to pick up a designer bargain then pay a visit to the York Designer Outlet. The outlet, which is known as the “designer destination of the north” – has a wealth of quality labels and top names, all under the one roof. It has 120 stores including Gap Outlet, Marks & Spencer Outlet, Coast, Karen Millen, Armani Collections, Paul Smith, Reebok, Calvin Klein Jeans, Burberry, and The Professional Cookware Company. With wide selection of food outlets and cafes, an award winning safety- approved children’s play area and over 2,700 free car parking spaces and various activities and events taking place, the outlet is a perfect location for a family day out.
York has over 30 museums, galleries and tours to choose from, contact Visit York for further details. The Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors national parks are right on York’s doorstep, making the city an excellent touring base for Yorkshire. For the out of town fact sheet visit www.visityork.org/media
There are numerous attractions surrounding the city of York for the visitor to explore, including Beningbrough Hall & Gardens, Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Estate, Harewood House (near Leeds), North Yorkshire Moors Railway (Pickering), The Royal Armouries (Leeds), and the World of James Herriot (Thirsk).
For further information and a free guide to York, please contact: York Visitor Information Centre, Tel: 01904 550099, by email or visit the VisitYork website
York Calendar 2017
Find information about the York Races, the Jorvik Viking Festival, the biggest Food & Drink Festival in the UK and loads more! York has such a vibrant and varied calendar of festivals and events there’s always something special going on for you to enjoy.
Need to know more about any of these events? Call Visit York’s Information Centre: 01904 550099 or go to visityork.org/events
20-26: JORVIK Viking Festival jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk
25-26, 28-30 & 1-2 April: Royal Scot North Yorkshire Moors Railway nymr.co.uk
8: JORVIK Viking Centre, reopening jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk
8-24: Easter Adventure, Stockeld Park stockeldpark.co.uk
9: Thunder Day, Yorkshire Air Museum yorkshireairmuseum.org
14-17: York Easter Festival, Locations across the city
14-17: Castle Howard Easter Farm castlehoward.co.uk
15-17: York Model Railway Show, York Racecourse yorkshow.org.uk
21-23 & 29-30: York Open Studios, Local artists in an informal setting yorkopenstudios.co.uk
22-23: Festival of Vintage, York Racecourse festivalofvintage.co.uk
20-21: Behind the Scenes Family Weekend, North Yorkshire Moors Railway nymr.co.uk
27 May – 4 June: Spring Adventure, Stockeld Park stockeld park. co.uk
4: Thunder Day, Yorkshire Air Museum yorkshireairmuseum.org
6-18: Festival of Ideas, Venues across the city yorkfestivalofideas.com
10-11: York Food and Drink, Festival Locations across the city yorkfoodfestival.com
29 June -July: Castle Howard in Bloom castlehoward.co.uk
9 July: Proms, York Museum Gardens yorkproms.com
15 July – 4 Sept: York Maze, Amazing fun for all the family Elvington yorkmaze.co.uk
22 – 30 July: Selby Arts Festival
22-23: 60s Fest, North Yorkshire Moors Railway nymr.co.uk
28: Soapbox Challenge, Micklegate micklegaterun.co.uk
30: ‘Golden Era’ Vintage Motorcycle Run, Yorkshire Air Museum yorkshireairmuseum.org
11-13: York in the Blitz, Locations across the city
16-17: York Book Fair, York Racecourse yorkbookfair.com
22 Sept – 1 Oct: York Food & Drink, Festival Locations across the city yorkfoodfestival.com
29-30 Sept & 1 Oct: Annual Steam Gala, North Yorkshire Moors Railway nymr.co.uk
12: Remembrance Sunday, Yorkshire Air Museum yorkshireairmuseum.org.uk
16 Nov- 22 Dec: York Christmas Festival, Locations across the city visityork.org/christmas
18-23: Christmas at Castle Howard castlehoward.co.uk
28 Nov -10 Dec: Betway UK Snooker Championship, York Barbican yorkbarbican.co.uk
7: York St John University’s Annual Christmas Carol Service, York Minster yorksj.ac.uk
8-15: Early Music Christmas Festival, National Centre for Early Music ncem.co.uk/yemf
9-10: Ice Trail Ice sculptures across the city visityork.org/christmas
17-19 & 27 May
1 July (Music with Oily Murs)
14-15 & 28 (Music with Jess Glynne)-
23-26 August Ebor Festival
01904 620911 yorkracecourse.co.uk