Cycle Tour Yorkshire
Travel report: York to Lancaster via Pateley Bridge, Hawes, Malham
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Added on 05 Oct 2017,
on 05 Oct 2017
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by gaetanb on 05 Oct 2017
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York, England, GB (15 m NHN)
Lancaster, England, GB (18 m NHN)
Scenic route through the Yorkshire Dales following in parts the "Way of the Roses" cycle route but with extra hilly bits :)
Travel to and from ...
York and Lancaster accessible by high speed trains (Virgin)
Travel from Garsdale to Settle on the Settle - Carlisle railway line, very scenic!
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York - Pateley Bridge
Pateley Bridge - Hawes
Hawes - Garsdale
Malham - Lancaster
Beds4Cyclists, worth visiting and infrastructure
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GB-YO24 1DR York
Hotel without restaurant (garni)
GB-YO23 1LF York
10 covered bike lockers available.
GB-YO1 8RS York
The ancient cathedral city of York has a history dating back over 2000 years. Romans, Saxons, Vikings, and Britons from all eras have each left their mark. It is home to some of Europe's best preserved historical buildings and structures, including York Minster and dozens of other churches, the Shambles medieval shopping street, countless handsome townhouses, and the city's walls and gatehouses. Other popular attractions on the bucket lists of York's 7 million annual visitors include the Jorvik Viking Centre and Britain's National Railway Museum.
York is in North Yorkshire, England, and is the unofficial capital of the entire region of Yorkshire. The city is a perfect base for exploring "God's own county", having some of the finest hotels around, and all the comforts and amenities of a large city, while retaining the atmosphere and scale of a small town. York's shops, markets, pubs, and restaurants all delight in offering Yorkshire-made produce, so you will find it difficult not to overindulge.
Although only the sixth largest city in Yorkshire and having no official status, York is regarded as the county's capital, and is also positioned just east of its geographic centre. For 1800 years, it was the largest and most important city in northern England, though today has a rather modest population just shy of 200,000 people. Despite its size, York packs in more history and culture than many much larger places, and is a fascinating and beautiful destination any time of year.
York city centre is a compact and dense warren of mostly pedestrianised streets lined with centuries-old buildings in a mix of architectural styles, from timber frame medieval structures, to much grander stone and brick edifices from later periods. The centre straddles both banks of two rivers - the Ouse (pronounced ooze) and the Foss - which merge just south of the castle. At the city's heart stands the imposing York Minster, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world, and the mother church for northern England's Anglican community. The Archbishop of York (John Sentamu, as of 2019) holds the third highest office in the Church of England, after the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Queen. York's old town is completely encircled by a series of defensive medieval walls. At just over 2 miles (3.2 km) long, 13 feet (4 m) high, and 6 feet (1.8 m) thick, they are the UK's most extensive and best-preserved city walls.
Most visitor attractions are within or just outside these walls, so you will seldom find yourself venturing into York's outer neighbourhoods. However, if you do, you will find them pleasant and residential, mostly containing red brick houses from the 19th and 20th centuries. There is a modern university campus around Heslington in the south-eastern suburbs, a large racecourse called the Knavesmire in the south-west, and extensive parks along the Ouse's journey through the northern and southern suburbs. This urban sprawl is bounded by a modern day city wall of sorts: the ring road separates York from its rural surroundings, the well-endowed farmlands and villages of the Vale of York.
York has played a crucial role in many eras of English history, and the city's own story closely mirrors that of the country as a whole.
Evidence of human settlement in York dates back to 8000 BC, but the city wasn't founded until 71 AD by the Romans, who named it Eboracum, as a Latinisation of the Celtic Eburākon, meaning "yew tree place". Initially little more than a military outpost at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss, Eboracum quickly became one of the most important cities in Roman Britain, and from 211 was the capital of the Britannia Inferior province; Emperors Hadrian, Septimius Severus and Constantius I all visited during their military campaigns against the native Britons and Picts. The latter of the three actually died during his stay, and his son, the future Constantine the Great, was first proclaimed Emperor in the city by his generals. Constantine later converted to Christianity, and legalised freedom of religion throughout the Empire. Eboracum was prosperous and particularly attracted merchants and retired veterans of the Emperors' wars. Why said retirees apparently chose the damp and chilly Yorkshire climate over the Empire's many Mediterranean provinces remains one of history's great mysteries.
After Rome, the 5th century brought the arrival of the Angles - the first Englishmen. This period saw the expansion of the city's trading prowess, the founding of York Minster as a small wooden church, and a spell of political prominence under the Kings of Northumbria. By 735, the Minster was already important enough to be the seat of an archbishop. But Eoforwic ("place rich in boar"), as it was now known, proved too much of a success and quickly caught the attention of avaricious Norsemen: Vikings had been harrying and raiding the north of England since the 700s, but why sail for days just to snatch a pig and a bracelet and rush back to sea, when they could harvest this rich farmland for their own? So, in 866, a huge army of Danes captured Eoforwic and, realising that name was a hopeless mouthful, rechristened their new city Jórvík (pronounced "Yor-vik"). From here, they controlled pretty much all of northern and eastern England, in a region known as the Danelaw. Jórvík was pretty perfect as a Viking capital, since its inland location offered defence and shelter, while the Ouse provided their longboats easy access to the sea via the Humber. Even though Viking power waxed and waned over the centuries, large numbers of Scandinavian people settled permanently in the region, meaning Jórvík was a bilingual (Old English and Old Norse) city at the time of the Norman Conquest.
By 1066, the Vikings had once again been ousted by the Saxons, but nursed ambitions to return. Harold Godwinson was crowned King of England, but faced a combined invasion by his exiled brother Tostig and the Norse king Harald Hardrada. The invaders won a battle at Fulford just outside York, but King Harold marched north and defeated them at Stamford Bridge 15 miles east. Yet, while his back was turned, William the Conqueror's Normans invaded from across the English Channel. Harold marched south again, this time to crippling defeat at Hastings. England came under Norman rule, and the Anglo-Saxon/Norse society that the country had developed, and York exemplified, was dismantled swiftly and brutally.
The Harrying of the North was a violent campaign of oppression against rebellious northerners in the years after the Conquest. From his castle in York, King William ordered the mass murder of civilians, demolition of numerous villages and burning of crops across the north of England, and York was also heavily damaged. As in the rest of the country, Normans became the new aristocracy, with the English and remaining Norse people reduced to serfdom. From this point on, the Normans consolidated their rule with the construction of castles, monasteries and great cathedrals. York Minster's Gothic design first took shape in the 12th century, while the present city walls, their gates (known as bars), and Clifford's Tower also cemented the Normans' impact on York's cityscape.
The late Medieval period produced much important architectural and cultural heritage, which are still evident today. The centuries-long construction of the Minster finally wrapped in 1472, while the higgledy-piggledy timber-frame shops of the Shambles mostly date from the 14th and 15th centuries. York's Mystery Plays, performing weird and wonderful Bible stories, were begun in the same era and continue to the present day. Then, in 1455, England was consumed by civil war: rival royals from York and Lancaster fought a brutal series of campaigns for control of the crown. Yorkist armies marched under the banner of a white rose, while their enemy Lancastrians followed the red rose, hence the name of this conflict, the Wars of the Roses. The last Yorkist king, Richard III, was finally defeated in combat at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, 30 years after the wars began. The Lancastrians' leader, Henry VII, became the first monarch of the Tudor dynasty, and both York in general and King Richard in particular were subsequently demonised.
The city's economy and status went into a long decline which wouldn't be recovered until after England's second Civil War, during which York was yet again on the wrong side of history, and besieged by the ultimate victors (Parliament) for 10 weeks in 1644. The siege and subsequent storming of the city destroyed many medieval buildings, but paved the way for fashionable new brick townhouses to be built as York regained its mojo in the late 17th and 18th centuries.
This resurgence in the city's wealth may have been what saved York's ancient streets from the smoke-stack industry which sprang up in many other northern towns from the late 18th century onwards. However, the industrial revolution didn't bypass York completely. In the 1840s, the first long-distance railway raced north from London to Edinburgh, and York's station was constructed as a cathedral of sorts in homage to the great connecting power of trains, while the locomotive yards next door kept the country's engines moving. The city found its other manufacturing niche soon after when the Rowntree family opened their chocolate factory. Many of their creations - among them KitKat, Aero and Smarties - are still staple snacks in the UK and around the world. The Rowntrees, known for their philanthropy, were Quakers, a religious group which has had a strong presence in York for three centuries, and have done much to shape its development - they were also behind the burgeoning rail industry.
While its prominence and relative size in comparison to other cities have dwindled since the 19th century, and its status as capital of the north credibly challenged by the likes of Manchester and Leeds, York remains prosperous and lively. Named the best city to live in the UK by The Sunday Times, in 2019, the city is 1,948 years old, and today's visitor will easily recognise and marvel at just how well York has preserved aspects from every major episode of its history, as much in the way of culture and traditions as in the built environment.
There's plenty to see in York, but if you leave without visiting the Minster and either the Jorvik Viking Centre or the National Railway Museum, you're doing it wrong. If you only have a day, prioritise two of these.
Aside from these three standout attractions, the joy of York is in wandering the ancient streets and coming across surprising buildings and beautiful views all by yourself. You might find old churches, timber-framed shops, the ruins of an abbey, or the leftovers of medieval defences.
- ⊙ York Minster (Cathedral of St Peter in York), Deangate, YO1 7HH, ☏ +44 1904 557 200. Minster visits: M-Sa 9AM-4:30PM, Su 12:30PM-3PM; Museum: M-Sa 10AM-4:30PM, Su 1PM-3:15PM; Worship: Daily 7:30AM-6PM. The largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, York Minster dominates the skyline and dates back to the 8th century at least. The Undercroft Museum, beneath the Minster, displays centuries worth of archaeological findings in an interactive display. Then, climb the 275 steps to the top of the Minster's Central Tower to experience panoramic views from York's highest spot (ages 8+ only). The nightly Evensong worship has haunting acoustics, and is the only way of accessing the cathedral on Sunday late afternoons. On the south side of the Minster outside, don't miss the ⊙ statue of Constantine the Great, who was in 306 AD proclaimed emperor of Rome in York. At the far end of the plaza from this is a ⊙ Roman column which was unearthed beneath the Minster and reerected in 1971 to mark the 1,900th anniversary of the city's founding. Once you've seen all this, relax in the ⊙ Dean's Park - a simple expanse of grass and trees that affords breathtaking views of the north side of the Minster. In spring or summer, you may catch a glimpse of nesting peregrine falcons. Adult £11.50, senior £10.50, student with ID £9, child under 17 free. Access to Minster, museum and guided tour included; £5 extra for tower. Park and plaza free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ Clifford's Tower, Tower Street, YO1 9SA, ☏ +44 1904 646 940. Daily 10AM-6PM. In the 11th century, the Normans built a castle here to keep the Vikings at bay and subdue the local population following their conquest of England. The Vikings being Vikings, they promptly smashed it, so the Normans built bigger and better - the tower you see today was the castle's keep. The tower was the scene of the infamous massacre of York's Jews in 1190. In 1684, its interior was wrecked by an explosion, but the hollow tower is now the oldest remnant of the castle. The rest fell into disrepair, before being re-built as a gaol, and in modern times housing the Castle Museum. Access is by very steep steps up the hillock; it's a bit like climbing a pyramid. After closure, you can still climb to the front door and look back over the square - this is especially atmospheric after dark. Adult £5.70, child £3.40, concession £5.10, English Heritage members free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ Fairfax House, Castlegate, YO1 9RN, ☏ +44 1904 655 543. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 11AM-4PM, M entrance by guided tour only 11AM, 2PM. A Georgian townhouse built as the winter home for the Viscount Fairfax and his daughter, which has today been lovingly restored as a charming example of aristocratic life in York. It is decorated and furnished similar to how it would have been in the 1760s, almost exclusively using objects from the private collection of chocolatier Noel Terry (1889 - 1979). Giuseppe Cortese's elaborately-wrought stucco ceilings are a particular highlight, adorning half a dozen of the Fairfaxs' stately rooms. 'Gregory the Townhouse Mouse' will keep your kids entertained with his exploration trails around the property. Audio tours in eight languages. Adult £7.50, child £3, concession £6. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ Guildhall, St. Helen’s Square, YO1 9QN, ☏ +44 1904 553 979. Built in the 15th century as a meeting hall for the guilds of York, the Guildhall is now also home to the city council chamber. Guilds are associations of artisans and merchants of a particular industry akin to something between a professional association, a trade union and a monopolistic cartel. In the middle ages, these guilds had a dominant role in the economies of every English city. However, the Guildhall you see today is a faithful replica, as the original was mostly destroyed by bombing in 1942. Notice the stained-glass window depicting York's history. Not open for general visits, so if you want to go in, you need to attend one of the regular civic events. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ King's Manor, Exhibition Square, YO1 7EP, ☏ +44 1904 320 000. M-F 8AM-6PM. Now the very apt home for the University of York's Archaeology Department, this was a royal headquarters during the Tudor and Stuart dynasties (16th and 17th centuries). As this is a working academic building, you may have to content yourself with admiring the Grade I listed architecture from the outside, unless you can pass as a scholar that is! Respect the students and staff, or you'll ruin it for future visitors. Free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ Merchant Adventurers' Hall, Fossgate, YO1 9XD, ☏ +44 1904 654 818. Su-F 10AM-4:30PM, Sa 10AM-1:30PM. Remarkable timbered guild hall, built by city merchants between 1357 and 1361. The great hall was where they gathered for business and socialising, the undercroft was an almshouse for the poor and sick, and in the chapel all mercantile sins were conveniently forgiven. Good café on-site. Adult £6.50, concession £5.50, under 17s free. Admission includes audio tour in English / written guide in other languages. (updated Jul 2019)
- ⊙ National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, YO26 4XJ (Adjacent to York railway station. Bus: 2, 10, or take the road train from the Minster), ☏ +44 3330 161 010. Daily Apr-Oct 10AM-6PM, Nov-Mar 10AM-5PM. The largest railway museum in the world, with a magnificent collection of locomotives, rolling stock, railway equipment, documents and records. The bulk of it is British, but there are also great snorting monsters from China and the U.S. Highlights include Queen Victoria's opulent Royal Train, famous locos such as Stephenson's Rocket and Mallard, and a first-generation Shinkansen - the only one outside of Japan. When it's not cruising the rails in summer, Flying Scotsman overwinters at the NRM. Out in the yard, a steam-engine hauls rides in the summer, and a miniature railway operates year-round. And the best thing for railbuffs: the museum is in sight of York station and has a viewing deck overlooking the East Coast Main Line! Museum and all exhibitions free. Steam rides £4, miniature railway £3, under-2s free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ Snickelways. These are the famous medieval (and later) alleys and narrow streets that thread the centre of the city, typically lined with timber frame and brick houses and shops. They are all pedestrianised in the daytime, and indeed most are too narrow for vehicles to use. See Mark W Jones' book A Walk Around the Snickelways of York (ISBN 1871125723) or its hardback companion The Complete Snickelways of York (ISBN 1871125049) with their quirky, hand-written descriptions, and follow his suggested route taking in 50 of the snickelways within the city walls. Jones himself coined the term for his books in 1983, as a triple portmanteau of the Yorkshire dialect words snicket and ginnel, and their standard English equivalent alleyway. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ Treasurer's House, Minster Yard, YO1 7JL, ☏ +44 1904 624 247. Daily 11AM-4:30PM. Grade I-listed town house and garden dating from the 12th century that acted as the official residence of York Minster's treasurers over the centuries. However, it was purchased in 1897 by Frank Green, heir to an industrialist's fortune, and transformed into a lavish pad to flaunt his enormous wealth and eclectic decorating tastes, collecting art, antiques and furniture. Today it is managed by the National Trust, and the visitor can discover both Green's dizzying collection and the contrastingly calming gardens. Like all good Trust properties, there's an on-site shop and café. Garden: free. House: adult £8.70, child £4.35, NT members free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ York Army Museum, 3 Tower Street, YO1 9SB, ☏ +44 1904 461 010. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. The museum brings together the collections of one of the Army's oldest cavalry regiments - the Royal Dragoon Guards, dating from 1685, with one of its newest infantry regiments - the Yorkshire Regiment, which was only formed in 2006. Charting the relationship between Yorkshire and the Army going back centuries, the collections span medals, standards, uniforms, firearms, swords and soldiers' personal effects, with interactive exhibits and many tales of individual courage and hardships to bring the history to life. Adult £5, child aged 5-16 years £2.50, under 5 years free, concession £4, service personnel 50% off applicable ticket. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ York Mansion House, St Helen's Square, YO1 9QL, ☏ +44 1904 553 663. W-Su, bank holidays 10:30AM-5PM. The grand official residence of the Lord Mayor of York, dating from 1732, holds an unparalleled collection of civic gold and silver, plus extensive items of furniture, ceramics, glassware and art. Adult £6.50, concession £5, child £3.50. (updated Jun 2019)
York Archaeological Trust
The York Archaeological Trust run five attractions, which can be visited on various individual or combined tickets. The most useful of these is the Pastport, valid for 12 months, and allowing you entrance to all five of the Trust's attractions: Jorvik, Barley Hall, DIG, the Henry VII Experience and the Richard III Experience. This is available for £20 per adult, £16 per concession, and £13 per child. Or if Vikings leave you cold, you can save a considerable amount of money by getting the Medieval Pass, which allows access just to the Barley Hall and the two Experiences: £8 per adult, £6 per concession and £4.50 per child.
- ⊙ Jorvik Viking Centre, 19 Coppergate, YO1 9WT (within the Coppergate Shopping Centre), ☏ +44 1904 615 505. Daily Apr-Oct 10AM-5PM, Nov-Mar 10AM-4PM. Reconstruction of York as it would have looked 1000+ years ago. The visit takes the form of a sit-down ride as you experience the sights, sounds, smells and diverse languages and faces of everyday 10th century life, with the aid of animatronics, dioramas and touchscreen technology. Although a bit like the Viking version of It's a Small World, everything you see has been meticulously researched and the centre is itself built on the archaeological remains of the real Jorvik. Audio commentary available in 15 languages. After the ride is an extensive collection of artefacts, including replicas - for more visit the Yorkshire Museum. Adult £12.50, child 5-16 years £8.50, concession £10.50. Fasttrack entry with Pastport. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ Barley Hall, 2 Coffee Yard, off Stonegate, YO1 8AR, ☏ +44 1904 615 505. Daily Apr-Oct 10AM-5PM, Nov-Mar 10AM-4PM. Reconstruction of a medieval townhouse. Built in the 14th century by the monks of Nostell Priory in Wakefield, but serially chopped, changed and neglected over the centuries. By 1970 it was a plumber's storeroom, on the brink of demolition. It's now been rebuilt to how it was in the 15th century, discarding later additions. Its detractors say this was more like a retro-fit and prettification of history, but it's difficult to see how anything more "authentic" could have been made viable, and it can be accurately described as a large piece of experimental archaeology carried out by experts. Adult £6.50, child 5-16 years £3.50, concession £5. Combo ticket with Jorvik: adult £15, child £10, concession £12. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ Micklegate Bar (Henry VII Experience), Micklegate, YO1 6JX, ☏ +44 1904 615 505. Daily Apr-Oct 10AM-4PM, Nov-Mar 10AM-3PM weather dependant. Micklegate Bar was first recorded in the 12th century, but reuses stone from an earlier Roman gate. It has long been the official entrance to the city of York for royalty, most recently welcoming Elizabeth II during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012. Henry Tudor won the Wars of the Roses in 1485 and founded a monarchic dynasty that would shape the next 120 years of English history. The Henry VII Experience charts his life and the troubled relationship he had with the people of York, who had backed his enemy Richard during the War, and continued to rebel during his reign. Free written guides available in eight foreign languages. Adult £5, child 5-16 years £3, concession £3.50. Includes admission to Richard III Experience. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ Monk Bar (Richard III Experience), 6 Goodramgate, YO1 7LQ, ☏ +44 1904 615 505. Apr-Oct 10AM-5PM, Nov-Mar 10AM-4PM. Monk Bar is one of four heavily-fortified medieval gates in the city wall, built in several stages in the early 14th century, to defend from Scottish attacks. Inside, an exhibition tells the story of Richard of York, the last Plantagenet king of England, and the man who lost the Wars of the Roses. Free written guides available in eight foreign languages. Adult £5, child 5-16 years £3, concession £3.50. Includes admission to Henry VII experience. (updated Jun 2019)
The fifth attraction, DIG, is listed in the Do section below.
York Museums Trust
The York Museums Trust operate several civic museums and galleries. You can buy a YMT card for unlimited visits to any of the Trust's sites in a twelve month period. Children aged 16 years and under get in free to all YMT sites, so the YMT costs £25 per adult (or £20 by renewable direct debit), and £15 for a student in possession of ID (£12 by direct debit). Since the card only offers a very modest saving from the standard costs of the three ticketed YMT attractions, it is probably not worth it unless you plan to revisit one or more of the museums during your stay, and is definitely not worth it if you don't plan to visit all three.
- ⊙ York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, YO1 7EW, ☏ +44 1904 687 687. Daily 10AM-5PM. A public art gallery with a collection of paintings, prints, watercolours, drawings and ceramics from the 14th century to the contemporary era. The Burton Gallery hosts Italian and Flemish Old Masters, and early 20th century modern art, while an 18th century automaton clock featuring Hercules, waterfalls and dancing figures has pride of place. Look out for paintings by York natives William Etty and Albert Moore. There are regular temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Adult £7.27, student £5.60, child free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ York Castle Museum, Tower Street, YO1 9RY (next to Clifford's Tower), ☏ +44 1904 687 687. Daily 9:30AM-5PM. Outstanding museum of everyday life with exhibits to appeal to all ages. Highlights are Kirkgate, a recreated Victorian street, and Half Moon Court, an Edwardian street, exhibitions of York's confectionery industry, plus costumes and toys through the ages. The site includes a former prison, in which you can experience the cells, and imagine what it was like in 1739 when infamous highwayman Dick Turpin was awaiting his execution by hanging. There are numerous special exhibitions and events throughout the year. Adult £10.90, student £8.40, child free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, Museum Street, YO1 7FR, ☏ +44 1904 687 687. Daily 10AM-5PM. Interesting, and quite good for curious children. Features permanent displays of Roman and medieval riches, including the Vale of York Hoard of Viking treasure. There are also natural history sections dedicated to astronomy, biology and geology. A long-term exhibition exploring Yorkshire's Jurassic World uses VR technology and up-to-date research to engage you in the county's prehistoric past. Adult £7.27, student £5.60, child free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ York Museum Gardens (outside Yorkshire Museum), ☏ +44 1904 687 687. Summer daily 7:30AM-8PM, winter daily 7:30AM-6PM. Free tours every Su 1PM. This extensive botanical collection is a great place for a picnic. Perambulate through a variety of borders (butterfly-friendly, oriental, prairie), not missing out the fern garden and rockery. Daffodils and bluebells abound in spring. The gardens are not just for nature lovers, however, as they also contain much significant archaeology: the third century Roman fortification known as the ⊙ Multangular Tower, which only saw action 14 centuries later during the English Civil War; the remains of ⊙ St Leonard's Hospital, where the poor and sick of medieval York were cared for physically and spiritually; the ruins of the Benedictine ⊙ St Mary's Abbey, which date from 1088 and once rivalled the Minster for grandeur. The small ⊙ York Observatory, which was constructed in 1832/33 and is still in working condition, is also located in the gardens. It's open most days 11:30AM-2:30PM, plus some winter evenings for public astronomy events. Free. Wheelchair accessible. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ St Mary's Church (not to be confused with St Mary's Abbey), Castlegate, YO1 9RN, ☏ +44 1904 687 687. Su-W 10AM-6PM, Th 10AM-8PM, F Sa 10AM-7PM. A Saxon church, though most of the current building dates from the 13th century. Its 47 m steeple is the tallest in York and it has some fine stained-glass windows. Deconsecrated in the 1950s, St Mary's was reborn as a contemporary art venue in 2004, and now hosts exhibitions throughout the year. From 5 July 2019 until 5 January 2020, the church is fully dedicated to a major exhibition: the UK première of Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, which comes to York following successful runs in Amsterdam and several other European cities. The "Experience" is a 360-degree multisensory digital presentation of hundreds of the Dutch post-impressionist's works, allowing you to see through the eyes of the great man himself and gain an insight to his unique mind. Access to building normally free. Van Gogh: Adult £13, concession £11, child £9. (updated Jun 2019)
As well as the Minster, York has a number of parish churches which are of architectural or historical interest:
- ⊙ All Saints, North Street, North Street, YO1 5JD, ☏ +44 1904 728 122, +44 1904 867 113. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 10:15AM-6:30PM. Colourful angels smile cheekily down at you from the ceiling in this 12th century church, which is grade I-listed due to having the finest collection of medieval stained glass windows in the city. The most famous window, dating from around 1410, depicts the Prick of Conscience - a popular Middle English poem. Free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ All Saints Pavement, 32-37 Coppergate, YO1 9NR. Daily 9AM-7PM. Best viewed from the outside, from where you can admire its unusual octagonal tower. All Saints is also the civic church of various city guilds and the garrison church of the Royal Dragoon Guards. Free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ Holy Trinity, Goodramgate, 70 Goodramgate, YO1 7LF (Enter via an unassuming gated archway opposite Tesco Express. Wheelchair access via Petergate next to Poundland), ☏ +44 1904 613 451. M-Sa 11AM-3:30PM. Peaceful and atmospheric grade I-listed 12th century church that you won't find unless you're looking for it. The wooden box pews and stone altar are once-common rarities from an early period in church history. Free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ Holy Trinity, Micklegate, Micklegate, YO1 6LE, ☏ +44 1904 593 608. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa Su 9AM-4PM. Founded prior to 1066, this is the only pre-Reformation monastic building in York that is in use today. The wooden beams supporting the roof are breathtaking, and there is a small interactive exhibition about those medieval monks and their priory, making use of touchscreens and 3D imagery. Free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ St Helen Stonegate, 5 St Helen's Square, YO1 8QN, ☏ +44 1904 636 512. Daily dawn-dusk. A largely 15th century building, but built on a site important in Roman times and possibly founded as early as the 8th century, this is now a quiet refuge from the city's bustle. It also serves as an atmospheric and intimate concert venue. Free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ St Martin-le-Grand, 13 Coney Street, YO1 9QL, ☏ +44 1904 636 512. Daily 9AM-5PM. Named for Martin of Tours, the bulk of the church dates from the 15th century, and what was the Great West Window depicts 13 moments from the saint's life. The building suffered heavy fire damage during an air raid of 1942, but fortunately much was restored, including some perky grinning gargoyles and a very attractive 17th century clock which adorns the façade. Free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ St Olave, 8 Marygate Lane, YO30 7BJ. Daily dawn-dusk. Believed to be the oldest church dedication to Olaf, patron saint of Norway, it once lay in the shadows of St Mary's Abbey and is still within the abbey grounds. In the English Civil War, it formed part of York's defences during the Parliamentarians' siege of the city. Today, the churchyard is a green oasis, and St Olave's maintains its links with Scandinavia. Free. (updated Jun 2019)
- ⊙ The Bar Convent, 17 Blossom Street, YO24 1AQ, ☏ +44 1904 643 248. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. Founded in the 17th century, when Catholics were widely persecuted in England, the convent is still home to a community of nuns, members of the Congregation of Jesus. In a small interactive museum, you can discover the brave sisters' remarkable story, from their underground origins hidden in plain sight of the authorities, right through to their survival under the bombs of the Luftwaffe. There is also an on-site café and 'secret' garden, as well as B&B-style accommodation. Adult £5, child £2, concession £4. (updated Jun 2019)
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Wikivoyage contributors, 'York', Wikivoyage, The FREE worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit, 28 December 2019, 17:09 UTC, https://en.wikivoyage.org/w/index.php?title=York&oldid=3902833 [accessed 31 December 2019]
taken over / edited on
31 Dec 2019
taken over / edited by
GB-YO10 3BP York
Boardinghouse / guest house