Cultural Wonders and Inspiring History

It was once commented by King George VI that “the history of York is the history of England”. The city dates back at least to Roman times and has also seen Saxons, Vikings and Normans take a stronghold. The city has also been the place of  bloody battles, such as the War of the Roses, which have played a major part in determining the fate of the nation. Today York is rich in its range of cultural and architectural remains. Pick a York b&b and get exploring!

A Medieval Marvel

You can still stroll along the wall which was started by the Romans. Much of the remaining parts of the wall are medieval but a few are Roman. In medieval times the City of York was entered by large defensive gates and four of these still stand today, Micklegate Bar, Bootham Bar, Monk Bar and Waltham Bar. There’s a rather weird twist here in that “bar” actually means “gate” yet many of York’s older byways have the suffix “gate” attached to them which actually means “street”.

One of the most prominent Roman remains is the Multiangular Tower which stands proud in the Museum Gardens. Built between 209-211 AD it stands nearly 30 foot high and has 10 sides and there were once 8 towers, although these are long gone.

No visit to York is complete without a visit to the iconic York Minster. The very first York Minster dates back as far as the year 627. It was then a wooden church which was rebuilt in stone a few years later. Having been built several more times, the modern day York Minster boasts of being the widest Gothic church in northern Europe and has some simply stunning architecture to behold with no fewer than 128 stained glass colours which flood the inside of the building with vivid colours.

Fabulous Retail and Dining Experiences

York is fairly compact and easily accessible by foot or bike. You can stroll along the cobbled streets taking in the wonderfully preserved 15th century buildings of the Shambles. If you fancy the smells and sounds of history as well as the sights then a visit to the Jorvik Centre will take you back 1,000 years to a time when the Vikings ruled York.

Once you’re footsore from sightseeing why not take the weight off your feet in the lavish surroundings of Betty’s Tea Rooms which is one of the most famous tea shops in the world. It’s like stepping back in time as you’re served by staff wearing 1930’s uniforms.

With such a wide array of history and culture it’s little surprise that York was voted European City Of The Year back in 2007.