26/9/2014 A Focus on historic York
Everyone loves York – and no wonder. This beautiful city is brimming with world class attractions and medieval history.
York is a great day trip to take from Crows Nest, with easy transport links by car and train.
York effortlessly combines a rich heritage of Roman, Saxon and Viking history, with a thoroughly twenty first century twist. Yorks compact size and traffic free centre mean it is made for exploring on foot. In this relatively small area of cobbled streets preserved perfectly within the stone city walls are high-end shops and boutiques, chic restaurants and atmospheric pubs and cafes.
If culture is your thing, then you are spoilt for choice with theatre, film and gallery options. For something different, try an evening ghost walk and learn why York is one of the most haunted cities in Europe.
Here is a short guide to some of the best attractions in and around York.
Jorvik Viking Centre
Travel back a thousand years in this time capsule to discover how York looked, sounded and smelled when the Vikings ruled the city. The narrator explains in detail what you are seeing and you can eavesdrop on the conversations of the Viking inhabitants.
National Railway Museum
Home to the largest collection of railway objects in the world, this museum showcases more than a million artefacts covering 300 years. The 100 or so locomotives are the big draw including the steam speed record holder ‘The Mallard’, which can be found in the Great Hall. You can see ongoing restoration programmes at ‘The Works’ and examine sumptuous Royal carriages in Station Hall. Believe it or not it is even free entry.
The River Ouse
Slicing majestivally through the heart of York is the Ouse, passing beneath several elegant bridges such as Lendal Bridge and Skelderdale Bridge. Walking or cycling along its shady banks is a relaxing way to see York, you can also take a river cruise or hire a motor boat. Many pubs and eateries in the city boast fine river views.
Arguably Europes best-preserved medieval shopping street, featuring timber-framed buildings and immaculate specialist boutiques contrast sharply with its historic story. The Shambles name derives from its original function as a meat market, its narrowness keeping the sun off the meat. Short and intimate, the Shambles is particularly atmospheric after nightfall when floodlit and deserted.
Discover all that is grisly, gruesome and ghostly about Yorks past at this popular attraction where chills and thrills are a guarantee. Characters and events form the darkest chapters of Yorks 2,000 year history are brought to life with the help of highwayman Dick Turpin.
Amusingly this is the shortest street in York, and has the longest name. The name derives from the 16th century meaning ‘neither a street nor anything else’. Located next to the shambles it is a great place for a picture.
Dominating York and the landscape around the city, this vast gothic master piece completes its restoration in 2015. Visitors can enjoy multi-media galleries and displays, and access the south transept, undercroft, treasury and crypyt.
Yorkshire Air Museum
Aviation history is superbly displayed in the largest original 2nd World War RAF Bomber Command station open to the public. Exhibits include the tiny Flying Flea, a 1st World War SE-A5 fighter, a Hurricane, a Victor Tanker and an amazing Nimrod MR2. Many historic buildings remain in use and of course there is a control tower and NAAFI.
The largest maize maze in Britain, that changes its design every year. Inevitably the open season is short, but fortunately it coincides with the school holidays and an awful lot is packed in. Fun stuff includes Crowmania rides, a cobstacle course, pig racing, inflatable slides and the maze of illusions. Fun for all the family.