This is tuning and dominates the skyline; buildings that are inside York’s city walls aren’t allowed to be taller than the Gothic cathedral, a famous attraction. The cathedral is stone-carved and was built between the 12-15th century, it is known for its impressive stained-glass windows and decorated nave. The largest expanse of stained glass in the world is the big Great East window.
You can go to the Chapter House which is beautifully decorated. It has the seats of bishops of Yorkshire and also the eerie, atmospheric basement Crypt. If you want to get a great view of York, then you can climb the Ministers’ central tower. You are going to have to deal with 275 steps!
You can explore York Minister independently or you can take the daily tours. You should consider setting aside time so you can attend a daily service there so you can hear the incredible choir and their organ.
Walking the City Walls
The city of York is circled by medieval walls. They are two miles long and are considered to be the longest walls in England. It is free to enter and walk on the impressive stone walls. This will allow you to view York from a different perspective.
It is free to enter walk on the walls and you can access or exit from any of the four medieval gateways known as ‘Bars’. When you are on these walls, you are going to feel like you are stepping back in time. You will love the experience and have a chance of experiencing the city in a way you hadn’t thought of before. Two of the four bars contain small museums about Richard III and Henry VIII.
If you choose to walk on the walks, you will have a better time because you get to avoid the crowd and bustle of the city center. It is going to take about two hours to complete the full circuit. One of the best views you are going to experience is the stretch between Bootham Bar and Monk Bar. You will have a lot of photo opportunities if you choose this option.
Exploring York City Center
The City Center is pedestrian-friendly which provides you with a chance to explore it. There are narrow alleys crisscrossing the city center (they are referred to as ginnels in Yorkshire). Make time to take one of them.
You can wander the back lanes of Low Petergate and Swinegate and end up at the entrance of another historic attraction, Shambles. Find the perfect hotel for your trip with these York hotel deals.
It has been voted “Britain’s Best Street”. The Shambles is a narrow, short, and cobbled street that is lined with tightly parked buildings. These buildings are from the medieval era that has overhanging first floors and which make the street a dark and gloomy place. The street is atmospheric and it is the inspiration for Diagon Alley which is in the Harry Potter series of novels.
The artisan shops and cafes found on the street were once butcher’s shops of York in the medieval era. If you have a close look at the shops, you can see meat hooks that are hanging from the ledges on the window.
Many tourists forget to visit a hidden gem that can be found on this street. It is a tiny chapel that was dedicated to St Margaret Clitherow the only Saint in York who lived on the street in the 16th Century. Make time and experience something many people don’t when they visit York.
There are many attractive historical buildings that can be found in York. The great thing about them is they are from different periods of history.
You can visit the Treasurer’s House which you can find on the edge of Deans Park. You can explore the house and the collections there. There is also a guided tour of the basement and roof that you can join. This is considered to be the most haunted spot in the city.
York’s Mayor lives in the Mansion House on St Helens Square. You can visit the recreated Georgian bedrooms, stateroom, kitchen, and dining room.
One historic house you are going to love is the Fairfax House which is located near Coppergate. The townhouse is elegant and fully furnished, the same way it would be during the Georgian era. There are volunteer guides who will share knowledge about those who lived there and stories behind artwork and furniture.
Climb Clifford’s Tower
The Clifford’s Tower is an empty and round stone building, which is different from the many buildings in the city. This is what remains of the Norman Castle. The tower is on an artificial hill at the city-center car park.
The steps will lead to the open keep where you can check out the storyboards depicting life during the Norman era. The steps further lead to an escarpment that gives you a 360-degree view of the city.