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  • Chris Cunliffe

The Best of York: One of the finest preserved English medieval citys

England is packed with historic villages, towns and cities and one of the most impressive lies in north England, in Yorkshire. Nestled within its well-preserved medieval walls, York is a picturesque city that boasts an impressive array of historical landmarks, each telling a story of its illustrious past. The city's history, from the towering structures of York Minster to the winding streets of the Shambles, is like a museum in itself that offers visitors countless insights into its history. Let's take a look at the top sights and attractions in York, as we explore its charm and delight. Whether you're a fan of history, architectural design, or want to be immersed in a quaint English city, York is the city to conquer. The list below features York's landmarks and must-visit places, as well as some traditional eateries.

 

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York Minister

 

York Minister, which has been the site of this city's focal point since the 7th century, was built more than 250 years ago. Take a stroll around the impressive cathedral and experience the heart of Yorkshire in the great west window, which is the most extensive medieval stained glass found in England's gothic nave, built in 1291. Here also lies an octagonal room with a vaulted ceiling was created in the Chapter House, which was groundbreaking for its time, eliminating the need for pillars. Beneath the Minister, there is a museum dedicated to the excavations and features relics from the site's excavation, including ruins of terracotta fortresses. A secret minister tour allows visitors to enter closed spaces with the assistance of a knowledgeable guide. Visitors can also take a tour of the crypt passages, the stone yard, and the chapter house roof.



York Minister
York Minister

 

The Shambles

 

The Shambles, a narrow avenue in the centre of York, is one of the UK's most well-known streets. Over time, visitors have been drawn to the towering structures and medieval facades that date back to at least 1600. The street was once home to butcher shops and markets, with a nearby slaughterhouse, but now it is adorned with small shops for jewellery, chocolates, and souvenirs. The Shambles' resemblance to Diagon Alley in Harry Potter has caused an increase in the number of Potter enthusiasts visiting the streets, leading to the opening of several wizarding stores on the same.



The Shambles
The Shambles



Betty’s Café & Tea Rooms

 

A beloved spot in the Yorkshire area, Bettys Café & Tea Rooms has been serving its delicious tea, cakes and sandwiches since 1919, coinciding with its well-known afternoon tea. Its interior was inspired by the Queen Mary ocean liner, and the York outlet has maintained its popularity and draws crowds every day of the week. Bettys has 2 stores, situated in York's city centre, and the branches are in the same convenient and central areas, Helens Square and Stonegate. Long queues are often a feature of the outside of these venues so be prepared to wait especially at peak times. Though the cakes and proper English tea is worth waiting for in a remarkable atmosphere that cannot be obtained anywhere else.



Betty's Cafe & Tea Rooms
Betty's Cafe & Tea Rooms

 

York Castle Museum


This one-of-a-kind museum puts York's rich history on display at York Castle Museum. This place is primarily characterized by a recreated Victorian cobblestone street, where visitors can browse through handcrafted toys and interact with local characters. From the lamp posts to the Tudor houses, every detail is taken into account when creating an ideal photo for a souvenir. Interactive displays are available, each containing authentic items that recount the experiences of Yorkshire and how the locals survived the first world war. A former Georgian prison has been transformed into a modern day exhibition that displays the harsh history and punishments of its previous inhabitants. There's something for everyone in the gift shop, with Victorian toys, traditional Yorkshire recipe books and old sweets.



York Castle Museum
York Castle Museum


Jorvik Viking Museum


The Jorvik Viking Museum offers a unique perspective on the past of York's Vikings, offering more than just rudimentary exhibits. Jorvik's galleries exhibit more than 1,000 artefacts, such as buildings, wells and pottery, that were once discovered during excavations related to the construction of a new shopping center. In addition, the unique attraction boasts a ride that takes you through the history of York and uncovers what it was like to live as a Viking in York. During the Viking Age, around 1,000 years ago, archaeologists discovered wooden structures, artifacts and even preserved remains of the ancient Viking city of Jorvik (also known as York). This is where Jorvik offers visitors an exciting and original ride experience that transports them back to the Viking era. Featuring cutting-edge animation and realistic set designs, the ride imitates the Viking city's sounds, smells, and sights of over 1,000 years ago. Passing through intricate models of Viking dwellings and factories reveals the daily routines of its inhabitants, from ornate monkmeister families to merchants selling exotic goods from other locations.



Viking Museum
Viking Museum


We conclude our journey in York, a historic city that contains treasures from centuries past. York is a place of outstanding historical, cultural, and scenic beauty, ideal for exploring the city's rich history, culture, or sightseeing opportunities. York's cobbled streets and secluded alleys are filled with tales, so bring your curiosity and sturdy shoes. When planning your trip, remember that these are essential sights that reveal the many layers of history and cultures that have shaped this remarkable city. Get set in motion to create some classic memories of Yorkshire.

 

We've reached the end of the article Exploring one of England’s most historic cities: York. In case you are traveling to Portugal or Poland in the future, you should try out our tours in Porto, Lisbon, and Warsaw. Remember to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be continuously updated on the new releases. We will be back soon with a new article!

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