Historic York is loaded with world-class sights — it seems like everything that's great about Britain finds its best expression in this manageable town. Marvel at the York Minster, England's finest Gothic church. Ramble The Shambles, York's wonderfully preserved medieval quarter. Enjoy a walking tour led by an old Yorker. Hop a train at one of the world's greatest railway museums, travel to the 1800s in the York Castle Museum, head back 1,000 years to Viking times at the Jorvik Viking Centre, or dig into the city's buried past at the Yorkshire Museum. Yet York is more than the sum of its parts. With its strollable cobbles and half-timbered buildings, grand cathedral and excellent museums, thriving restaurant scene and welcoming locals, York delights.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ York Minster York's pride and joy, and one of England's finest churches, with stunning stained-glass windows, textbook Decorated Gothic design, and glorious evensong services.
▲▲ Yorkshire Museum Sophisticated archaeology and natural history museum with York's best Viking exhibit, plus Roman, Saxon, Norman, and Gothic artifacts.
▲▲ Jorvik Viking Centre Entertaining and informative Disney-style exhibit/ride exploring Viking lifestyles and artifacts.
▲▲ York Castle Museum Far-ranging collection displaying everyday objects from Victorian times to the present.
▲▲ National Railway Museum Train buff's nirvana, tracing the history of all manner of rail-bound transport.
▲ The Shambles Atmospheric old butchers' quarter, with colorful, tipsy medieval buildings.
▲ Ouse Riverside Walk Bucolic path along river to a mod pedestrian bridge.
▲ York Brewery Honest, casual tour through an award-winning microbrewery with the guy who makes the beer.
▲ Fairfax House Glimpse into an 18th-century Georgian family house, with enjoyably chatty docents.