Behold the majesty of this ancient church whose towers rise high above the medieval city. Appreciate the Heart of Yorkshire, see the Kings’ Screen, the Sisters Window and Chapter House, pay respects at the tomb of St. William, patron saint of the city, or simply sit at quiet prayer feeling the warmth of the sunlight as it passes through the biblical narratives of the stained windows. You can partake in a wonderful tour of the building (well recommended), or climb the Central Tower to stretch your legs and gasp at the architectural panorama that greets you.
At the top of Little Shambles, a delightful street, close your eyes and imagine the sound of Olde English, perhaps less sanitation, and the clamour of a busy market nearby. Open your eyes now in Late Medieval York and wonder at how little has changed. Wonder into the Shambles Market from Parliament Street, which received its Markets Charter in 600 C.E., and sample street food or yesteryear antiques. The term ‘shambles’ derives from the Anglo-Saxon shammel or ‘shelves’, which featured in each open shop-front.
York is home to British chocolate heritage, being the birthplace for chocolate and confectionery pioneers Rowntree, Cadbury, Fry’s, Terry’s and, more recently, Nestle. Follow the Chocolate Trail, shop at the York Cocoa House Chocolate Emporium, and learn the history of chocolate in the United Kingdom at the York Chocolate Story experience.
See, touch and smell (!) the Age of the Viking at the Jorvik Viking Centre. Complete with its own ride back into time, the Centre is both a museum and visitor attraction.
History documents that horses arced in York during the time of Emperor Severus (145-211 C.E.). The York Corporation first officially supported racing in 1530, and we know that racing took place on the frozen River Ouse in 1607. Originally located at Clifton Ings, the meetings were moved to Knavesmire in 1730 due to persistent flooding. John Carr designed the first grandstand in 1754, and the site has gone from strength to strength, serving as one of Europe’s finest Premier tracks today. Key meetings are the Dante Festival, the John Smith’s Meeting, and the Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
National Railway Museum
Given the North of England’s acclaim as the birthplace of the first railway in the world, which ran between Stockton-upon-Tees and Darlington, it was inevitable that the North would host the United Kingdom’s railway museum. Learn the story of rail transportation, board real trains from history, and wonder at Robert Louis’ Stevenson’s Rocket and Japan’s bullet train (shinkansen).