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York is an important regional centre and historic walled city on the river Ouse to the south of the county of North Yorkshire. It has a long and colourful history including the Romans (who established the city in the year 71 AD), the Vikings (who captured the city in 866), and an important medieval heritage (when it was an important religious and trading centre) and there is a great deal to see and enjoy during a visit as a result.
Your visit to York will focus on the historic centre, a reasonably compact area of winding medieval streets around a magnificent cathedral and enclosed by the city walls that is easy to explore. There is more to York than history, of course, and you will find a very mide selection of galleries, museums, shops, restaurants and all other facilities to help ensure your visit is as enjoyable as possible.
Buildings and Monuments in York
- York Minster; dominating the centre of York, the Minster dates from the 11th-13th centuries (with later modifications) and is a masterpiece of Gothic cathedral design, also renowned for its stained glass windows and 15th century sculpted choir screen. Following centuries of neglect, vandalism and fire damage, the cathedral has been substantially renovated in recent years
- Snickelways and Shambles - lined with medieval houses, the Shambles is a narrow attractive street in the heart of old York. the snickelways are the name given to the numerous narrow alleys in medieval York
- York city walls, which can be walked along and stretch for about three miles
- Clifford's Tower, the hilltop keep which is the main remaining part of the original Norman York Castle
- Fairfax House; Guildhall; Merchant Adventurers Hall; Barley Hall; medieval churches
Man made attractions in York
- Jorvik Viking Centre, a popular 'trip back in time' exhibition commemorating the Viking occupation of York and based around the remains of buildings and numerous artefacts discovered during archaological excavations in the area
- York Dungeon (medieval torture brought to life!); York Model Railway; river cruises and boat trips along the River Ouse...
Museums in York
- National Railway Museum, the biggest railway museum in Britain and with a very wide selection of trains and related paraphernalia from around the world;
- other York museums include the Treasurer's House; Roman Baths Museum; Yorkshire Museum; York Castle Museum
York Visitor Information Centre
To help you make the most of your visit, the York Visitor Information Centre (located in Exhibition Square) can suggest various guided and themed walks, sometimes accompanied by a guide, during which you will see many features and highlights you might have otherwise missed. (The ghost walks that often take place in the evening are very popular and entertaining.) They can also provide information about current events, theatre and musical productions etc.
Map of York and places to visit
York places to visit
See more places nearby in the North Yorkshire guide