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York, “Capital of the North”

York Minster

York Minster

York is an exceptional city with a rich and fascinating heritage. It has been of great regional and even national importance throughout its long history. Its charming streets are steeped in history and lined with some beautiful and impressive architecture, whilst still being full of the hustle and bustle of a modern city. The city is also renowned for the vibrant culture on offer and for the number of quality cafés, pubs and restaurants it boasts. No wonder it is sometimes called the “Capital of the North!”

For all its grandeur, York is a fairly small city with a population of only about two hundred thousand. It is very compact, cramming an impressive amount into the city centre, within the bounds of the medieval city walls.

Travel

St. Helen’s Square, York, looking towards Stonegate and The Minster

St. Helen’s Square, York, looking towards Stonegate and The Minster

High Petergate and Bootham Bar, York

High Petergate and Bootham Bar, York

College Street, York

College Street, York

By Car

York is well connected to the motorway network with the M1, A1(M) and M62 all close by.

Approaching from the south on the M1, take junction 45 onto the A64. The A64 is dual carriageway as far as York. There are several routes into the city and at peak times it is often slow to cross the city so it can be worth travelling further on the A64 to a junction that affords a more direct route to your destination. The directions from the northbound A1/A1(M) are almost identical since the A1(M) joins the M1 at junction 44, shortly before junction 45 to the A64.

From the north, approaching on the A1(M), either exit at junction 47 and follow the A59 eastbound for the north and west of the city or continue until junction 45 for the A64 and follow the directions above for the south and east of the city.

Approaching from the west on the M62 take junction 29 onto the M1 northbound and then follow the directions above.

By Train

York has good rail links, being on the east coast main line about half way between London and Edinburgh. The city is also well connected to the west of the country with direct trains to Manchester and Liverpool. Cross-country routes also operate through York from the south west.

The railway station is to the west of the city centre, just outside the city walls. There is a taxi rank at the main entrance and many local buses leave from just in front of the station or from Rougier Street, a short walk towards the city centre.

Train times, prices and tickets are available from National Rail Enquiries or The Trainline. Traveline is useful for finding complete journeys via all modes of public transport.

By Coach

York is served by several National Express coach routes, with connections to many UK cities. It is also served by a Megabus route from London. These set down very close to York railway station.

Accommodation

The River Ouse, York

The River Ouse, York

Ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey, York

Ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey, York

York has a variety of accommodation on offer, from budget hostels to swanky hotels. The many guest-houses and small independent hotels in the city are popular for their friendly and comfortable atmosphere and reasonable prices. For those on a tight budget, York has several Travelodges, a Youth Hostel, an independent hostel and independent boutique hostel.

The accommodation lists on the tourist information website are a good place to start searching.

Attractions

York Cemetery

York Cemetery

The city is a major tourist destination and there is a good selection of attractions still open to visitors in late September. The tourist information website and Lonely Planet Guide to York have plenty of information about the sights, activities and events available. Those on a tight budget will even find some things to do for free, such as walking the city walls, exploring some of the smaller churches such as Holy Trinity, Goodramgate and visiting the cemetery.

Background images James Drury, models Pete Frey and Cinzia