York – Home to Awe-Inspiring York Minster

Northern England is a place that tourists usually leave out of their itineraries. I had no plans of exploring the Northern England either, but when the opportunity presented itself for me to travel to York I had to take it, even if it meant that I’ll be traveling solo for the first time in my life!

Before I went to York, I was all anxious about it. What if I get lost? What if my phone runs out of battery? But neither did happen (I had a portable charger with me just in case!). And of course, it turned out to be one of the most exhilarating experiences! I was not even alone as I made a new friend ten minutes into the journey, and we ended up strolling the streets together. 😀 So here’s what we saw/ did, if you’d like to visit York too.

York city walls were originally built to protect the Roman garrisons. Later on, civilians settled around it with aristocrats living inside the walls. It’s free to walk the city walls, and we did the section from Red Tower to Walmgate Bar (bar means gate, and Walmgate Bar had been the Treasurer’s House). There are only a few railings in this section, but the wall walk is wide, so there’s no chance of falling if you are careful.


York is known for being a medieval city, however, not all buildings are ancient, as some have been rebuilt after the Blitz.

Clifford’s Tower

Clifford’s Tower is what is remaining of the York Castle built by William the Conqueror. We didn’t climb it as there’s nothing much to see inside, but I heard that the views over York are breathtaking!


England is known for its pubs, and we saw some quirky pubs in the heart of York.

The Shambles is a cobbled lane which housed the city’s butcher shops in the 19th century. Today the butchers are long gone, and it is crammed with souvenir shops including “The Shop That Must Not Be Named” which is now open to muggles! 😀


Guy Fawkes (key conspirator of the failed attempt to blow up the parliament in 1605, known as gunpowder plot) was born in York in 1570. Today his birthplace has been turned into Guy Fawkes Inn.


The magnificent York Minster is the jewel of the city. It is the largest medieval Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, and within in England, it is only second in importance to Canterbury Cathedral.

I was mesmerized by the stunning architecture and intricate stained glass windows.

CIMG5623aWe were also lucky to hear the Minster Choir perform, which was a heavenly experience! So if possible try to coincide your visit with a choral singing (you can find the times here).

CIMG5544aDid you know Constantine the Great, who is credited with converting the Roman Empire to Christianity, was proclaimed Emperor while in York in AD 306? Historians believe it happened where the York Minster stands today, so there’s a statue of Constantine the Great right outside.

World’s largest collection of locomotives is in York at the National Rail Museum. Trainspotters will be delighted to see a replica of Rocket (1829), the world’s first ‘modern’ steam locomotive, or Mallard which set the world speed record for a steam locomotive in 1938 (126mph). You can also step on board the Japanese Shinkansen bullet train or my favorite, the First World War ambulance train. Even if you are not a rail nerd, this fine museum is well worth a visit even if only to have a peek at the stunning carriages of the royal train used by Queen Victoria!


River Ouse

The National Rail Museum was the last stop for us. Even though we spent an entire day in York, I feel like we barely scratched the surface. So if I find myself in England again, York is a city that I would love to return. 🙂



  1. A Pretty Lil Book Blog · · Reply

    I love York! It’s nice to see a travel post that actually features the North ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. York was beautiful! I wish I could go to Liverpool and Manchester too.


      1. A Pretty Lil Book Blog · · Reply

        I’ve actually never been to Liverpool… I’d love to go because of the Beatles though!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome photos and commentary of my favorite city in England!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Out of the places I’ve been to York is my second favorite (right after Bath). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely photographs. Glad you’re enjoying your visit. It is a few years since I was up in York, but it is a Fabulous historic city.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. York was lovely. I love visiting historical places and wish I had time to check out Jorvik Viking Center.


  4. It looks lovely. I hope to be able to visit there one day. I don’t think York is too far from the home of the Brontës.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you will be able to visit soon. I checked the Brontë Museum when you suggested. I think it’s roughly a one hour drive from York city. So you might be able to cover everything in one go. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Nirmala. I would love to make that trip soon, but it might have to wait a while. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        1. 😦 You can live vicariously till then. When you make the trip, I look forward to seeing your Brontë Museum pics…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I guess we will both have to live vicariously until one of us will make it there! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yes! 🙂


  5. This looks wonderful! I’d love to hear that choir sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found this video of the Minster Choir performing Evensong. Enjoy! 🙂


  6. Glad you liked York. I used to live nearby and worked there for a couple of years. It’s one of the places I miss now that I’m living in NW England.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s close to Chester, isn’t it? If I had time I would have visited the Roman Amphitheatre.


  7. I’m currently studying in York, I’m glad you enjoyed your visit! I agree the minster is breathtaking, I’m still amazed every time I visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never been to a cathedral before. So this is a memory I will always cherish. 🙂


  8. Planning on visiting soon, thanks for the helpful guide!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you’ll have a lovely time in York! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure I will. It sounds beautiful.


  9. Wonderful post on this lovely city.
    It and Durham are definitely worth visiting. So glad we were able to spend a few days in this part of England.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂 Unfortunately, I didn’t get to visit Durham, but the pictures look stunning!


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