In December 2019 we decide to take a 3 day break to explore York. I’ve been to York a couple of times but never really spent much time there as they were fleeting visits to restaurants or so cold we headed home early. However this time I wanted a relaxed, slow weekend of wandering around the city and a cosy base to stay at.
After spending some time searching through AirBnb (like I do a lot of the time) we came across a beautiful barn conversion out in the sticks with a log fire. It was super affordable, out of the city but with plenty of transport links into York. This place was perfect for us! I could have happily stayed indoor holed up here for the whole 3 days in front of the fire watching Netflix and reading. It was super stylish too which was a bonus! The first evening we made a trip to the local super market to stock up on supplies, make the most of the kitchen and keep the cost of eating out down too. Win win.
We had a bit of a lazy morning as we’d spent most of the Friday driving up to York. We took the bus into the town centre and started to explore. It was mid-December so the place was super busy with Christmas shoppers browsing the markets. We joined them looking around the markets, the shambles and found ourselves wandering towards York Minister. It’s still as beautiful as I remembered it being. We didn’t go inside on this occasion but I have done on a previous visit and it’s worth looking at the beautiful architecture and stained glass windows (even if it’s just a rest from the cold!).
We headed back towards the centre and found York’s Chocolate Story, this has been recommended by a friend so we bought tickets for a tour later in the day and headed to find some lunch whilst we waited. After more wandering around and munching on some much needed fish and chips, we headed back for our chocolate experience! Note: Both Chris and I are Dairy intolerant so were a little apprehensive about how much we’d enjoy this, but turns out a lot of the tour features dark chocolate (which we can both have) so it wasn’t a complete fail. We both enjoyed it and spent too much money in the chocolate store at the end.
By this point we were both pretty fed up with all the crowds so decided to head back to the Air BnB, enjoy the cosy fire and watch Klaus on Netflix to get into the Christmas spirit. Having an evening of relaxing, cooking and being cosy did us both the world of good to be honest, so we didn’t regret not exploring much more of the city.
Again we enjoyed a slow morning packing up our things and lounging on the sofa watching Sunday morning TV. We bid farewell to the perfect getaway and headed into York once again to visit the Railway Museum. Now, I wasn’t exactly excited to visit the museum, it was more a compromise with Chris, weekend in York but he gets to go the museum, fair? But I actually found myself enjoying it. The museum itself is huge, I guess it has to be to house so many trains right? who knew. But it was really interesting to see inside a Bullet train all the way from Japan, steam trains and all the royal carriages made over time.
We enjoyed our surprisingly good chickpea and butternut squash curry from the cafe and a vegan crumble, so highly recommend for food options. Chris spent some money in the gift shop and we headed for the bus back to the car to start our journey back to Leamington Spa.
So although our trip to York wasn’t completely jam packed with things to do, it was so perfect for a little getaway during the busy season. We both came away wishing we’d booked longer to just enjoy the barn, the log fire and some down time but hey, we can always visit again, right?
Have you been to York before?
We certainly could have explored the historic wall that runs around the entire city as we didn’t see much of it at all. I’d like to visit during the warmer months again in the future as I’ve only been when it’s freezing or extremely busy times of year with too many crowds. I would have also liked to enjoy more restaurants and cafe’s, but due to the time of year and lack of planning on our parts, we couldn’t get a reservation for love nor money. However that did mean we made the most of the Air Bnb and gave our wallets a much needed break in the most expensive month of the year.
What your favourite things to do in York? Please leave me some recommendations for our next visit!