York Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > United Kingdom > York > History

York is essentially a small city. Its city centre is a hive of activity surrounded by the safety of its ancient walls and looked over by the watchful spire of the giant Minster. The following are descriptions of some key areas in and around York and the kind of attractions, shops and businesses you are likely to find in each of them.

Bishopthorpe
Located on the outskirts of the city is this pleasant little village, home to the Archbishop of York's Palace. Just a short walk away is the Selby cycle track, built on top of the old railway line. As such, this is a superb flat, straight path, great for cycling and marvellous scenery to boot. Those with a keen eye will notice that every few metres are curious metal globes. These are in fact scale models of the planets in our solar system and the 10 miles between York and Selby have been mapped out accurately so that the distance between these models is relative to that of the real planets in space.

Bootham
Despite being known by locals for its hospital, this is a predominantly residential area which is also home to Bootham Crescent, the playing grounds of The Minster Men, York City F.C. Only a short distance away from the city centre, Bootham Bar is yet another piece of history left by the Romans. This large archway acts as an entrance to the city centre as well as being in sight of pubs like The Exhibition and The Hole in the Wall, although they are an entirely different type of bar altogether.

City Centre
Where else to start but with St. Peter's Cathedral, or as it is known to the majority of people, York Minster. It is a truly inspirational sight, towering above all other buildings in York and visible from miles outside the city limits. From the amazing stained glass windows to the tolling of its bells, experiencing York Minster in person is an incredible experience. Being a city so generously enriched with history, York has its fair share of museums, the most popular being The Jorvik Viking Museum, but it would be an injustice to overlook either the Castle Museum or The Railway Museum. York is also famous for its Roman Walls, which run through the city centre and walking along them is an ideal means of navigating your way through the city whilst simultaneously achieving a privileged vantage point for viewing York.

Although somewhat overshadowed by neighbouring Leeds, York has its fair share of shops and high street stores all of which can be found within the cosy city centre area. Major names such as Borders, HMV, Woolworth's and Marks & Spencer are all found sandwiched between the memorabilia and gift shops. Dining and drinking in the city centre has never been more cosmopolitan as there are plenty of coffee shops, Internet cafes as well as English style tea rooms to choose from. The traditional Betty's Tea Rooms sit comfortably by the continental flavoured Victor J's and the fashionably American Starbucks.

Clifton
This large area in York toward the northern edge of the city is home to the Clifton Moor Retail and Leisure Park. It is a continually growing shopping centre with a lengthy list of major stores, including Tescos, Toys R Us and McDonalds. A large, Warner Bros. Multiplex Cinema is also found here, next to the Frankie & Benny's Italian American diner. 10 pin Bowling fans will want to check out The Megabowl, which, as well as having a bar is also home to the latest video arcade games.

Haxby
A quiet village on the edge of the city. It is, for the most part, residential and although there are only a few small, local shops there, you will find some fine, traditional English pubs, like The Tiger.

Knavesmire/Tadcaster Road
One of the things York is most famous for is horse racing. The Knavemire derives its name from the infamous highway man, Dick Turpin, who was hung for his crimes upon this very ground. Hanging is much less common nowadays, in fact, you're far more likely to see a game of football on a Sunday afternoon than a set of gallows. As well as regular motor shows, The Knavesmire has been host to the Netherlands' National Circus and is the number one choice for kite fliers throughout the city. Usually most peoples' entrance (or exit) to York, Tadcaster Road is host to pubs, such as The Fox & Roman and The Starting Gate and hotels such as The Swallow and The Posthouse.

Micklegate
Possibly the most famous street in York with the exception of The Shambles. This is home to many of the best pubs in York, from the lively Harry's Bar and Brubakers to the more traditional Ackhorne and Walker's Bar. The chain of pubs is commonly referred to as "The Micklegate Run" and some of the most hardened drinkers of this world have felt their knees turn to jelly at the though of tackling all of them. At one time it was quite reasonable to drink a pint in each, but nowadays there are so many pubs it really doesn't bear thinking about. This is the usual approach path of young revellers making their way towards clubs such as The Gallery, Ziggy's and Toff's, so the faint of heart should perhaps take care.

Monkgate
This is a small area of York on the edge of the city centre whose main feature is the Monk Bar. This Roman gate has now been converted into a museum dedicated to the life of that son of York, Richard III. Was he a monster or was he simply misunderstood? Once your history lesson is over, you can enjoy excellent restaurants like The Viceroy of India or enjoy a hearty Sunday roast in The Tap & Spile.

Tadcaster
About ten minutes drive from York is this small village, known to many as the home of the Bass Brewery, the John Smith's Brewery and Samuel Smith's Brewery. It's a wonder the locals aren't pickled.

Upper Poppleton
Located on the edge of the city, this area of York contains an ever growing shopping area as well as numerous places to eat and drink. The Wetherby Whaler serves up the best fish and chips in York and for those that like a bit of spice, there is The Bengal Brasserie. The area also contains a range of businesses from the Arundale Mitsubishi car dealership to family orientated fun pubs like, The Millfield.