Some of the most beautiful scenery in England can be found in the Yorkshire Dales, and right at the heart is the city of York. In the centre of the city is a Norman tower on its mound, surrounded by a host of narrow streets with an eclectic mix of shops, pubs and restaurants. Here you will find the largest cathedral in England, York Minster, a magnificent building with a beautifully decorated screen showing 15 kings of England from William I to Henry VI. The Tower gives great views over the city.
The tiny streets of the city lead to the Shambles, a former butcher’s quarter with overhanging upper storeys which almost meet above the narrow alleyway. The city walls are also largely intact and walks around them can be enjoyed. Some areas are wide enough for horses to pass and this route gives the best view of some of the Medieval buildings, such as the timber-framed Merchant Adventurers’ Hall.
The medieval city of York has many Roman remains and even evidence of a Viking settlement which is recaptured on a tour of the Yorvik Museum. Visitors descend the ‘Time Tunnel’ in automated electric carriages. Cleverly this museum even recreates the sounds and smells of a Viking village, making this an excellent and memorable visit. The final exhibits are some of the 15,000 finds from this archeological site.
Another unique experience can be enjoyed with a visit to the National Railway Museum which has an unrivalled collection of railway engines and memorabilia, left over from when York was the hub of 19th century rail travel. The Flying Scotsman and Queen Victoria’s sumptuous rail carriage are both on show here. Take the opportunity to ride in the Ferris wheel and see the city of York from high above. The rooftops and spires clearly show this historic city to its best advantage.
For those who want a wider view of local life, the Yorkshire Museum sitting in 10 delightful acres of botanical gardens has some fine treasures including the Middleham Jewel.