While the more time you spend somewhere the better, I don’t think you should miss out on an experienced because you’re short on time. I could easily spend a week or more walking and exploring the streets of York, but you can easily see sights in just one day.
9:00 am – Breakfast at Betty’s
Established in 1919 this shop is the perfect way to start your day. The atmosphere in Betty’s is both warm and inviting with a touch of elegance and nostalgia. In addition to a delicious breakfast menu, they have a fantastic selection of tea and coffee. I’m not a tea drinker at all but decided “when in Rome”, and had Jasmine tea with honey and wasn’t disappointed. If you get there right when they open it’s usually less busy which means you may get a table by a window that looks out onto a bustling intersection.
10:00 am – Visitor Information Center
After breakfast head to the visitors center to pick-up your YorkPass and guide book. For one price, this pass will get you into 25 attractions in the York city center and 15 more outside of the city center and gives you the flexibility to pop in to attractions you may not otherwise visit or tailor your day to your interests.
10:15 am – York Minster
The minster is a short walk from the visitors center and should be your first place to visit. Not only will there be less visitors, but it ensures that if the hours change you will still get to the see inside the beautiful masterpiece and experience the history inside even if they close early. A bonus is that they allow pictures inside!
12:00 pm – Shambles Market
Head to Shambles Market and have your pick of street food while you stroll the fresh produce and flowers the local vendors have to offer.
1:00 pm – JORVIK Viking Centre
Visit the Viking Centre to experience what like was like for the Vikings in 10thcentury York. The ride will take you through the Viking town of Jorvik and with the goal being authenticity, you will leave feeling like you just time traveled back 1,000 years.
2:00pm – York Army Museum
This museum is a great little stop on the way to Cliffords Tower. The museums exihibits start in the year 1685 and show collections form the Royal Dragoons Guard and the Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire and their importance. They also allow you to safely handle a period weapon under the supervision of trained museum staff.
2:45 pm – Cliffords Tower
When you’re ready to take in views of the city, make your way to Cliffords Tower. There are a lot of steps up to the Tower, and even more once you get inside but the view is worth it.
3:15 PM – York Castle Museum
From Cliffords Tower you can see the museum and is just across the street. The museum offers exhibits from Shaping the Body to WWI and has other temporary displays throughout the year.
4:00 pm – Walk the City Walls
By this time you’ve probably noticed the city walls of York. These walls are actually Roman walls from the 1stcentury A.D and are the longest town walls in England. Enter the section of wall that runs along Paragon Street.
4:30 pm – Gateway Coffee
About halfway through your walk along the wall, there is a coffee shop. Yes, a coffee shop. Right on the wall. This coffee shop sells high quality coffee and pastries and has excellent service. While there is indoors seating, the best place to go is outside where you can sit and sip your coffee at a little table enjoying the weather and taking in the views.
5:30 pm – Dinner in Town
Once the coffee is finished and you’ve finished the walk along this section of the wall, make your way back towards the center of town and stroll the beautiful street looking for a place to stop in for dinner. No matter your selection you are sure to encounter something delicious.