A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
So, last week, I introduced the city of York to you, including ten (10) exciting things you probably didn’t even know!
Oh, and if you didn’t know, where have you been?
Our very own Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are finally engaged!
You know how much I adore the Royal Family, not only doing documentaries about the Queen, but getting to hobnob with Prince William and Kate Middleton too!
I am delighted for them.
North America. You’re welcome!
As you know, I spent the Autumn visiting the UK and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! And Liverpool!
If you’re just tuning in, here’s a recap:
Yorkshire, otherwise known as Yorks or the County of York, is a county in Northern England, and the largest in the UK!
Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire, are areas which are widely considered to be among the greenest in England, due to the vast stretches of unspoilt countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors!
The emblem of Yorkshire is the White Rose, of the royal English House of York.
If you are versed in English history, you’d know well the Wars of the Roses between the two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster – a red rose – and the House of York – a white rose. If you enjoy watching British cultural dramas, you might recognise the name in the wonderful BBC TV series – The White Queen!
I have happy childhood memories of camping in the Yorkshire Dales, but this time we visited the lovely historical city of York!
Ha! Ha! Ha!
You won’t believe it, but before this visit, I had never previously been to York!
It’s as bad as when I didn’t go to Switzerland, even though Switzerland is literally next door!
In order to rectify this, I reached out to the very nice people at Visit York, and they were great! We used VIP press passes in order to experience the attractions of the York Pass.
Thanks so much!
York is one of the oldest cities in the UK!
York is a historic city, and like Chester, is also a walled one! It has a rich heritage, and has been around for more than 2,000 years!
It was previously an Anglo-Saxon trading port known as Eoforwic, and then became more established under the Romans.
In 71 AD, it was known as Eboracum!
As far back as 866, the south of Northumbria – otherwise known as modern-day Yorkshire – was invaded and conquered by fierce Norsemen from Scandinavia, which is present day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, known as Jórvík!
In medieval times, York became a most important political region via the House of York and an even more important religious symbol from which people did pilgrimages, and the seat of the Archbishop of York since AD 735!
By the 19th & 20th century, York was part of the Industrial Revolution that would turn the fortunes of Britain forever!
Today, the population of York is roughly 153,717, and is otherwise known as the City Of York, but certainly, not to be confused with any Cities of York ork Cities in the United States of America!
1. Ramble through the cobbled streets of York
2. Put on some horns and be a viking for the day at the JORVIK Viking Centre
3. Heave yourself up the York City Wall – the longest medieval town walls in England – and walk along ’em!
4. Have traditional Afternoon Tea at Bettys Café Tea Rooms – one of York’s best, and oldest places to have High Tea!
5. Climb the magnificent York Minster – the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe!
6. Climb up the last remaining part of the intriguing medieval Norman York Castle – otherwise known as Cliffords Tower!
7. Visit Kirkgate (built in 1938) at the York Castle Museum, and put yourself in the streets of Victorian England!
8. Search for magic in the original Diagon Alley and get yourself a bit of Potter memorabilia at The Shop That Must Not Be Named!
9. Lose yourself in the historical street of York – otherwise known as the Shambles – a 14th century cobblestone alley, and the most medieval street in England!
10. Invest in a York Pass so that you can get into many places of interest for free!
11. Scare yourself silly at the York Dungeon, where the Horrible Histories of York can be learnt, audience participate in the stories, and actors pop up surprisingly!
12. Learn about the history of chocolate in York where not only is it an important industry, but it also has it’s own museum!
13. Walk along the beautiful riverside in Bishopthorpe. Simply one of the best things that you can do, in any riverside city-destination!
14. Go on the River Ouse, sail along on a river cruise, and listen to the history of York at the waterside.
15. Explore life in the Middle Ages, touch, feel, dress up and hear, as you imagine yourself living in mediaeval times, as the Lord Mayor of York, at his 14th century home at Barley Hall!
16. We all know Henry VIII, but did you know his father – Henry VII – who was the first Tudor King of England! Why not visit the Henry VII Experience to find out who he really was!
psst. If you’ve watched the BBC version of the White Queen, you’ll know!
17. And while you’re at it, you might as well get to know Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England, and also it was rumoured, the person who gave the word for the two (2) little princes (Edward and Richard) to be murdered in the Tower of London in 1483, and their bodies never to be found, until 1674! But is it true? Visit the Richard III Experience and find out for yourself!
18. Hop on the historical train and learn all about 300 years of history at the National Railway Museum. And it’s absolutely free of charge too!
19. Learn all about Guy Fawkes, and his 1605 Gunpowder Plot. Thankfully, he didn’t succeed, and every year on November the 5th, we celebrate that fact with singing, fireworks, an effigy, and a bonfire!
20. York’s history is full of death, blood and gore. Join a sinister production of the York Terror Trail, and be a part of the story!
21. Go on a ghost walk. There are plenty throughout the city of York. We went on two of them! Not only did we go on a terror trail, but on the Original Ghost Walk of York, believed to be the first exclusive ghost walk in the world!
All you have to do is choose one, and go screaming through the streets!
22. See great drama at the 270 year old York Theatre Royal. With a wide variety of performances, events, activities, and pantomimes featuring the UK’s longest-running Dame, there’s bound to be something you like!
23. Have a drink at the Golden Fleece Inn – reputedly the most haunted pub in York. And see whether you actually see ghosts. Or something else!
24. And if you’re full of courage, visit the Kings Arms Pub – said to be the most famous pub in York – otherwise known as The Pub that Floods – due to the fact that when the city floods, the pub floods with it! It has even been known to have punters standing on upturned crates and floating in and out with canoes, so that they can keep on drinking! Now that’s what I call the British spirit!
25. Marvel at the smallest street with the longest name in the world – Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate!
26. Get yourself a home-made roast beef sandwich at any of the locally owned sandwich cafés
27. Indulge your inner-child and take a horse-ride on the carousel fairground, which has been around for over 100 years, and is a well-loved York institution!
28. If you’ve never had English fudge, you’ve never lived! And don’t even get me started on treacle toffee. I have very fond memories of almost breaking my jaw ‘cos of all the toffee, that I had bought. Yum!
29. Go shopping in York. And why not?!
30. Visit the farmers market and other traditional markets, opened on various days of the week, in York
31. Have cocktails during Happy Hour! We found a gastro-pub – the Slug & Lettuce York – which had fantastic cocktail prices. I mean, on the day that we “stepped in, it was a Monday night, the offer on was 50% Off Food Monday! And cocktails were 2 for 1, ALL day EVERY day! And with mocktails going for as little as £3.95 for a Bambini Bellini, thus £1.97 a glass, my pocket was very happy! We didn’t have our dinner there, but a few snacks and a couple of drink, certainly went down very well…!
32. While in York, visit any one of the UK’s loveliest national parks – the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.
33. York is home to the Yorkshire Pudding! A Yorkshire pud is often served with roast beef, roast potatoes, a selection of seasonal vegetables, generous lashings of thick gravy, and is one of Britain’s most important food item, when having the all-important traditional Sunday roast!
So, there you have it.
This article isn’t sponsored, and even though we received VIP press passes, courtesy of Visit York, all opinions and the great #YorkAdventure that we experienced, are my very own!
I have so much to share with you.
I’ll be writing about my visit to the UK, and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! And Liverpool!
I’ll also be visiting Hamburg in December. Watch out on Twitter!
December is going to be sparkling!
Watch this space!
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You forgot to mention that York has a Roman Emperor! Constantine the Great was crowned Emperor of the Roman Empire in York in 306AD. He was the Caesar that allowed religious tolerance and thus the survival of the early Christians. He popularised the festival of Christmas and converted to Christianity in 312AD. As a result York had its first Bishop in 314. He was also the one who moved the capital of the Empire eastwards and set up the new city of Constantinople. True, he moved from York to Trier (better wine no doubt), but it all started in the great city of York!
Haw! Haw! Thanks so much for reminding Thomas! 😀
There were so many things that I wanted to write, but I just couldn’t fit them in. It was over the 2,000 word mark as it is! I can tell you though, I’ve actually been to Trier, and it was unforgettable! 😀 😀
I remember seeing Constantine’s statue during my visit to York. Should’ve taken a photo–drats!
Walking through The Shambles gives you a good idea how narrow streets were during the medieval period. Add some carts and animals–happy navigating if you can.
That chocolate shop in your lead photo–I would’ve unloaded there my wallet in no time. 🙂
Thanks so much Elisa!
Yep! Constantine the Great was pretty important. Without him, where would we all be? Certainly not celebrating Christmas, that’s for sure! 😉
Isn’t the Shambles great? As soon as I saw it, I recognised it straight away! It would have been really, really busy in the Middle Ages, and you’d probably get a bucket of something unsavoury on one’s head! Shopping for chocolate? I hear ya! We spent quite some time buying boxes and boxes of home-made fudge in a variety of flavours. And traditional “Ye Olde English ” sweets that came in huge jars with nostalgic names like dandelion and murdock, sherbet, peaches and cream stripped pear drops, etc…! 😀
Before I even read the caption on that top image, I almost said, “OMG! York looks just like Diagon Alley!” Did they actually film it there or just get inspiration from the town?
That fudge looks DIVINE.
I’ve never been to York (nor really considered going), but consider my interest piqued!
Thanks very much Kristin!
Isn’t it marvellous? They couldn’t actually film in The Shambles as it’s far too small, but Warner Bros certainly got the inspiration from there, and the North York Moors Steam Railaway at Goathland was actually the location of the very first Harry Potter film! I didn’t have any space to squeeze that info in, but I might add it to my previous post! 😀
Seems like a very interesting city. So much of history. Thank you, Victoria.
Thanks very much Victor! It is. A very interesting historical city indeed! 😀
Cool! I’d never considered York as a place to visit. I can’t seem to quit London :-). I think my favorite would be hanging out at the pub and drinking mojitos and perhaps some beer. It does indeed look like someplace out of Harry Potter!
Thanks so much KemKem!
Ha! Ha! You can take the girl from London…! We surely had a great time during our breaks. Haw! Haw! And yep! York is the world of Harry Potter come to life! 😀
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