Manchester and Day Trips Out


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In many ways the history of York is the history
of England. Located on the other side of the Pennine Hills from
Lancashire, about a 1½ hour journey by car along the M62
Motorway or by train from Manchester, York is a city crammed with
history, and many things for the visitor to see. York is an old

York MinsterThe Shambles, YorkSt Williams College, York
The West Front York Minster; The Shambles; St William’s College

First as a Roman city ( Eboracum , built
around 71-73 AD), later as a Danish and Viking stronghold (around
600 AD, and by then known as Yorvik ), then as a medieval
one, with its political and religious intrigues (and regarded as
important enough for the Archbishop of York to be declared Primate
of England by the Pope around 735 AD), and finally as an elegant
Jacobean and Georgian town of great beauty.

York Minster
York Minster. Aerial photograoh provided courtesy of Webb Aviation
© 2008. All rights reserved –

Famous Yorkists

York was the birthplace of Guy Fawkes
(who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament) and the final resting
place of the highwayman, Dick Turpin, who was hanged and is buried there.
It was also in York that the Constantine the Great was declared Emperor
of the Roman Empire.

The Danes in York

The Danish heritage of York is everywhere,
surviving in its streetnames – Monksgate, Micklegate, Stonegate, Swinegate,
Newgate, etc – the “gate” suffix coming from the Danish word
“gat” meaning “street” (and not as
many suppose “a gate”). It is often said in jest that in York
…”all the streets are “Gates”, the gates are called
“Bars”, and the bars are all pubs.” At one time there
were 10,000 people in the Danish settlement of Yorvick, and it was here
that Danish kings lived to rule over Northumbria for more than 50 years.

York Minster

Dominating the city is York Minster,
arguably Britain’s finest gothic cathedral, and the largest in Northern
Europe. Begun in 1220 and not completed until 1472 it illustrates graphically
the rivalry that existed between Canterbury and York for the Primacy
of the Church of England – each trying desperately to outdo the other
in scale and grandeur. The Minster is too imposing to miss out of any
itinerary of the City. Entrance is free, though donations to the upkeep
are welcomed, and access is limited, particularly during religious services.
The undercroft is also worth visiting, offering insights into the original
Roman settlement lying beneath the Minster, as is a trip up to the roof
with its panoramic views of the City and over the Vale of York – both
of these charge an entrance fee. Entry to the Minster itself now requests
a ‘voluntary’ suggested payment of around £3.50 (GBP) per
person – that, apparently, is calculated on the basis of the cost of
maintaining building and the number of visitors who arrive annually!

Tourist York

Medieval York frequently received
visits from the King and Parliament, and many surviving institutions,
like the Minster, St Peter’s School, St William’s College and The Merchant
Adventurers Company have an unbroken history since medieval times. Other
important features of the city are the City Walls and streets like the
Shambles. The old city walls are intact for about 60% of the perimeter,
although the city has stretched far beyond its original boundaries;
the walls are well worth a walk, offering splendid elevated aspects
of the townscape and the Minster. The Shambles is an old narrow shopping
street of great charm and character – well worth a visit just for the
window shopping.

St William’s college has an elegant
teashop on the green overlooking the Minster and is a popular rest
for refreshments, (accompanied by musical entertainments performed
by minstrels).

Monument to the Emperor Constantine in YorkMonks Bar in YorkYork Minster
The Monument to the Emperor Constantine;
Monk Bar; York Minster .

York Tourist Information

If you are looking for accommodation or other
information about visits to York, there are Tourist Information
Centres at:

De Grey Rooms: Exhibition Square,
York YO1 2HB. Tel: 01904-621756
York Railway Station: Fax: 01904-626173.

Website: Email:

Places of Interest and Things to Do in York

  • Tours of York
    1 day tour including overnight hotel (bed, breakfast and evening meal
    included. See: Northern

  • York Boats

    Guided boat trips on the river throughout from springtime to early
    autumn, including floodlit evening cruises, summer nights afloat and
    self drive motor boats. For details: Tel: 01904 628324. Website:

  • Jorvik Viking Centre
    Coppergate, York YO1 9WT.
    Tel: 01904-643211 (24hrs information). Advance Bookings: 01904-543403
    A journey of discovery into Danish life deep below the street of York.
    A recreation of the Viking City of 948 AD.

  • National Railway Museum
    Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ. Tel: 01904-621261. Website:
    Children under 16 and the over-60s go in free. Winner of the White
    Rose Tourism Awards 1999. Extensive collection of engines and rolling
    stock including royal carriages and steam engines.

  • Merchant Adventurer’s

    Fossgate, York YO1 9XD. Tel: 01904-654818. Email:
    Europe’s finest medieval guild hall built in 1357. Available for hire
    for weddings, receptions and dinners, and licenced for civil marriage

  • York Castle Museum
    The Eye of York, York YO1 9RY. Tel: 01904-653611. Fax: 01904-671078.
    Recreations of cobbled streets and collections of costumes and textiles
    as well as artefacts from military and social history through the

  • The Yorkshire Museum
    Museum Gardens, York YO1 7FR. Tel: 01904-629745. Fax: 01904-651221.
    Set in the midst of 10 acres of beautiful gardens, the museum contains
    some of the finest collections of European archaeology from Anglo-Saxon
    to modern times.

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© John Moss, Papillon Graphics AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom – all rights reserved.
This page last updated 16 Nov 12.