We bet you didn't know this!
York… often overlooked in comparison to other major cities in the UK but definitely not one to be missed.
York is the perfect halfway stop between London and Edinburgh.
A walled city steeped in history, most popularly known for its stunning architecture such the city bars and towering Minster which dominates the skyline.
From Vikings and Ghost’s to chocolate crafting and Horse Racing, York’s significant ‘uniqueness’ will certainly appeal to a wide variety of people who visit.
York reigns as one of the most haunted cities in Europe and boasts a plethora of ghoulish tours and other quirky secrets waiting to be explored.
Some in the guidebooks and other from local knowledge…
So let’s begin,
Here are some fun things you didn’t know about York
1. Take part in the York selfie trail
Grab your phone and take part in the York selfie trail, the lovely folks over at the official Visit York website have carefully cherry-picked some of the most beautiful landmarks and locations scattered around the city, from there you can also download the interactive map which will guide you. Not only is these spots totally Insta worthy but a perfect opportunity to explore and learn more about this fascinating city.
You can learn more here: https://www.visityork.org/explore/selfie
Alternatively, you could set up your own trail to share with friends to truly create a unique experience.
2. Get spooked on a nightly Ghost hunt
Did you know that in 2002 the city of York was claimed to be one of the most haunted cities in Britain according to the Ghost Research Foundation? So spooky in fact, that the popular television shows ‘Most Haunted’ even broadcasted their live ghost investigation at York, Knavesmire in 2003.
Nowadays there are as many ghost tours as there are actually ghosts in the city, so you will never fall short of choosing one to take part in, some popular tours include, The Original Ghost Walk of York, The Bloody Tour of York and the York Terror Trail, all of which gather each night for a guided spooky wander around the city.
3. Wander back in time
The Shambles, an idyllic narrow street lined with cobblestones and overhanging Tudor builds is not only one of the most beautifully preserved medieval streets but also believed to be some of the oldest streets in the UK too. Dating as far back as the fourteenth and fifteenth century.
Today the Shambles is most popularly known and recognised for the inspiration of Diagon alley in J.K Rowling’s Novels, Harry Potter. You can’t help but feel transported back in time whilst exploring this gem. Be sure to check out the local independent shops scattered throughout the street.
4. Immerse yourself in a piece of Roman History
That Constantine the Great was the only ever emperor to have been crowned in the Roman city of York? (Formerly known as Eboracum) In fact, the only Roman emperor to have been crowned outside of Rome, you can find the bronze statue of Constantine situated next to York Minster.
5. Remember, remember the 5th of November
Did you know that the infamous Guy Fawkes, who plotted to blow up and destroy the Houses of Parliament in London, was actually born on Stonegate, York? The building itself can still be visited just a stone throw away from York Minster and now serves as a pub, The Guy Fawkes Inn. Be sure to look for the plaques attached outside and enjoy a pint whilst learning more about this story.
6. Lightning Strikes
Back in 1984, there was a powerful lightning bolt which struck York Minster, which caused horrendous damage to both the rooftop and South Rose Window. Four years and £2 million later the repair and restoration were finally completed.
The scaffolding you see around the Minster today is there for the protection of the building. It is still undergoing ongoing restoration, however, don’t fret, this will not affect your photos.
7. Find the smallest street with the longest name
Whip-ma-Whop-ma-Gate. The smallest street in York with the longest name, the street itself only stretches just a few meters long. It is said to be the smallest street in Britain, located at the corner of Colliergate and pavement, just try not to miss it.
8. Learn more about the significance behind ‘The Heart of Yorkshire’
Just like the bridge of Sighs in Venice, apparently kissing your beloved significant other beneath York Minsters western window supposedly means that you will remain together forever. Just be sure to look up the meaning of the ‘Heart of Yorkshire’ beautifully crafted within the stained glass of the window before rushing off for a smooch.
9. Admire one of the largest Cathedrals in Europe
York Minster was completed in 1472 is the second largest Gothic Cathedral in Europe. The city itself according to York Press attracts over 6.9 million visitors each year, yet is still so underrated compared to other popular cities such as London and Edinburgh.
Sara | Girl About Europe
Sara is a York-based travel blogger on a mission to see the world but more importantly to see it differently. You can find all her amazing articles on her blog Girl About Europe