Destination: BRITAIN
Things To Know

Sightseeing in York
Shopping in Old York
Sightseeing in York

Many parts of central York are pedestrian-only, and though crowds may throng the narrow streets, people have precedence over vehicles. In the nicest areas of old York there is no stream of roaring traffic pinning you to the sidewalk. You go with the flow, but there is no rush-hour element even during the busiest times of day.

York's flavor can be captured via a City SightSeeing or Guide Friday open-top double-decker bus or in a horse-drawn carriage. The inner city can be explored on one of numerous city tours, led by local experts. Or you can take a “ghost walk,” complete with an entertaining guide and actors making impromptu, phantom appearances in dark alleys. Leisurely daytime guided walks take in the city walls and ancient streets.

You could also explore on your own. Central York is not large, and you're never far from the next fascinating building, museum or attraction. Few houses in York rise above two or three stories, and the sun finds its way into hidden corners, lighting the upper parts of old buildings. Take time as you stroll to appreciate the colorful facades and architectural features, like Stonegate's little red devil above the corner with Coffee Yard Lane.

The many different people who colonized York left an engaging but confusing legacy of local words. The word “bar” means gate and refers to the magnificent stone gateways, such as Bootham Bar and Monk Bar, that punctuate the city walls. On the other hand, the Viking word “gate,” as in Stonegate and Petergate, means street.

Walk part of the city walls for a superb overview of York. Try the section from Monk Bar (location of the fascinating Richard III Museum), at the north end of Goodramgate, to Bootham Bar at the west end of High Petergate. The views of York Minster along this stretch are outstanding.

Visit such main attractions as York Minster and Jorvik, but do not neglect other sights - like the hands-on Archaeological Resource Centre (ARC) in St. Saviour's Church and The York Dungeon on Clifford Street, both great fun for children. Enjoy the talented street entertainers and the many festivals and events staged here each year.


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