Your Guide to a Day Trip to: York!

As promised, the series continues. This time, I’m picking one of my local childhood cities and also the capital of my home county. Welcome to York! York is full of history and culture. It is one of the cities famous for it's wall surrounding the centre, founded by the ancient Romans. I went many times growing up and I am always amazed my how well it has been maintained over the years. Plus, I still find new things to do as the years go by. 

1. Relax on the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. If it's your first time in York, the bus tour is a great way to see the landmarks quickly and easily, whilst also enjoying an informative tour guide. 
2. Walk the York Walls. Possibly my favourite activity and something I like to do on each visit. It's free to walk around and they are still very much in tact. I also enjoy that there are ample opportunities to get up and down, plus the views are lovely. 
3. Explore York Minister. The huge 13th-century Gothic cathedral, is complete with medieval stained glass and 2 functioning bell towers. Fun student who graduate from York St John's University are one of the select few who are privileged to be able to get married in the Minister. 
4. Visit the Shambles. Gorgeous cobbled street, with quirky little shops selling everything from Harry Potter goodies, to fudge, to jewellery. You could spend hours walking the streets and find hidden gem after hidden gem. 
5. Learn about York's Chocolate Story. From chocolate's origins to the sustainable future of chocolate, this is an interactive experience. It allows you decorate a lolly and take home your own homemade chocolate bar. 

6. Immerse yourself in old York at the Jorvik Viking Centre. I would recommend this one to slightly older families. Starts by enjoying some of the most astounding discoveries in modern archaeology. Finish with sights, sounds and even the smells of the Viking Age as they are brought vividly back to life. 

7. Climb up Clifford's Tower. Unfortunately, it is currently closed for repairs but it has beautiful panoramic views of the city and is pivotal in historical battles. 

8. Enjoy the Breezy Knees Gardens. This is one thing I have never done but always wanted to. The gardens look lovely, especially in the summer and it's known as the "Flower Garden of Yorkshire". Google the pictures for a little inspiration!

9. Cruise on the Ouse. The river goes almost through the city, with walls on either side. It's not a cruise where you'll find tourist attractions along route like in London or Cambridge, but it's beautiful and peaceful nevertheless. 
10. Be frightened at York Dungeon. I mentioned this one in my previous guide but York is the one I'll always remember. I went a couple times on a school trip and then once with my family. My grandma got chosen to be "prisoner" and certainly acted the part through and through. It's a great immersive experience for the whole family! 

11. Eat at Betty's. For me it is just not a trip to York without a trip to Betty’s. It's a little overpriced and unfortunately, you can't pre-book a table so you do have to wait in a queue, but the food is amazing and it's just a little added luxury. I love a brunch! 

These last two are a little outside the city walls but still good options to do if you have a little more time to spent in the city. 

12. See Castle Howard. This is one of England's finest historic houses, with a thousand acres of parkland dotted with statues, temples, lakes and fountains. Inside world-renowned collections can be enjoyed and interestingly, it still remains a family home.

13. Get lost at York Maze. With over 20 rides, shows and attractions, this maze is the largest in Europe and it is cleverly redesigned each year to ensure an extra challenge. They have everything from giant dinosaurs in the Jurassic Maize to mind-bending rooms and illusions in the House of Cornfusion! If you're visiting in October, it has an amazing Halloween event every night. 

Anything you would add to the list of must do's in York? There are lots of museums and art galleries to enjoy as well, so do a little research if that is something you like also.