More about York
The arrival of the railway in York improved the city's
fortunes, with the railway industry employing nearly 6,000 local
people, and tourism to the city became far more popular.
Furthermore, being roughly the midpoint on the railway between
London and Edinburgh, York was once again in a brilliant position
for freight trade. Today York retains many signs of its early
prosperity, as well as the influence of the Romans, Vikings, Saxons
and Normans in its rich architecture. With so much of its beautiful
Medieval centre still intact today, the city is a delight to
explore. Exploring York is a hugely rewarding experience, and you
will need to choose your options carefully. The city encompasses a
wealth of historic treasures, surrounded by its magnificent 13th
century walls, with their four gates, or 'bars' as they are known.
Perhaps take a stroll along the walls for a different perspective
of the beautiful city. Other options include an open-top bus tour
and a cruise on the River Ouse.
The largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe, York Minster was consecrated in 1472 AD,
and towers above the city's Medieval streets. Highlights of the
Minster include the stunning Great East Window, which dates back to
1408 and is the world's largest Medieval stained glass window.
Another popular feature is the striking 15th century choir screen,
which depicts sculptures of the Kings of England from William I to
Henry VI. If you're feeling really energetic, perhaps climb the
Minster's central tower for the terrific views over the city. Even
today, buildings in York are not permitted to be as tall as the
Minster, so the views are certainly far-reaching.
The National Railway Museum
The natural successor to the former North Eastern Railway's museum
in York, the National Railway Museum first
opened in 1975, and was the first national museum outside of
London. The collection was housed in the former engine shed for
York station, which is today known as the Great Hall. One of the
former goods storage halls was redesigned to look like a railway
station, and was opened as an extension in the early 1990s, now
known as the Station Hall.
The Jorvik Viking Centre
Standing on the site of many Viking archaeological finds, the Jorvik Viking Centre recreates
some of York's streets as they would have been when the city was
called Jorvik and was the capital of the Viking Kingdom - right
down to the smell! There is also a number of Viking artefacts found
in the city on display.
The Shambles is regarded as one of the best preserved Medieval
streets in Europe, although the name is also used to refer
collectively to the surrounding maze of narrow, twisting lanes and
alleys as well. The street is mentioned in the Domesday Book,
meaning it has been in continuous existence for well over 900
years. It was originally home to a number of butchers, and many of
their hooks and meat shelves are still present on the street
Opened on the site of York Castle's former prison section, the York Castle Museum features a number
of displays about life in the past. These range from a feature on
life for prisoners to Kirkgate, a recreated Victorian street alive
with the sights, sounds and characters from more than 100 years
The principal remains of York's Medieval castle, Clifford's Tower was built originally
by William the Conqueror to subdue the Northern Rebellion. Situated
on top of an artificial mound, the Tower affords great views of the
city from the top of its ramparts.