48 Hours in York
Day 1 –
10:00 – Breakfast & Walk along the City Walls
Take a walk along a little piece of history and see this ancient city from all angles. It’s a great way to get a good feel of the city, get your bearings and build up your appetite for later on in the day. There’s a few great cafes along Goodramgate where you can stop to have a sit-down breakfast or grab a takeaway coffee and a breakfast sandwich to head down the road to Monk Bar. Here you can get on the wall and take the northern path (so the city centre is on your left) all the way round to Bootham Bar at Petergate.
11:30 – Lunch at Betty’s
For those who haven’t been before, or for those who have and love it so much, there is no better place to indulge yourself in a truly Yorkshire treat than Betty’s tearoom. Choose your time and day wisely though as it’s known to attract large queues at peak hours. So we suggest if you want to go for brunch/lunch to get there a little early to beat the crowds.
13:00 – York Minster
What better way to burn off your lunch than a walk around the most iconic sights in Yorkshire, York Minster. This is the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe and took over 250 years to build. Once you’ve walked around the outside and taken a few good snaps from the best angles you can take a tour of the inside and get tickets to climb up the tower, but be sure to do a warm up first as there’s 275 steps to get to the top. Once you’ve reached the summit you are rewarded with an exceptional view of the stunning cathedral architecture as well as the backdrop of the city views.
14:00 – Treasurer’s House
Just round the corner from the York Minster, in the Minster yard, is the National Trust owned Grade I listed historic Treasurer’s house. Take an hour-long journey through the house and discover how Frank Green transformed the house into what it is today and explore his extraordinary collection he amassed over the years. You’ll want to check out the award winning garden whilst you’re there too where you can get an even better view of the Minster.
15:30 – York Chocolate Story
One of the most renowned things York is known for is it’s chocolate making history. Origins of the world famous chocolate confectioners including Rowntrees, Terry’s and Craven. Learn all about the history of these incredible chocolate makers and afterwards you can sit down for a chocolate milkshake. some ice cream or maybe just purchase a selection of chocolates to take away with you and enjoy later.
16:30 – The Shambles
The most famous street in York. A long narrow street which was originally used as the butcher’s shop road and is the oldest shopping street in Europe. The narrow street with the buildings on either side nearly touching overhead looks like the famous Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter films. Enjoy exploring the quaint little shops and more recently Harry Potter themed shops thanks to the aforementioned similarities to the Harry Potter Franchise. After this head back to your accommodation and get some rest before going out for your evening meal later on.
19:00 – Evening meal on Walmgate/Fossgate
For us there’s one area in York which offers a huge selection of restaurants all within a 5 minute walk of one another. You can find almost every type of cuisine you can imagine and having tried many of them before we can say that you’ll be hard pressed to find a better meal in York than around here. There’s everything you could want for including places like Ambiente (Tapas), Il Paridiso del Cibo & Marzano (Italian), Khao San Road (Thai), Mumbai Lounge (Indian) and more. If you’re visiting on a weekend be sure to book a table as most places fill up very quickly in this popular city.
10:00 – York River Cruise
If you want to enjoy the sights of York from a different perspective and give your legs a little break for what’s ahead in the day then we suggest heading out onto the waters of the river Ouse for an enjoyable and relaxing boat ride. You’ll learn some interesting facts about York and it’s riverside along the way.
11:30 – Clifford’s Tower
A great way to start your second day in York. Climb up the steps and make your way to the top of the tower to get the best panoramic view of the city centre. Make sure to book your ticket before your visit. You’ll be able to see the former women’s prison and debtors’ prison from your vantage point on the open air walls which now form the York castle museum.
12:30 – York Castle Museum
Just a two minute walk away is the York Castle Museum where you can find a wide range of exhibitions and explore hundreds of years of York’s past including Kirkgate: Victorian era York, The Sixties and Toy Stories.
13:30 – Lunch at the Shambles Food Court
We could recommend one of the many cafes or restaurants which are all great options but if you’re just visiting York for 48 hours and want a quick bite which you can pick up and eat along your travels then we suggest the Shambles Food Court. Full of amazing freshly made meals from all over the world with great meat and vegetarian options including french crepes (both sweet and savoury), Turkish Kebabs and Gyros, freshly made Italian pasta dishes, great Thai and so much more.
14:30 – Jorvik Viking Centre
Here you’ll be stepping on the famous Coppergate dig where archeologists first unearthed the astounding discoveries of the viking era York. You’ll be able to hear from the archeologists who were involved with the dig and helped piece together the story of the Jorvik Vikings. Step into the time capsule for a fully immersive experience where you’ll be transported back to Viking-age York where you can experience first-hand what York was like when it was inhabited by the Vikings.
16:00 – National Railway Museum
The largest railway museum in the world and the only place to have a bullet train outside of Japan as well as being home to the fastest steam locomotive in the world – The Mallard. You’ll be able to a look inside some of the impressive locomotives and even step inside some carriages.
18:00 – Early Meal
Grab an early meal on your way back into the city centre where you can take a pick from an abundance of top quality restaurants or grab something a bit quicker from the York Roast Co. Have you ever tried a yorkshire pudding wrap? We highly recommend one if you haven’t before. If the latter is your option then grab a refreshing drink from one of many great pubs or bars that York has to offer. There’s Evil Eye which is well worth a visit if cocktails are your thing, Pitcher & Piano which offers great riverside views as you enjoy your drink or The Hop if you like real ales and a tasty pizza if you prefer an alternative to the Yorkshire pudding wrap.
20:00 – The Original Ghost Walk of York
Enjoy some fun and spooky stories for the entertaining and knowledgeable tour guide as you explore the darker side of York’s past. There’s no need to book tickets for the tour, just show up at The King’s Arms pub on the Ouse bridge by the King’s Arms pub.
After another full day of action packed activities you’ll most likely want to call it a night and get back to your accommodation for a well deserved rest. There’s even more things to do in York than what’s listed above and it’s a struggle to do them all in 48 hours. After one visit to this charming little city we’re sure that you’ll want to return for another trip in the future.