Historical York: 4 things to explore

Image by Jim Brewin from Pixabay


As King George VI once said, “the history of York is the history of England”, and he couldn’t be more right. A historic city that hosted Romans, Saxons and, most famously, the Vikings, York has plenty of stories to tell an eager listener.

If you consider yourself a history buff, there’s no end to how much can be learned and discovered in York. From the historic Shambles to the towering York Minster and gruesome York Dungeon, all you need to do is hop on a train to York. Thanks to the city being so accessible, you’ll be immersed in its intriguing history in no time.

York Minster

Presiding over the city in all its gothic wonder, York Minster is one of those things you never forget. Armed with hundreds of gargoyles, dastardly-looking spires and magnificent turrets that seem to touch the sky, it’s grand and imposing to say the least.

It’s one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe, and it’s certainly had a lot of famous visitors throughout the years. It remains the centre of Christianity in Northern England and hosts services every day. Once inside, you’ll also notice their impressive collection of Medieval stained glass!

Standing tall for over 1,000 years, York Minster is an incredible feat of endurance and English history.

The Shambles

It’s hard not to fall in love with The Shambles. A historic street lines with timber-framed buildings, all of which host independent shops like fudge-makers, toy-makers and adorable little cafes, it could be pulled out of a picture book, or even a fairy-tale.

Known for its narrow, cobbled streets, you’ll feel the distinct energy of The Shambles the minute you walk in. Always bustling with visitors and shoppers, this is where the modern world meets and old, and where independent businesses and local crafts are celebrated.

The York Dungeon

Unveiling one of the darker aspects of York’s history, The York Dungeon takes visitors on a journey through York’s murky past. Feel your skin bristling with horror as you visit the torture chamber, greet some of York’s most infamous characters (Guy Fawkes included) and prepare for some of the most gruesome inhabitants to jump out at you from the dank shadows.

A fully immersive experience that is delivered by some exceptionally talented performers, The York Dungeon puts you in the heart of this most horrifying of establishments. It’s only for the brave!

Clifford’s Tower

Back at street level and Clifford’s Tower keeps watch over the city. A Medieval Castle Keep, enjoy panoramic views across the city and feel free to play ‘Kings and Queens’ as you soak in the historic city from up high.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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