York's Earliest SettlersWalk the city walls and you'll find outcrops of Roman construction amongs the mostly medieval stones. The actual layout of the city center follows the pattern of the original Roman fortress. Here and there you may find Roman inscriptions on building walls: those are mostly copies, though, with the actual inscribed stones found in The Yorkshire Museum.
Find York's Viking past at The Jorvik Viking Center. More than 40,000 Viking items were discovered in the l970s during construction excavations at Coppergate (which means the street of cup makers). The finds included workshops for jewelry making, metalworking and, yes, the manufacture of wooden cups and bowls.
Medieval YorkYork's real treasure is its vast collection of pristine medieval buildings - in stone as well as half-timbering (called "black and whites" in the UK), many still in daily use and some, like the Barley Hall, only recently discovered, lost within York's tight lanes and snickelways.
While in York, don't miss:
- York Minster Northern Europe's largest Gothic Cathedral on a site with nearly 1700 years of religious history.
- The Shambles A lane mentioned in the Domesday book that is England's most visited street - and at least 900 years old.
- York's traditional open market and, in season, the city's fabulous Christmas markets.
- The National Railway Museum 300 years of rail history in the world's largest rail museum.
Continuing Your TourYork and Leeds are so close together that you can easily spend the night in York and move on first thing in the morning, or head for Leeds, about 25 miles and 45 minutes away, at the end of your day in York. That's my preference if you need to stay on schedule because York is such a lovely city that if you spend a second night, you'll just be tempted to stay there.
More Travel Ideas for York
- Save money with a York Pass, covering admission to most attractions.
- Enrich your visit with a prepaid, guided tour to buy direct:
- Before heading to Leeds spend some time exploring north of York in the Yorkshire Dales or North York Moors National Parks.