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York
—  U.A. and City  —
An aerial view of York, with York Minster in the centre

Arms of City of York Council
Nickname(s): "Capital of the North",[1] "Chocolate City"[2]
Motto: 'Let the Banner of York Fly High'
York shown within England
Coordinates: 53°57′30″N 1°5′48″W / 53.95833°N 1.09667°W / 53.95833; -1.09667Coordinates: 53°57′30″N 1°5′48″W / 53.95833°N 1.09667°W / 53.95833; -1.09667
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Ceremonial county North Yorkshire
Admin HQ York City Centre
Founded as Eboracum c. 71 AD
Government
 - Type Unitary Authority, City
 - Governing body City of York Council
 - Leadership: Leader and Executive
 - Executive: Liberal Democrat
 - MPs: Hugh Bayley (L)
John Greenway (C)
John Grogan (L)
Anne McIntosh (C)
Area
 - Total 105 sq mi (271.94 km2)
Population (2008 est.)
 - Total 195,400 (Ranked 82nd)
 Density 1,779.3/sq mi (687/km2)
 - Ethnicity
(2005 Estimates)[3]
95.6% Any White
3.0% Any Asian
0.9% Mixed
0.5% Any Black
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
 - Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC+1)
Postcode YO
Area code(s) 01904
ISO 3166-2 GB-YOR
ONS code 00FF
OS grid reference SE603517
NUTS 3 UKE21
Website www.york.gov.uk

York (pronounced /ˈjɔːk/ ( listen)) is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence.

The city was founded by the Romans in 71 AD. They called it Eboracum, a name perhaps derived from one used by the British tribes who inhabited the area. The Romans made it the capital of their Province of Britannia Inferior.[4] At the end of Roman rule in 415 AD the settlement was taken over by the Angles and the city was renamed Eoforwic. It served as the capital of the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria.[5] When the Vikings captured the city in 866 AD they renamed it Jórvík and it became the capital of a wider kingdom of the same name covering much of Northern England. After the Norman conquest, the name "York", which was first used in the 13th century, gradually evolved.[5] In the Middle Ages York grew as a major wool trading centre and the ecclesiastical capital of the northern province of England. The Province of York has remained one of the two Church of England ecclesiastical provinces, along with that of Canterbury.

York's location on the River Ouse, in the centre of the Vale of York and half way between the capitals of London and Edinburgh means that it has long had a significant position in the nation's transport system. The 19th century saw York, under the influence of George Hudson, become an important hub of the railway network and a manufacturing centre. In recent decades, the economy of York has moved from being dominated by its confectionery and railway-related industries to one that provides services. The University of York and health services have become major employers. Tourism also boosts the local economy because the city offers a wealth of historic attractions, of which York Minster is the most prominent, and a variety of cultural activities. York Racecourse and Bootham Crescent, the home of York City F.C., are the most prominent sporting venues in the city and the River Ouse provides opportunities for both sporting and leisure pursuits.

From 1996, the term City of York describes a unitary authority area which includes rural areas beyond the old city boundaries. In 2001 the urban area had a population of 137,505,[6] while in 2007 the entire unitary authority had an estimated population of 193,300.[7]

Contents

History

Toponymy

The word 'York' comes from the Latin name for the city, variously rendered as Eboracum, Eburacum or Eburaci. The first mention of York by this name is dated to c. 95–104 AD as an address on a wooden stylus tablet from the Roman fortress of Vindolanda in Northumberland.[8]

The toponymy of Eboracum is uncertain because the language of the pre-Roman indigenous population of the area was never recorded. These people are thought to have spoken a Celtic language, related to modern Welsh.[9][10][11] Therefore, it is thought that Eboracum is derived from the Brythonic word Eborakon meaning either "place of the yew trees" (cf. yew = efrog in Welsh, eabhrac in Irish Gaelic and eabhraig in Scottish Gaelic, by which names the city is known in those languages) or perhaps "field of Eboras".

The name 'Eboracum' was turned into 'Eoforwic' by the Anglians in the 7th century. This was probably by conflation of 'ebor' with a Germanic root *eburaz (boar); by the 7th century the Old English for boar had become 'eofor', and Eboracum 'Eoforwic'. The 'wic' simply signified 'place'. When the Danish army conquered the city in 866, the name became rendered as 'Jórvík'.[12]

Jórvík was gradually reduced to York in the centuries following the Norman Conquest, moving from the Middle English Yerk to Yourke in the 14th century through to Yourke in the 16th century and then Yarke in the 17th century. The form York was first recorded in the 13th century.[13] Many present day names of companies and places, such as Ebor taxis and the Ebor race meeting, refer to the Roman name.[14]

Early history

Roman wall and the west corner tower of the fort at York. The top half is medieval.

Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesolithic people settled in the region of York between 8000 and 7000 BC, although it is not known whether these settlements were permanent or temporary. By the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, the area was occupied by a tribe known to the Romans as the Brigantes. The Brigantian tribal area initially became a Roman client state but later its leaders became more hostile to Rome. As a result the Roman Ninth Legion was sent north of the Humber into Brigantian territory.[15]

The city itself was founded in 71 AD, when the Ninth Legion conquered the Brigantes and constructed a wooden military fortress on flat ground above the River Ouse close to its confluence with the River Foss. The fortress, which was later rebuilt in stone, covered an area of 50 acres (20 ha) and was inhabited by 6,000 soldiers. The site of the Roman fortress lies under the foundations of York Minster, and excavations in the Minster's undercroft have revealed some of the original walls.[12][16]

The Emperors Hadrian, Septimius Severus and Constantius I all held court in York during their various campaigns. During his stay, the Emperor Severus proclaimed York capital of the province of Britannia Inferior, and it is likely that it was he who granted York the privileges of a colonia or city. Constantius I died in 306 AD during his stay in York, and his son Constantine the Great was proclaimed Emperor by the troops based in the fortress.[16]

In the 7th century York became the chief city of the Anglian King Edwin of Northumbria.[17] The first Minster church was built in York for the baptism of Edwin in 627.[18] Edwin ordered that this small wooden church should be rebuilt in stone, but he was killed in 633 and the task of completing the stone Minster fell to his successor Oswald.[12][19] In the following century Alcuin of York came to the cathedral school of York. He had a long career as a teacher and scholar, first at the school at York now known as St Peter's School, York, which was founded in 627 AD, and later as Charlemagne's leading advisor on ecclesiastical and educational affairs.[20]

In 866, Northumbria was in the midst of internecine struggles when the Vikings raided and captured York. Under Viking rule the city became a major river port, part of the extensive Viking trading routes throughout northern Europe. The last ruler of an independent Jórvík, Eric Bloodaxe, was driven from the city in the year 954 by King Edred in his successful attempt to complete the unification of England.[21]

Post conquest

"The Shambles," a medieval street in York

In 1068, two years after the Norman Conquest of England, the people of York rebelled. At first the rebellion was successful but then William the Conqueror arrived and put down the rebellion. He at once built two wooden fortresses on mottes, which are still visible, on either side of the river Ouse. York was ravaged by him as part of the harrying of the North.[22]

The first stone Minster church was badly damaged by fire in the uprising and the Normans later decided to build a new Minster on a new site. Around the year 1080 Archbishop Thomas started building a cathedral that in time became the current Minster.[19] In the 12th century York started to prosper because of its position at the hub of an excellent communications network. It became a major trading centre and Hanseatic port.[23] York merchants imported cloth, wax, canvas, and oats from the Low Countries, and exported grain to Gascony and grain and wool to the Low Countries.[24] King Henry I granted the city's first charter, confirming trading rights in England and Europe.[19][25]

In 1190, York was the site of an infamous pogrom of its Jewish inhabitants. The Jews sought sanctuary in Clifford's Tower, the fortification within the city belonging to the Crown. The mob besieged the trapped Jews for some days while preparations were made to storm the castle. Eventually a fire was started, whether by the Jews or their persecutors is uncertain, and 150 Jews lost their lives.[26]

Tudor and Stuart times

The city underwent a period of decline during Tudor times. Under Henry VIII, the Dissolution of the Monasteries saw the end of the many monastic houses of York, along with their hospitals. This led to the Pilgrimage of Grace, an uprising of northern Catholics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire who were opposed to religious reform. Henry VIII eventually reinstated the Council of the North in York, and this increased in importance under Elizabeth I, leading to a revival in the city's influence.[27][28] Guy Fawkes who was born and educated in York was a member of a group of Roman Catholic restorationists that planned the Gunpowder Plot.[29] Its aim was to displace Protestant rule by blowing up the Houses of Parliament while King James I and the entire Protestant and even most of the Catholic aristocracy and nobility were inside.

In 1644, during the Civil War, the Parliamentarians besieged York, and many medieval houses outside the city walls were lost. The barbican at Walmgate Bar was undermined and explosives laid but the plot was discovered. On the arrival of Prince Rupert, with an army of 15,000 men, the siege was lifted. The Parliamentarians retreated some 6 miles (10 km) from York with Rupert in pursuit, before turning on his army and soundly defeating it at the Battle of Marston Moor. Of Rupert's 15,000 troops, no fewer than 4,000 were killed and 1,500 captured. The siege was renewed, but the city could not hold out for long, and on 15 July the city surrendered to Sir Thomas Fairfax.[27]

Following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, and the removal of the garrison from York in 1688, the city was dominated by the local gentry and merchants, although the clergy were still important. Competition from the nearby cities of Leeds and Hull, together with silting of the River Ouse, resulted in York losing its pre-eminent position as a trading centre, but the city's role as the social and cultural centre for wealthy northerners was on the rise. York's many elegant townhouses, such as the Lord Mayor's Mansion House and Fairfax House (now owned by York Civic Trust) date from this period, as do the Assembly Rooms, the Theatre Royal, and the Racecourse.[28][30]

Modern history

The minster and war memorial seen from the Station Road walls

George Hudson was responsible for bringing the railway to York in 1839. Although Hudson's career as a railway entrepreneur eventually ended in disgrace, by this time, York was a major railway centre.[31] At the turn of the 20th century, the railway accommodated the headquarters and works of the North Eastern Railway, which employed over 5,500 people in York. The railway was also instrumental in the expansion of Rowntree's Cocoa Works. Rowntree's was founded in York in 1862 by Henry Isaac Rowntree, who was joined in 1869 by his brother the philanthropist Joseph Rowntree.[32] Terry's Confectionery Works was also a major employer in the city.[28][33]

With the emergence of tourism as a major industry, the historic core of York became one of the city's major assets, and in 1968 it was designated a conservation area.[34] The existing tourist attractions were supplemented by the establishment of the National Railway Museum in York in 1975.[35] The opening of the University of York in 1963 added to the prosperity of the city.[36] The fast and frequent railway service, which brings York within two hours journey time of London, has resulted in a number of companies opening offices in the city.[33]

York was voted as European Tourism City of the Year by European Cities Marketing in June 2007. York beat 130 other European cities to gain first place, surpassing Gothenburg in Sweden (second) and Valencia in Spain (third).[37]

Governance

Parliamentary constituencies

Most of York is covered by the City of York constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, though the outer parts of the city and local authority area fall within the Selby, Vale of York and Ryedale constituencies.[38] These constituencies are represented by Hugh Bayley, John Grogan, Anne McIntosh and John Greenway, respectively. Following their review in 2002 of parliamentary representation in North Yorkshire, the Boundary Commission for England has recommended the creation of two new seats for the City of York for the general election in 2010.[39]

Both existing City of York and Vale of York seats will be abolished and replaced by two new constituencies, namely, York Central and York Outer. The Selby and Ryedale seats will no longer contain any York wards. The whole of the city and local authority area lies within the Yorkshire and the Humber constituency of the European Parliament.[40]

Local government

The Guildhall where members of the City of York Council meet.

York is the traditional county town of Yorkshire, yet it did not form part of any of the three historic ridings, or divisions, of Yorkshire. York is an ancient borough, and was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 to form a municipal borough. It gained the status of a county borough in 1889, under the Local Government Act 1888, and existed so until 1974, when, under the Local Government Act 1972, it became a non-metropolitan district in the county of North Yorkshire.[41][42]

As a result of 1990s UK local government reform, York regained unitary status and saw a substantial alteration in its borders, taking in parts of Selby and Harrogate districts, and about half the population of the Ryedale district.[43] The new boundary was imposed after central government rejected the council's own proposal.

The City of York Council has 47 councillors.[44][45] As a result of the 2007 local elections (and a by-election in September 2007), no party has an absolute majority, resulting in no overall control of the authority. The Liberal Democrats have 20 councillors and in May 2007 they formed a minority administration with an executive of 9 councillors. The Labour Party formed the Opposition with 18 councillors. The Conservative Party has seven councillors and the Greens have two.[46]

As of May 2009, York’s Lord Mayor is Councillor John Galvin, and Mrs. Jill Burnett is York’s Sheriff.[47] Both appointments are made each May for a period of one year. Although York’s Sheriff office is the oldest in England it is now a purely ceremonial post. The Lord Mayor also carries out civic and ceremonial duties in addition to chairing full meetings of the council.[45]

Party political make-up of City of York Council
   Party Seats City of York Council 2007–present
  Conservative 7                                                                                              
  Green 2                                                                                              
  Lib Dems 20                                                                                              
  Labour 18                                                                                              

Geography

Location

York lies within the Vale of York, a flat area of fertile arable land bordered by the Pennines, the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Wolds The original city was built at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss on a terminal moraine left by the last Ice Age.[48]

During Roman times, the land surrounding the rivers Ouse and Foss was very marshy, making the site easier to defend. The city is prone to flooding from the River Ouse, and has an extensive (and mostly effective) network of flood defences. These include walls along the Ouse, and a liftable barrier across the River Foss where it joins the Ouse at the 'Blue Bridge'. In October and November 2000 York experienced the worst flooding in 375 years with over 300 homes being flooded.[49] Much land in and around the city is on flood plains and has always been too flood-prone for development other than agriculture. The ings are flood meadows along the River Ouse, while the strays are open common grassland in various locations around the city.

Climate

York has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As with the rest of the Vale of York the city's climate is dryer and warmer than the rest of the Yorkshire and Humberside region. Because of its lowland location York is prone to frosts, fog, and cold winds during winter, spring and very early summer.[50] In summer the average maximum temperature is 22 °C (72 °F) although some days can see highs of up to 28 °C (82 °F) rarely exceeding 30°C (86°F). Nights are significantly colder averaging minimum of 15 °C (60 °F), although these can consistently dip below 10 °C (50 °F). The average daytime temperature in winter is 7 °C (45 °F) and 2 °C (36 °F) at night. Snow can fall in winter from December onwards to as late as April but quickly melts. The wettest months are November, December and January with an average of 17 days per month with rainfall more than 0.25 millimetres (0.01 in). From May to July York experiences the most sunshine with an average of six hours per day.[51] Extremes recorded at the University of York campus between 1998 and 2006, include a highest temperature of 33 °C (91.4 °F) and a lowest temperature of -6.9 °C (19.5 °F). The most rainfall in one day was 62.4 millimetres (2.5 in).[52]

High Mowthorpe climate: Average maximum and minimum temperatures, and average rainfall recorded between 1971 and 2000 by the Met Office.
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average max. temperature °CF) 5.1
(41.2)
5.4
(41.7)
7.8
(46.0)
10.0
(50.0)
13.4
(56.1)
16.4
(61.5)
19.2
(66.6)
19.4
(66.9)
16.2
(61.2)
12.1
(53.8)
8.0
(46.4)
6.0
(42.8)
11.6
(52.9)
Average min. temperature
°C (°F)
0.3
(32.5)
0.5
(32.9)
1.8
(35.2)
3.1
(37.6)
5.6
(42.1)
8.2
(46.8)
10.5
(50.9)
10.6
(51.1)
9.0
(48.2)
6.4
(43.5)
3.1
(37.6)
1.3
(34.3)
5.1
(41.2)
Rainfall
mm (inches)
68.7
(2.7)
48.1
(1.9)
59.2
(2.3)
54.8
(2.2)
52.8
(2.1)
62.1
(2.4)
53.4
(2.1)
56.9
(2.2)
61.4
(2.4)
68.2
(2.7)
68.0
(2.7)
75.8
(3.0)
729.4
(28.7)
Source: Met Office[53]
Climate data for York, England
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15
(59)
17
(63)
21
(70)
24
(75)
29
(84)
32
(90)
31
(88)
33
(91)
29
(84)
26
(79)
19
(66)
16
(61)
33
(91)
Average high °C (°F) 6
(43)
7
(45)
10
(50)
13
(55)
16
(61)
19
(66)
21
(70)
21
(70)
18
(64)
14
(57)
10
(50)
7
(45)
13.5
(56)
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.5
(38)
4
(39)
6
(43)
8.5
(47)
11.5
(53)
14.5
(58)
16.5
(62)
16.5
(62)
14
(57)
11.5
(53)
7
(45)
4.5
(40)
9.75
(50)
Average low °C (°F) 1
(34)
1
(34)
2
(36)
4
(39)
7
(45)
10
(50)
12
(54)
12
(54)
10
(50)
7
(45)
4
(39)
2
(36)
6
(43)
Record low °C (°F) -14
(7)
-10
(14)
-13
(9)
-3
(27)
-1
(30)
2
(36)
5
(41)
4
(39)
-1
(30)
-4
(25)
-7
(19)
-8
(18)
-14
(7)
Precipitation mm (inches) 59
(2.32)
46
(1.81)
37
(1.46)
41
(1.61)
50
(1.97)
50
(1.97)
62
(2.44)
68
(2.68)
55
(2.17)
56
(2.2)
65
(2.56)
50
(1.97)
639
(25.16)
Sunshine hours 31 56 93 130 186 180 186 150 120 93 60 31 1,316
Avg. precipitation days 17 15 13 13 13 14 15 14 14 15 17 17 177
Source: BBC Weather[54]

Demography

York Compared in 2006/7
2006/7 UK Population Estimates[55] York Yorkshire and the Humber England
Total population 193,300 5,177,200 51,092,000
White 95.0% 91.1% 88.7%
Asian 1.9% 5.5% 5.5%
Black 0.6% 1.2% 2.8%

The York urban area had a population of 137,505[6] comprising 66,142 males and 71,363 females in 2001. Also at the time of the 2001 UK census, the City of York had a total population of 181,094 of whom 93,957 were female and 87,137 were male. Of the 76,920 households in York, 36.0% were married couples living together, 31.3% were one-person households, 8.7% were co-habiting couples and 8.0% were lone parents. The figures for lone parent households were below the national average of 9.5%, and the percentage of married couples was also close to the national average of 36.5%; the proportion of one person households was slightly higher than the national average of 30.1%.[56]

The population density was 6.66 inhabitants per square kilometre (17.2/sq mi). Of those aged 16–74 in York, 24.6% had no academic qualifications, a little lower than 28.9% in all of England. Of York’s residents, 5.1% were born outside the United Kingdom, significantly lower than the national average of 9.2%. The largest minority group was recorded as Asian, at 1.9% of the population.

The number of theft-from-a-vehicle offences and theft of a vehicle per 1,000 of the population was 8.8 and 2.7 compared to the English national average of 6.9 and 2.7 respectively.[57] The number of sexual offences was 0.9, in line with the national average.[57] The national average of violence against another person was 16.2 compared to the York average of 16.8.[57] The figures for crime statistics were all recorded during the 2006–07 financial year.

Population change

The table below details the population change since 1801.

Population growth in York since 1801
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941[a] 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001[b]
Population 24,080 27,486 30,913 36,340 40,337 49,899 58,632 67,364 76,097 81,802 90,665 100,487 106,278 112,402 123,227 135,093 144,585 154,749 158,170 172,847 181,131
Source: Vision of Britain[58]

Religion

Religion in York 2001[59]
UK Census 2001 York Yorkshire England
Christian 74.42% 73.07% 71.74%
No religion 16.57% 14.09% 14.59%
Muslim 0.58% 3.81% 3.1%
Buddhist 0.21% 0.14% 0.28%
Hindu 0.19% 0.32% 1.11%
Jewish 0.11% 0.23% 0.52%
Sikh 0.05% 0.38% 0.67%
Other religions 0.30% 0.19% 0.29%
Religion not stated 7.57% 7.77% 7.69%

At the time of the 2001 UK census the population of York was 181,094 and its ethnic composition was 97.84% white, compared with the English average of 90.92%. York's population has a slightly higher elderly population than the national average.[59] Christianity is the religion with the largest following in York with 74.4% residents reporting themselves as Christian in the 2001 census. These census figures show no other single religion returned affiliation, as a percentage of population, above the national average for England.

There are 32 active Anglican churches in York which is home to the Archbishop of York and the Mother Church, York Minster, and administrative centre of the Diocese of York.[60] York is in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough, has eight Roman Catholic churches and a number of different Catholic religious orders.[61]

Other Christian denominations that are active in York include Religious Society of Friends who have a number of meeting houses in York,[62] Methodists with the York North and York South circuits of The Methodist Church York and Hull District,[63] and Unitarians. There is one mosque in York which also contains a UK Islamic Mission Islamic centre.[64] Various Buddhist traditions are represented in the city and around York.[65]

Economy

Offices of Aviva in York

York's economy is based on the service industry, which in 2000 was responsible for 88.7% of employment in the city.[66] The service industries in York include public sector employment, health, education, finance, information technology (IT) and tourism that accounts for 10.7% of employment. Unemployment in York is low at 4.2% in 2008 compared to the United Kingdom national average of 5.3%.[66] The biggest employer in York is the City of York Council, with over 7,500 employees. Employers with more than 3,000 staff include Aviva (formerly Norwich Union Life), Selby and York Primary Care Trust, Shepherd Building Group (including Portakabin), and University of York. Other major employers include British Telecom, CPP Group Ltd (Card Protection Plan), Nestlé and a number of railway companies.[67][68]

This is very different from the position of the economy as recently as the 1950s, when York's prosperity was based on chocolate manufacturing and the railways. This position continued until the early 1980s when 30% of the workforce were employed by just five employers and 75% of manufacturing jobs were in four companies.[69] Most of the industry around the railway has gone, including the carriage works (known as Asea Brown Boveri or ABB at the time of closure) which at its height in 1880s employed 5,500 people but closed in the mid 1990s.[69][70] York is the headquarters of the confectionery manufacturer Nestlé York (formerly Nestlé Rowntrees), and home to the KitKat and eponymous Yorkie bar chocolate brands. Terry's chocolate factory, makers of the Chocolate Orange, was also located in the city; but it closed on 30 September 2005, when production was moved by its owners, Kraft Foods, to Poland. However, the historic factory building can still be seen, situated next to the Knavesmire racecourse.

It was announced on 20 September 2006 that Nestlé would be cutting 645 jobs at the Rowntree's chocolate factory in York.[71] This came after a number of other job losses in the city at Aviva, British Sugar and Terry's chocolate factory.[72] Despite this, the employment situation in York remained fairly buoyant until the effects of the late 2000s recession began to be felt.[73]

Since the closure of York's carriage-works, the site has been developed into the headquarters for CPP Group UK,[74] Virgin Galactic and two housing schemes, one of which was a self-build project. York's economy has been developing in the areas of science, technology and the creative industries. The city has become a founding National Science City with the creation of a science park near the University of York.[75] Between 1998 and 2008 York gained 80 new technology companies and 2,800 new jobs in the sector.[76]

Regional gross value added figures for York, at 2005 basic prices in pounds sterling, are:[77]

Year Agriculture Industry Services Total
1995 30 579 1,443 2,052
2000 13 782 2,168 2,963
2003 16 779 2,505 3,299

Transport

Boats on the River Ouse

York's location on the River Ouse and in the centre of the Vale of York means that it has always had a significant position in the nation's transport system.[24] The city grew up as a river port at the confluence of the River Ouse and the River Foss. The Ouse was originally a tidal river, accessible to sea-going ships of the time. Today both of these rivers remain navigable, although the Foss is only navigable for a short distance above the confluence. A lock at Naburn on the Ouse to the south of York means that the river in York is no longer tidal.[78]

Until the end of the 20th century, the Ouse was used by barges to carry freight between York and the port of Hull. The last significant traffic was the supply of newsprint to the local newspaper's Foss-side print works, which continued until 1997. Today navigation is almost exclusively leisure-oriented. YorkBoat provides cruises on the river.[78]

Stonegate is pedestrianised during the day

Like most cities founded by the Romans, York is well served by long distance trunk roads. The city lies at the intersection of the A19 road from Doncaster to Tyneside, the A59 road from Liverpool to York, the A64 road from Leeds to Scarborough, and the A1079 road from York to Hull. The A64 road provides the principal link to the motorway network, linking York to both the A1(M) and the M1 motorways at a distance of about 10 miles (16 km) from the city.

The city is surrounded on all sides by an outer ring road, at a distance of some 3 miles (4.8 km) from the centre of the city, which allows through traffic to by-pass the city. The street plan of the historic core of the city dates from medieval times and is not suitable for modern traffic. As a consequence many of the routes inside the city walls are designated as car free during business hours or restrict traffic entirely. To alleviate this situation, five bus based park and ride sites operate in York. The sites are located towards the edge of the urban area, with easy access from the ring road, and allow out of town visitors to complete their journey into the city centre by bus.[79]

York railway station and Royal York Hotel

York has been a major railway centre since the first line arrived in 1839 at the beginning of the railway age. For many years the city hosted the headquarters and works of the North Eastern Railway.[33] York railway station is a principal stop on the East Coast Main Line from London to Newcastle and Edinburgh. It takes less than two hours to get to York from London by rail, with at least 25 direct trains each weekday. The station is also served by long distance trains on Cross Country services linking Edinburgh and Newcastle with destinations in south and west England via Birmingham.[80] TransPennine Express provide a frequent service of semi-fast trains linking York to Newcastle, Scarborough, Leeds, Manchester, Manchester Airport, and Liverpool. Local stopping services by Northern Rail connect York to Bridlington, Harrogate, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and many intermediate points, as well as many other stations across Greater Manchester and Lancashire.[80]

York has an airfield at the former RAF Elvington, some 7 miles (11 km) south-east of the city centre, which is the home of the Yorkshire Air Museum. Elvington is used for private aviation. Plans have been drafted to expand the site for business aviation or a full commercial service.[81]

York is linked to Manchester Airport by an hourly direct TransPennine Express train, giving access to the principal airport serving the north of England, with connections to many destinations in Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia.[80] Leeds Bradford Airport is closer to York but the hourly York Air Coach service operated by First York was withdrawn as of April 2009.[82] Leeds Bradford Airport provides connections to most major European and North African airports as well as Pakistan and New York.

A York 'ftr' bus

Public transport within the city is largely bus based. The principal bus operator is First York, a part of FirstGroup plc. First York operates the majority of the city's local bus services, as well as the York park and ride services. York is the location of the first implementation of FirstGroup's experimental, and controversial, ftr bus concept, which seeks to confer the advantages of a modern tramway system at a lower cost.[83] Transdev York also operate a number of local bus services. Open top tourist and sightseeing buses are operated by Transdev York on behalf of City Sightseeing.

Rural services, linking local towns and villages with York, are provided by a number of companies.[84] Longer distance bus services are provided by a number of operators including, Arriva Yorkshire services to Selby, East Yorkshire Motor Services on routes to Hull, Beverley, Pocklington, Harrogate & District services to Knaresborough and Harrogate. Yorkshire Coastliner links Leeds via York with Scarborough, Filey, Bridlington and Whitby.[85]

Local Transport Plan 2006

English local authorities are required to produce Local Transport Plans (LTPs), strategies for developing local integrated transport as part of a longer-term vision. LTPs are used by central government to allocate funding for transport schemes.The final Local Transport Plan 2006–2011 for York was submitted to central government in March 2006. The plan addresses the fact that traffic in York is predicted to grow considerably over the coming years. The key aims of the plan are to ease congestion and improve accessibility, air quality and safety. Major funding allocations earmarked for the first five years of the plan's life span include outer ring road improvements, improved management of the highway network, improvements to the bus network including park and ride services, provision of off-road walking and cycling routes, air quality improvements and safety measures.[86]

Education

University of York, view across the lake to Central Hall

The University of York's main campus is on the southern edge of the city at Heslington, while the Archaeology and Medieval Studies department is located in the King's Manor in the city centre.[87] It was York's only institution with university status until 2006, when the more centrally located York St John University, formerly an autonomous college of the University of Leeds, attained full university status as 'York St John University'. The city also hosts a branch of The College of Law. The University of York also has a highly rated[88] medical school, Hull York Medical School.

The city has two major further education institutions. York College is an amalgamation of York Technical College and York Sixth Form College. Students there study a very wide range of academic and vocational courses, and range from school leavers and sixth formers to people training to make career moves.[89] Askham Bryan College offers further education courses, foundation and honours degrees, specialising in more vocational subjects such as horticulture, agriculture, animal management and even golf course management.[90]

There are 70 local authority schools with over 24,000 pupils in the City of York Council area.[91] The City of York Council manage most primary and secondary schools within the city. Primary schools cover education from ages 5–11, with some offering early years education from age 3. From 11–16 education is provided by 10 secondary schools, four of which offer additional education up to the age of 18.[92] In 2007 Oaklands Sports College and Lowfield Comprehensive School merged to become one school known as York High School.[93]

The seventeen boarding schools in York are represented by the York Boarding Schools Group.[94] York also has several private schools. St Peter's School was founded in 627 and the scholar Alcuin, who went on to serve Charlemagne, taught here.[95] It was also the school attended by Guy Fawkes.[96] Two schools have Quaker origins: Bootham School is co-educational[97] and The Mount School is all-girls.[98] On the outskirts of the city is Queen Margaret's School. Pupils from The Minster School, York sing in York Minster choir.

Public services

Under the requirements of the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, York City Council had to appoint a watch committee which established a police force and appointed a chief constable.[99] On 1 June 1968 the York City, East Riding of Yorkshire and North Riding of Yorkshire police forces were amalgamated to form the York and North East Yorkshire Police. Since 1974, Home Office policing in York has been provided by the North Yorkshire Police. The force's "Central Area" has its headquarters for policing York and nearby Selby in Fulford, York.[100] Statutory emergency fire and rescue service is provided by the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, whose headquarters is at Northallerton.[101]

York Crown Court

York Hospital, which opened in 1976, gained Foundation status in April 2007. It has 524 adult inpatient beds and 127 special purpose beds providing general healthcare and some specialist inpatient, daycase and outpatient services.[102] It is also known as, York District Hospital and YDH.[102]

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust was formed on 1 July 2006 bringing together South Yorkshire Ambulance Service, West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service and the North and East Yorkshire parts of Tees, East and North Yorkshire Ambulance Service to provide patient transport.[103] Other forms of health care are provided for locally by several small clinics and surgeries.

Since 1998 waste management has been co-ordinated via the York and North Yorkshire Waste Partnership.[104] York's Distribution Network Operator for electricity is CE Electric UK;[105] there are no power stations in the city. Yorkshire Water, which has a local water extraction plant on the River Derwent at Elvington, manages York's drinking and waste water.[106] The city has its own Magistrates' Court,[107] and more unusually a Crown Court[108] and County Court too.[109] The Crown Court was designed by the architect John Carr, next to the then prison (including execution area).[110] The former prison is now the Castle Museum but still contains the cells.

Culture

Sites of interest

York Minster, the second largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, stands at the city's centre.[111] York's centre is enclosed by the city's medieval walls, which are a popular walk.[112] The entire circuit is about 3 miles (5 km), including a part where walls never existed, because the Norman moat of York Castle, formed by damming the River Foss, also created a lake which acted as a city defence. This lake was later called the King's Fishpond, as the rights to fish belonged to the Crown.

Clifford's Tower, a stone quatrefoil keep built on top of a Norman motte, was the site of a massacre in 1190 when the small Jewish community of York sought protection in the tower on the feast of Shabbat ha-Gadol. Many Jews took their own lives rather than face a violent mob in an event regarded as one of the most notorious examples of antisemitism in medieval England.[113]

Looking towards the Minster from the city walls

A feature of central York is the Snickelways, narrow pedestrian routes, many of which led towards the former market-places in Pavement and Sampson Square.[114] The Shambles is a narrow medieval street, lined with shops, boutiques and tea rooms. Most of these premises were once butchers' shops, and the hooks from which carcasses were hung and the shelves on which meat was laid out can still be seen outside some of them. The street also contains the Shrine of Margaret Clitherow, although it is not located in the house where she lived.[115] Goodramgate has many medieval houses including the 14th century Lady's Row built to finance a Chantry, at the edge of the churchyard of Holy Trinity church.

The city has many museums, including the Castle Museum, Yorkshire Museum and Museum Gardens, JORVIK Viking Centre, the York Art Gallery, Richard III Museum, the Merchant Adventurers' Hall, the medieval house Barley Hall owned by the York Archaeological Trust, Fairfax House owned by the York Civic Trust and the Treasurer's House owned by the National Trust.[116] The National Railway Museum is situated just beyond the station, and is home to a vast range of transport material and the largest collection of railway locomotives in the world. Included in this collection are the world's fastest steam locomotive LNER 4468 Mallard and the world famous 4472 Flying Scotsman, which is being overhauled in the Museum.[117]

York is noted for its numerous churches and pubs. Most of the remaining churches in York are from the medieval period. St William's College behind the Minster, and Bedern Hall, off Goodramgate, are former dwelling places of the canons of the Minster.[118]

Theatre

The Theatre Royal, which was established in 1744, produces an annual pantomime which attracts loyal audiences from around the region to see its veteran star, Berwick Kaler.[119] The Grand Opera House and Joseph Rowntree Theatre also offer a variety of productions.[120][121] The city also has many amateur companies, and is home to the Riding Lights Theatre Company and The Strolling Theatricals.[122] The Department of Theatre, Film and Television, and Student Societies of the University of York put on public drama performances.[123] The York Mystery Plays are performed every 4 years from wagons at various locations around the city; a tradition dating back to medieval times.[124]

Music

York has a fine musical heritage and modern day York has a rich tapestry of live music performances all year round. Among many music groups performing regularly in York are the Academy of St Olave's, a chamber orchestra who give concerts in the beautiful setting of St Olave's Church, Marygate.[125] A former church, St Margaret's, Walmgate, is now the National Centre for Early Music, whch hosts concerts, broadcasts, competitions and events through the year, especially during the York Early Music Festival.[126][127] The York Waits are an expert reconstruction of the medieval city group of players. Students, staff and visiting artists of York St John University music department regularly perform the well known lunchtime concerts in the University chapel, alongside special performances such as the annual Christmas concert. The staff and students of the University of York also perform in the city and particularly in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall on the Heslington campus.[128]

Gastronomy

Bettys Café Tea Rooms

In September York has an annual Festival of Food and Drink, which has been held in the city since 1997. The aim of the festival is to spotlight food culture in York and North Yorkshire by promoting local food production.The Festival generates up to 150,000 visitors over 10 days, from all over the country.[129] One of the notable local products is York ham, a type of boiled ham,[130] which is a mild-flavoured ham that has delicate pink meat and does not need further cooking before eating. It is traditionally served with Madeira Sauce.[131][132] It is a lightly smoked, dry-cured ham, which is saltier but milder in flavour than other European dry-cured hams.[133] Folklore has it that the oak construction for York Minster provided the sawdust for smoking the ham. Robert Burrow Atkinson's butchery shop, in Blossom Street, is the birthplace of the original “York Ham” and the reason why the premises became famous.[134]

In the centre of York, in St Helen’s Square, there is the York branch of Bettys Café Tea Rooms. Bettys founder, Frederick Belmont, travelled on the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary in 1936. He was so impressed by the splendour of the ship that he employed the Queen Marys’ designers and craftsmen to turn a dilapidated furniture store in York into an elegant café in St Helen’s Square. A few years after Bettys opened in York war broke out, and the basement ‘Bettys Bar’, became a favourite haunt of the thousands of airmen stationed around York. ‘Bettys Mirror’, on which many of them engraved their signatures with a diamond pen, remains on display today as a tribute to them.[135]

Media

The York area is served by a local newspaper, The Press (known as the Evening Press until April 2006) and two local radio stations Minster FM and BBC Radio York.[136][137][138] It is also served by York@54, a local free-to-air television station.[139]

York St John University has a Film and Television Production department with links to many major industrial partners. The department hosts an annual festival of student work and a showcase of other regional films.[140]

The University of York has its own television station York Student Television (YSTV) and two campus newspapers Nouse and York Vision.[141] Its radio station URY is the longest running legal independent radio station in the UK, and was voted BBC Radio 1 Student Radio Station of the Year 2005.[142][143]

Sports

Bootham Crescent is the home ground of York City F.C.

The city's football team is York City, currently playing in the Football Conference. York have played as high as the old Second Division but are best known for their "giant killing" status in cup competitions, having reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1955 and beaten Manchester United 3–0 during the 1995–96 League Cup. Their matches are played at Bootham Crescent.[144]

York also has a strong rugby league history. York F.C., later known as York Wasps, formed in 1901, were one of the oldest rugby league clubs in the country but the effects of a move to the out of town Huntington Stadium, poor results and falling attendances led to their bankruptcy in 2002.[145] The supporters formed a new club, York City Knights, who now play at the same stadium in National League Two.[146] There are three amateur rugby league teams in York, New Earswick All Blacks, York Acorn and Heworth. York International 9s is a rugby league nines tournament which takes place in York each year.[147] Amateur side York Lokomotive compete in the Rugby League Conference.

An open rowing club York City Rowing Club is located underneath Lendal Bridge.[148]

A view of the Ebor Stand at York Racecourse

York Racecourse was established in 1731 and from 1990 has been awarded Northern Racecourse of the Year for 17 years running. This major horseracing venue is located on the Knavesmire and sees thousands flocking to the city every year for the 15 race meetings. The Knavesmire Racecourse also hosted Royal Ascot in 2005.[149] In August racing takes place over the three day Ebor Festival that includes the Ebor Handicap dating from 1843.[150]

Motorbike speedway once took place at York. The track in the Burnholme Estate was completed in 1930 and a demonstration event staged. In 1931 the track staged team and open events and the York team took part in the National Trophy.[151]

The most notable sportsmen to come from York in recent years are footballer Marco Gabbiadini and former England manager Steve McClaren,[152] who both attended Nunthorpe Grammar School (now called Millthorpe School).[153]

Twin cities

York is twinned with:

There is also a community link with Fanteakwa District, Ghana.[155]

See also

Notes

a There was no census in 1941: figures are from National Register. United Kingdom and Isle of Man. Statistics of Population on 29 September 1939 by Sex, Age and Marital Condition.
b There is a discrepancy of 37 between Office of National Statistics figures (quoted before) and those on the Vision of Britain website (quoted here).

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External links

Photos and images
Historical and genealogical sources

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see York (disambiguation).

York [1] is an ancient cathedral city with a history that dates back to before Roman times. It is situated in the heart of Yorkshire in North Yorkshire with some of the best preserved historical buildings and structures in Europe.

York Minster
York Minster

Understand

York was known as Eboracum by the Romans, who founded the fortress city on the River Ouse in the year 71. York was home first to the Ninth Legion and later the Sixth. York quickly became one of the most important cities in Roman Britain and after 211 became the capital of the province Britannia Inferior. Constantine the Great - later responsible for making Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire - was first proclaimed Emperor in the city.

Captured by the Vikings 866, the city quickly took on a new identity as Jorvik (pronounced "Yor-vik") and experienced a major urban revival as a centre of Viking trade and settlement in northern England. The Coppergate excavations of the 1970s revealed much of this Viking past.

Someone is bound to tell you, so let it be here - in York the gates to the city are called bars, the roads are called gates and the bars are called public houses :)

York is a fairly small city - well worth a visit but anything longer than 4 days and you will probably have had enough.

York is known as England's "City of Festivals" as there are regular cultural festivals every year. The official festivals are the Viking Festival, the Roman Festival, the Ghost Festival, the Festival of Angels, Jazz, Early Music, Late Music, Digital Arts, Horse Racing (the "Ebor Race Meeting"), Learning Festival, Multicultural Food and Arts, Chinese New Year, Lesbian Arts, Christmas St Nicholas' Fair, and the Food and Drink Festival. It's a romantic city for a weekend break. York is full of magic and a wonderful place to bring children!

Get in

Most travellers will arrive in York by means of road (car or bus) or rail transport from other UK centres. Parking within the city centre can be a challenge at busy times but is far from impossible although the cost can be prohibitive. If you are not staying somewhere with parking, or driving in for the day, use the Park and Rides, which are inexpensive and have sites all around York's ring road.

By train

York is one of the main hubs of the UK rail network, with a large range of services and destinations to choose from. The station itself is an attraction, and was voted the 'nicest' station in the UK in 2007. Because of the number of lines that pass through, services tend to be frequent. While intercity trains can be expensive, regional services are relatively affordable.

York is situated halfway between Edinburgh and London on the East Coast Main Line. The newly nationalised 'East Coast' run services along this route with trains running approximately every half hour between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh Waverley. Journey time from London is approximately two hours, while Edinburgh is two and half hours away. Trains to London are also operated by Grand Central, but there are only 4 services per day. Arriva Cross Country also run trains from York into Scotland and across the country to Birmingham, Oxford, and Reading and the South-West.

There is an hourly train service to and from Manchester International Airport 24 hours a day. This stops at Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester, making it possible to have a late night out elsewhere in the North but still make it back to York. Other regional trains run to Sheffield, Doncaster, Hull, Harrogate and Scarborough, Durham and Newcastle.

Train times can be found on the National Rail Planner [2] or by calling 08457 48 49 50 from anywhere in the UK.

By bus

York is served by National Express coaches. The information and ticket office is inside the Tourist Information office at the railway station.

By plane

The nearest major Airport to York is Leeds-Bradford International Airport (LBA) about 30 miles away. Jet2 and KLM are amongst the major carriers at this airport. There is no longer a bus route from the airport to York but passengers could, if they choose, travel by train to Harrogate or Leeds and catch a bus from there.

Manchester Airport is well connected to the York by an hourly direct train service that runs throughout the night. Doncaster-Sheffield, Durham-Tees Valley and Newcastle Airports are also relatively close. Heathrow and Gatwick Airports will require a change in London if using the trains, and probably Leeds if using the National Express coach service.

York and its surrounding villages, now parts of the City of York
York and its surrounding villages, now parts of the City of York
York within the city walls and ring road
York within the city walls and ring road

On foot

The old city is foot-only [3] access, and many of the sights are only a short walk between one another. Plus, parking is nearly impossible, and where you can't walk, there is always a bus! (see below) Take care walking in the city centre after 16:00 as the roads, still full with pedetstrians, become open to cars again.

By car

The best advice for driving in York is don't as the roads were designed for carts pulled by oxen, and the city council is actively discouraging car use through a combination of high parking charges and traffic-calming measures. The good news is that most of the centre is pedestrianised, and there is an excellent park-and-ride service [4] from the car parks on the outskirts of the city. The car parks are patrolled and monitored, the buses are frequent and rapid and the fares are low in contrast to the eye-wateringly expensive parking charges in the city itself. The city itself is small enough to walk from one side to the other in 20 minutes, so there's really no need to bring a car into the city in the first place. Bikes are also a great option and can be rented in various places, including the train station.

Finally, Parkopedia.com [5] is a free service that allows users to search and compare parking rates and locations for commercial and private parking facilities in York [6].

By bus

Excellent bus services [7] connect all the points of interest in the city but they are not cheap, if there are 2 or more of you think about a taxi. However, a day-pass for a bus is £3.50 per person, so if you are planning to ride several times in a day , it can be the cheaper method.

By bike

York is one of the most cycle-friendly cities in the UK - there's an extensive network of cycle routes in and around the city, and most of the traffic controls have been set up to give bikes priority. It's also practically completely flat, which is a big help. The river-path contains some wonderful bike routes out of the city. Take care of some errant anti-bike motorists who will sometimes block cycle routes and squeeze you into the kerb as you pass! Also beware that police and CCTV operators take a very dim view of cycling without lights after dusk, or cycling in the city centre pedestrianised area before 16:00, and will happily hand out an on-the-spot £30 fine for doing so. You should be able to pick up a copy of the York Cycle Route Map for free from cycle shops, or alternatively you can find PDFs here: [8].

York Events & Festivals

There is a very full series of events in York. The most important are:

  • York Races. [9] Held 6 to 8 times in the year with the key meetings in May and August.
  • Mystery Plays. [10] Medieval Passion plays, revived after the Second World War and the forum which first brought Dame Judi Dench to critical attention. Don't run every year and vary between the traditional plays acted on floats carried around the city and more formal renditions which change venues, last time being staged in the Minster.
  • York Festival of Food and Drink. [11] Late September every year. The Food element majors on Yorkshire food, while the drinks program has a world wide and wine orientated theme. The range of events is very wide with demonstrations, tastings, markets and dinners everyday for 10 days. Big 'Slow Food' / Fairtrade and other 'worthy' food element allied with lots of hands on cooking for kids.
  • Viking Festival, [12] February. A big event with a lots of appeal for children - lots of dressing up and mock fighting but backed with the serious educational purpose of the Viking Centre.
  • York Early Music Festival. Early July. World class event with very serious intent .
  • York Beer & Cider Festival [13] The Knavesmire (Tadcaster Road end) is the new venue for an expanded York Beer & Cider Festival held in September. The increased capacity means they will be able to offer up to 200 beers, 30 ciders and perries and a foreign beer bar, with wine and soft drinks also available. This is an exciting expansion for the branch which they hope will be enjoyed by people from York and beyond. There’ll be live music on the Friday and Saturday evenings as well as a good range of food from mainly local caterers and other stalls. There’ll be a large amount of seating – inside the tent if it’s wet, with some outside if the weather’s good. Children are welcome during the afternoon sessions. please consider coming to volunteer at the festival and be in on this new venture from the start. There are all sorts of different jobs available from helping to set up the site (and earn beer tokens to enjoy while the event is open) to working during the festival and of course taking the site down at the end. Jobs during the festival are varied, not just serving the beer and cider. All volunteers will get free food and drinks for their efforts. Contact Karl Smith to get your name on the list.The festival site is less than 15 minutes from York Station and is served by regular buses (12 Woodthorpe, 4 FTR Acomb, 13/13A Copmanthorpe and the Coastliner).There is a dedicated beer festival website here, where you will find much more information.
  • York Festival of Traditional Dance [14] 5 - 6 September 2009 York’s own Ebor Morris, in conjunction with City of York Council and other local teams, invite a rich variety of traditional dance sides from all over the country to join in a non-competitive celebration of the diversity of ritual dancing. The Festival occupies the first weekend of September. The Saturday begins with a colourful dance procession from the Guildhall to Parliament Square, before the teams separate to dance on site, in King’s Square and St Sampson’s Square throughout the day before a final grand show in front of dignitaries. The Sunday dancing is less formal, taking place in St Sampson’s and King’s Square on the Sunday morning.Over the years we have had representatives of all the leading traditional team styles: the stick and hanky Morris of the Cotswolds, the large clog-stepping sides of the North West, the intricate weaving Yorkshire Longsword, the country-dance like East Anglian Molly, the bizarre costumes and disguises of Welsh border Morris and the swift interlacing of Northumbrian Rapper sword.This year’s Festival details are to be confirmed. We'll be inviting teams from all round England to join in this celebration of English Traditional dance, hosted by local team Ebor Morris. The two other local sides Acorn Morris & Minster strays should be in attendance, together hopefully with old favourites such as Brackley Morris from Northamptonshire. Over the years we have had representatives of all the leading traditional team styles: the stick and hanky Morris of the Cotswolds, the large clog-stepping sides of the North West, the intricate weaving Yorkshire Longsword, the country-dance like East Anglian Molly, the bizarre costumes and disguises of Welsh border Morris and the swift interlacing of Northumbrian Rapper sword.
  • A Yorkshire Celebration.* [15]2009 sees some of the world's finest performers gather at York Minster for a charitable musical celebration of the county of Yorkshire. Taking place on Saturday 10th October at 7.30PM, The King's Singers are joined by the Brighouse & Rastrick Band, David Childs (euphonium) and host Frank Renton of BBC Radio 2. All proceeds go to The Yorkshire Foundation. Contact York Minster Box Office for tickets.
  • Illuminating York 2009 Discover York in a New Light.23 October - 1 November The event is now in its fourth year and continues to showcase York as a vibrant, contemporary and creative city. The event breathes light and innovation into York's historic and urban environment, attracting visitors from far and wide. 2009 will see three exciting new commissioned art works each of which invites you to join-in and become part of the action. At the end of the day, when the park gates are locked, life continues into the night. Bright White present 'Vespertine', a captivating instillation that exposes the magnificence and brutality of nocturnal wildlife. The specially created sound track uses animal samples that are acoustically tuned to the space, creating a unique visitor experience. The latest technology allows you to explore pools of sound, which are linked to fascinating video effects. Tucked away in the grounds of King's Manor, this promises to be a real treat. KMA and Pilot Theatre present the world premier of '5Circles' a radical, imaginative, and beautiful global project. You can modify and manipulate the sound, light and content online and then visit St Sampsons Square to see your ideas projected on to the paving. Watch people and dancers playing in the space and triggering unique patterns of light - you can even join in yourself. GaiaNova provide an exciting opportunity to draw with light onto the multangular tower in Museum Gardens. Using 'Tagtools', a simple interactive drawing board, which allows you to see your drawings and doodles projected onto the walls and brought to life. International artists will also be using the tagtools at designated times to create colourful and insipring works of art.Illuminating York is fantastic for people of all ages. Events are free.
  • St Nicholas Fair and other pre Christmas events. 2009 : 26 - 29 November The Fayre offers a range of markets specialising in gifts, crafts, and the very best in local farm produce. Outside markets move into Parliament Street, St Sampsons Square and Coppergate while York's grand medieval Guild Hall provides a home for 'Made In Yorkshire' artists and crafters from across the region. The magnificent medieval townhouse, Barley Hall, presents a special medieval market with live crafting, mulled wine and costumed traders and St William's College houses an arts and crafts market for fine hand-made items not to be found in the shops. Carol singers and buskers flock to the city to perform over the weekend to thousands of festive shoppers.
  • York Early Music Christmas Festival 2 - 8 December 2009 The 2009 Christmas Festival will run from Wednesday 2nd to Tuesday 8th December. This popular festival of Christmas entertainments includes performances by The Carnival Band; Joglaresa, the Dufay Collective, orchestral ensemble La Serenissima, Concordia with Robin Blaze & Elizabeth Kenny and Ensemble Gilles Binchois. Full programme details and tickets will be available from September 2009.To join our free mailing list, contact the NCEM at St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL telephone York (01904) 658338 or email boxoffice@ncem.co.uk Who will enjoy it? Anyone interested in listening to early music of the highest international quality; adults wishing to join with like-minded colleagues to make music together; youngsters wishing to learn more about historically informed performance; children wanting to know something of the history of the City of York and music in general.
Clifford's Tower
Clifford's Tower
  • Battle of Fulford 1066 tour, +44 (0)7877 781003 (), [16]. In 1066 the greatest shield wall battle in world history took place - no, not the Battle of Hastings, but in fact the Battle of Fulford, fought just outside York on the 20th September 1066, just a few weeks before Hastings. Discover the background to 1066, including the great last Viking invasion of England, and the foul deeds and bloody history surrounding the monarchy at the time. A full tour of the battlefield is given by representatives from the ibattles website, who have made a fascinating drama documentary about the battle (a copy is included free with each tour - a great memento of your visit to York or gift for a loved one). Please note the battle site is just a 5 minute drive by car from the city centre, transport can be arranged if required.  edit
  • York Minster, +44 (0)1904 557216, [17]. M-Sa 9AM-5PM Su noon-3:45PM. The largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, York Minster dominates the skyline & has a history of building that dates back to the 8th century at least. The one place that everybody visits. Stay for Evensong service if you can, especially if you've never been to a church service before. Adult £5.50, concession £4.50, child under 16 free.  edit
  • Jorvik Viking Centre, +44 (0)1904 543400 (), [18]. Daily 10AM-4PM (winter), 10AM-5PM (summer). An amazing recreation of the Viking settlement at York, on the site of the Coppergate archaeological excavations of the 1970s. Not to be missed, some say, while others are much less enthusiastic. Bear in mind this lasts approx 15mins, not something for the day out, and works out roughly £2 every 5 mins, you may be queued for longer than you are actually in there. £6 and upwards.  edit
  • National Railway Museum (National Railway Museum), Leeman Road, +44 (0)870 4214001 (), [19]. Daily 10AM-6PM. The largest railway museum in the world, responsible for the conservation and interpretation of the British national collection of historically significant railway vehicles and other artefacts. Contains an unrivalled collection of locomotives, rolling stock, railway equipment, documents and records. Free.  edit
  • York Castle Museum, Eye of York (next to Clifford's Tower), +44 (0)1904 687687, [20]. Daily 9:30AM-5PM. An award winning museum of everyday life with exhibitions to appeal to all ages. Exhibits include Kirkgate, a Victorian street; Half Moon Court, an Edwardian street; and costumes and toys through the ages. Built in part of the former prison there is also an opportunity to explore the old cells and see where Dick Turpin spent his last days. Adult £6.50, concession £5, child £3.50.  edit
  • Ruins of St Mary's Abbey, Museum Gardens (near Minster). A great place for a picnic.  edit
  • King's Manor, [21]. Now part of the University of York, previously a royal headquarters,  edit
  • Clifford's Tower, +44 (0)1904 646940, [22]. Daily 10AM-4PM. This imposing "tower" represents the medieval castle of York, located in the centre of town, originally built by William the Conqueror to subdue the rebellious north, then rebuilt by Henry III in the 13th century. Fantastic panoramic views of York and the surrounding countryside from the top of the tower. £2.50.  edit
  • Merchant Adventurers' Hall, Fossgate, +44 (0)1904 654818, [23]. M-Th 9AM-5PM F-Sa 9AM-3:30PM Su noon-4PM. Built 1357-1361 and of international importance, this building is Europe's finest medieval Guildhall and scheduled as an ancient monument. Nowhere else can be seen in one building the three rooms serving the three functions of a medieval guild: business, charity and religion. Above is the superb timbered Great Hall, below is the Undercroft or Hospital and Chapel. Audi guides available. Adult £2.50.  edit
  • Eboracum Legion Bathhouse (Roman Bath public house), St Sampson's Square, +44 (0)1904 620455. Daily 10AM-5PM. A great venue for food, drink and entertainment - complete with a Roman period bathhouse in the cellar. One of York's oldest attractions, visitors can see the remains of ancient York, with insights into Roman military life and hygiene. Adult £2.  edit
  • York Dungeon, [24]. Entertaining, though perhaps not for the faint hearted or for young children, there is little blood or gore, and some may find it suitable for children. Definitely worth the entrance price, however check out the pubs beforehand, as you may find 2 for 1 beer mats in the Kings Arms, a pub on the banks of the River Ouse near the Yorkboat landing (Kings Straith).  edit
  • Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens (near Minster), [25]. Interesting, and quite good for curious children. Features displays of Roman, Viking and Medieval riches.  edit
  • York Maze, (next to Grimston Bar park and ride so by car or bus), [26]. A very large maze (the largest in the world, they say) and it's made of maize. Give it at least a couple of hours. There are other activities, such as a mini-maze for children, and games (such as Crazy Mazey Golf). Only open during the summer months.  edit
  • Treasurer's House, [27]. National Trust operated town house dating from Medieval times.  edit
  • Barley Hall, Coffee Yard, [28]. A lovingly restored Medieval townhouse, situated on Coffee Yard (an alley off Stonegate). Hidden gem.  edit
York Walls - Micklegate
York Walls - Micklegate
  • Walk around the city walls, [29]. Daily 8AM-sunset. One of the best vantage points for the medieval city of York is from the ramparts of its medieval city walls, built on Roman era foundations. Alternatively walk the York snickleways, the famous medieval (and later) alleys and narrow streets that thread the center of the city. Try and get hold of a copy of Mark W Jones' book A walk around the Snickelways of York (ISBN 1871125723) or its hardback companion The complete Snickelways of York (ISBN 1871125049) with their quirky, hand-written descriptions. Alternatively walk downstream to the the Millennium bridge, cross and back upstream on the other bank. About an hours walk. Free.  edit
  • Walking tours and ghost walks. Wonderful. There are many ghost walks that run throughout the year during the evenings. Walks normally start from 6PM onwards and last for around an hour - just look for the posters and billboards posted throughout the city centre for details and the meeting point for that evening. Walking tours free, ghost walks around £4.  edit
  • Boat hire, [30]. Power up the River Ouse. Alternatively have someone else drive and go on a river trip. £20/hr, early in the day can be cheaper.  edit
  • Football (York City FC), Bootham Crescent, [31]. They’re a full-time professional club, playing in the Blue Square Conference and famous for giant-killing victories over Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton. Their home ground of KitKat Crescent, formerly known as Bootham Crescent, is a traditional English football ground surrounded by terraced housing. It is about 15 minutes walk from the city centre, near the hospital.  edit
  • Rugby League (York City Knights), Huntington Stadium. York City Knights [32] are currently playing in National League 2, advertising a good standard of rugby, the Huntington stadium is about 5 minutes walk from Monks Cross shopping centre. Matchdays are usually Sunday afternoons but you are advised to check before setting out as they are usually every other week.  edit
  • Vue Cinemas - [33] - 0871 224 0240
  • City Screen Ltd - www.picturehouses.co.uk - 0870 758 3219
  • Reel Cinema York - www.reelcinemas.co.uk - 01904 733 633

Buy

York comes highly recommended for its unique shops & boutiques. There's the usual range of high-street stores, but York is also a great place if you're looking for tourist tat of the highest order. Tat-central is The Shambles - the narrowest (and most crowded) street in York, with a full range of a present from York - emblazoned merchandise manufactured in the Far East. Shops in York change from year to year but the beautiful old fashioned wooden shop fronts and buildings have not changed much since they were first built.

  • Gillygate and Low Petergate. There is a good range of stores apart from the standard high street, try these for some nice small shops and galleries.  edit
  • Betty's Tearoom. Get a Fat Rascal see below.  edit
  • Browns, Parliament Street. A local good quality department store.  edit

Walmgate and Fossgate contain some interesting shops, including several small independent book shops and retro clothes shops.

Eat

For upmarket eating, try York's 'restaurant district' on Fossgate and Walmgate. For standard eating try any traditional pub (though food quality may be variable) and there are many other mid-range restaurants dotted all over the city centre.

  • The Judges Lodgings [34],The Judges Lodgings hotel is comprised of the cellar bar, famous for its award winning real ales, the roof terrace and the largest outside dining area in York. Its upstairs restaurant, located inside the hotel, serves freshly prepared meals, a selection of fine wines and homemade deserts. These are enjoyed amongst the splendour of guilt mirrors, antique paintings and beautiful architecture. [35]
  • Four High Petergate, 2 - 4 Petergate, 0845-460 20 20, [36]. Four High Petergate is one of the city’s finest restaurants with rooms, offering guests a delightful culinary experience and a beautiful place to stay right in the heart of York's city centre. The new venue also has the capabilities to stage weddings, tea parties and business events.
  • J Bakers Bistro Moderne [37], Fossgate, 01904-62 26 88, Run by Michelin-starred chef J Baker (10 consecutive years with Michelin stars)this is regularly reviewed and acknowledged as York's best restaurant by some way. Booking is essential for evenings as there is often a waiting list but the Lunch time menu is a bargain and it is easy to get a table.
  • Harvilles Restaurant York, 47 Fossgate, 01904-65 41 55, [38]. Harvilles is a new restaurant that serves the best Aberdeen Angus steaks. It specializes in oysters and seafood and they also have a blackboard with changing specialties. It has a great selection of Champagne and is a delightfully intimate place to meet friends.
  • Viceroy of India, Monkgate, 01904 622370, Always busy even in early evening, this long established Indian Restaurant is a favourite of York residents who keep returning time after time for its excellent food and friendly atmosphere. As they say - when in Rome...
  • Monty's Grill, St Peter's Grove, 08454 60 20 20, [39]. Monty's Grill is an award-winning steak and seafood restaurant close to the centre of York. It is based on the concept of a Victorian chop house and specializes in serving high-quality, traditional British food.
  • Old Grey Mare, [40]. A good curry place about halfway between the city walls and the YHA hostel.
  • Betty's Tea Rooms, 6-8 St Helen's Square, tel 659142, [41]. World-famous for its nostalgic atmosphere and spectacular Swiss-Yorkshire patisserie-style catering. It is a twenties-style tea rooms complete with palm trees, aproned waitresses and piano player, and serves the kind of food that comes with the crusts cut off. The quality is superb, but it's not cheap - and be prepared for a queue at peak times, it's not unknown for potential customers to wait outside in the rain for a seat. Open 9AM-9PM every day.
  • Little Betty's, 46 Stonegate, tel 622865, [42]. This is a smaller version of Betty's in Stonegate which doesn't get quite so busy, and serves exactly the same kind of food in a similar ambience. Open Su-F 10AM-5:30PM; Sa 9AM-5:30PM.
  • Bari's - The Shambles. Cheerfully unpretentious Italian bistro serving pizza and pasta in an authentically Italian style (overly-phallic pepper grinders and waiters adopting cod accents.) Food's not bad, it's reasonably priced, and it's pretty lively of an evening.
  • Pizza Express - Lendal. Needs no introduction, but worth a look for the setting - a spectacular Victorian brick edifice perched on the bank of the River Ouse. Summer evenings on the terraces are pleasant, and their toilets are marble temples of Victorian excess - it's worth eating there just for the chance to use a solid brass-and-marble urinal.
  • ASK - The Assembly Rooms. A marble pillared Georgian meeting hall with 40-foot ceilings and plaster cherubs. Extremely busy at weekends and tourist periods.
  • The Golden Dragon - King Street, not far from Ouse Bridge. Just round the corner from the famous riverside pub the King's Arms. Within falling distance of the Gallery and the Lowther. Cheap and cheerful Chinese food. Open till late.
  • The Spurriergate Centre on Spurriergate - a great little cafe in an old church, well worth a visit just for the architecture but the food is good and there are vegetarian options - the staff have a "godly" feel but are friendly enough.
  • Meltons Too - 5 minutes walk from the center in an area called Walmgate - good food in pleasant olde worlde environment.
  • El Piano, Grape Lane, [43]. Mexican influenced vegetarian food. Very relaxed atmosphere, you can carve your name in a table for a £1 donation to Amnesty (they lend you the tools). Has toys and games lying around. If you have children, ask nicely and they'll give you a room upstairs to yourselves.
  • A cafeteria in an old church facing away from Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate sells cheap good food - eat on the grass outside.
  • The Lime House, Goodramgate, [44]. This restaurant has won many awards but still doesn't seem to be on the tourist radar. This is a shame, because it serves some of the most inventive, lovingly-prepared food in the city. Starters from £5, mains from £13.
  • Hungary Horaces - Proper working mens cafe. Greasy and tatty but the food is of a very high standard. The staff at the cafe are very friendly and may refer to you as love or flower.
  • Miller's [45] - Delicious fish and chip shop in Fulford, which also works as a restaurant. Reasonable prices and as good a plate's worth as you'll get in York.

Drink

York has perhaps the most pubs per square mile of any city in the country (supposedly one for every day of the year). You shouldn't have any problem finding somewhere to get a drink. There are three key City Centre areas for Drinking depending on your taste:

  • Micklegate area: which includes Rougier Street: Young, loud, brash, boozy, hen & stag nights abound. Wall to wall pubs in a very small area serving a younger clientele intent on getting well oiled and having a good time until 3 - 4AM.
  • Coney Street area: Goes from St Helens Square along Coney Street turning right to the edge of Ouse Bridge. Pubs & Bars are a lot more upmarket and it takes in 3 bars on Coney St overlooking the River Ouse.
  • Goodramgate, Swinegate area: Probably the best area for those who like a mix of traditional pubs, nice continental bars and 2 good swanky modern bars for dressing to impress. The atmosphere is the most laid back in this area and has the widest age range appeal.
  • The Quarter which includes Little Stonegate & Grape Lane, houses several nice bars such as Pivo, Stonegate Yard, Bobo Lobo, Slug and Lettuce (chain bar), 1331, Wilde's & Oscar's to name but a few. Tends to be slightly more chilled out but more expensive than other areas. Still rowdy on a weekend but more relaxed during the week where salsa lessons take place in a couple of the bars. The area is sometimes referred to as the 'latin quarter' due to the nature of some of the bars and restaurants.

An excellent map of York bars, complete with reviews, is available here: [46]

Pubs

There are plenty of pubs in York but here are a small selection:

  • The Ackhorne, St Martin's Lane (off Micklegate). Real beer and real people.
  • The Blue Bell, Fossgate. Tiny but unforgettable. Real beer. A locals' favourite.
  • The Brigantes, Micklegate. Real British beer, and plenty of foreign brands too.
  • The Charles XII located in Heslington, right next to the University. Cheap beer and full of students.
  • The Hansom Cab a Samuel Smith's pub right in the centre of town, with cheap local ales
  • The Keystones a Yellow Card pub beneath Monkgate Bar.
  • KoKo International Bar, Goodramgate. Lovely relaxed bar overlooking York Minster serving 10 draught rare imported lagers & UK ales, over 200 bottled continental beers & 300 Spirits !!
  • The King's Arms another Samuel Smith's pub but a few pence dearer than the Hansom Cab; located beneath the River Ouse bridge, it's traditionally flooded every winter.
  • Lendal Cellars off St. Helen's Square (and yes, it is underground).
  • The Lowther overlooking (and occasionally in) the River Ouse; highly recommended - try the diesel.
  • The Micklegate just beneath Micklegate Bar.
  • The Maltings absolutely cracking real-ale pub close to the train station.
  • Ye Olde Starre Inn on Stonegate, the oldest pub in York, nice and cosy, with a beer garden that, just, overlooks the Minster
  • The Phoenix the other side of the wall from the Barbican. (Closed down)
  • The Postern Gate, a J.D. Wetherspoon franchise (otherwise known as The Wetherspoon's) beside the Travelodge on Piccadilly, overlooking the River Foss.
  • The Priory on Micklegate, often to be found serving a well-known Irish stout at a very reasonable price.
  • The Punchbowl, a Wetherspoons franchise beside Micklegate Bar.
  • The Punch Bowl (there are two) on Stonegate.
  • Roman Baths Inn in St. Sampson's Square, in the middle of town, on top of the remains of a real Roman bath that you can visit. Also frequently has open-mic nights.
  • The Rook and Gaskill, a Tynemill pub just outside Walmgate Bar. 12 ever-rotating cask ales available.
  • The Rose and Crown, an Australian-run pub just outside Walmgate Bar, home of the Auzzie Burger.
  • The Three Legged Mare a York Brewery Pub just a stones throw from the Minster.
  • The Winning Post in York Voted the pint best Lager York 2009 (keeps Head and Effervescent longer then other pubs in the City) Free Event Venue for new Bands on Bishopthorpe Road 01904 625228
  • The Windmill opposite Micklegate Bar.
  • The York Brewery Pub a York Brewery Pub actually in their brewery on Tanner Row

Bars

There are yet more bars. Some might class these in the same category as pubs:

  • KoKo International Bar Goodramgate. Lovely relaxed bar overlooking York Minster
  • The Living room on the East side of the Ouse bridge
  • Slug and Lettuce on the West side of the Ouse bridge (formally Capitol)
  • Yates's on the West side of the Ouse bridge
  • Biltmore on Swinegate. Probably the plushest upmarket bar in York and this is reflected in the clientele who don't mind paying extra for the scenery. Huge bar drinks menu comprising cocktails, premium spirits, bottled beers and wine. Usual mass produced beer brands on Draught.
  • The Bedroom on Micklegate
  • The Nags Head on Micklegate
  • Pitcher and Piano, Bar 38 and Orgasmic besides City Screen off Coney st
  • Evil Eye on Stonegate - the best place in York for cocktails, and the south east asian food is out of this world, too! Limited capacity due to fire regulations so you may have to queue to gain entry.
  • Dusk on New Street (off Coney Street) - another great place for cocktails, with 2-for-1 Monday through Thursday.
  • Marmadukes Hotel, tel 0870 243 0765. St Peters Grove, [47].
  • Welburn Lodge [48] is situated close to Castle Howard and only 13 miles from the City of York.
  • The Quality Hotel York, [49]. Very central, very modern, very convenient - just minutes walk from most tourist attractions. Inexpensive compared to other hotels that are further away. Eye catching, modern design 6 story hotel, matched by stylish contemporary interiors, which create an atmosphere of luxury and simplicity. Very close to the city walls if you plan on walking around the city walls - a good way to see York. Also close to the shops, and if you've got heavy shopping bags, it will make a lot of difference to be close to the city center.
  • York YHA Hostel, twenty minutes walk away from the city walls, is clean and cheap with good showers. Good family rooms for 4. Adequate breakfast is included in the price (they'll pack you a breakfast if you're leaving especially early).
  • Travelodge York Central located next to a popular Weatherspoons bar/restaurant next to the city wall and River on Piccadilly. Only a 5 minute walk up Piccadilly to Parliament Sq in the Centre. Rooms are comfortable and private, and are pretty cheap (~£29-£60) if booked in advance online. Because of it's prime location, walk-in fares are likely to exceed £80pn. Don't take the breakfast - instead go next door to the Weatherspoons, it's much better value!

If you have a car, also try the Travelodge York-Tadcaster about 5miles from the city centre on the A64. Rooms will be significantly cheaper.

  • The Dean Court Hotel - they don't come much more central than this - it's right outside the front door of the Minster, and the city center is just streets away. An imposing Victorian pile, this Best Western hotel has recently been renovated downstairs, and now sports a contemporary 'wine bar' look that's in complete contrast to the red-brick exterior. Unfortunately the refit didn't make it past the ground floor, and the bedrooms are beginning to look somewhat tired. Food is over-the-top nouvelle cuisine style, and they've got prices to match the location. Great if you're looking for something at the heart of the city, but not particularly good value given the standard of accommodation at the moment.
  • Hotel Noir - 01904 643711 [50]. Very good value hotel within ten minutes' walk of city centre. There are 28 comfortable rooms, all en suite. Free, small car park, good breakfast and free mini-bar. Good for a short break. The road outside can be noisy, so stay in one of the rear rooms if you're a light sleeper. Lively bar as well.
  • The Monk Bar Hotel - just outside Monk Bar, on the inner ring road. Perfectly adequate unspectacular Best Western-style hotel, but beware the bedrooms at the front - they overlook the inner ring road which is exceedingly noisy during the morning and evening rush hours. Not particularly good value for money, as the accommodation is unspectacular and food could best be described as adequate.
  • Premier Travel Inn, tel 0870 990 6594, [51]. Five minutes walk from the train station. A recent conversion of older low rise buildings. Clean, with a king size double bed and excellent showers. Rooms cost £70 a night plus between £3 and £7.50 for each adult for breakfast. Good value for families as 2 kids can sleep in the same room on pull out beds, and they get breakfast for free with a paying adult.
  • Queen Anne's Guest House, [52]. Approximately 7 mins walk from Bootham Bar (near the Minster), this is a small friendly guest house with a simple Full English Breakfast awaiting you in the morning, after a refreshing sleep in one of the clean, quiet rooms with en suite. Good value for money, the key to the front door is issued on arrival ensuring you do not have to tote bags around all day.
  • Ramada Fairfield Manor Hotel, [53]. The Ramada Fairfield Manor Hotel in York is set in a recently renovated Georgian mansion in six acres of grounds.This elegant York hotel mananges to combine the calm of an 18th-century country retreat with the vibrant cultural attractions of 2000-year-old York three miles away.
  • The Judges Lodgings Hotel, [54], +44 (0)1904 638733, info@judgeslodgings.com. Housed in a grade 1 listed Georgian townhouse, the Judges Lodgings Hotel has been sympathetically renovated and now offers travellers a luxurious and historical place to relax. It has a traditional cellar bar and restaurant (also open to non-residents) and is among the best located hotels in the city centre (within the main pedestrian area of York and overlooked by York Minster). It has a small free car park in the grounds. Also a venue for conferences, meetings, weddings, private dining.
  • The Royal York Hotel is located next to the Station and is the largest hotel in York as well as one of the most prestigious. Has a nice but expensive restaurant overlooking the Minster - great for an evening meal. Also has a Bar, Swimming Pool and Gym. Always ask at reception if you will hear any nose from function rooms. To be safe ask for a high-floor room.
  • The Grange Hotel, tel 644744, [55]. A few minutes walk from Bootham Bar, this is one of York's premier (and most expensive) hotels. A Georgian town house, it's gone for the country-house-chic look - all deep sofas, open fires and unobtrusive service. There are three restaurants ranging from a seafood bar, through contemporary cellar bar to the full-on French silver service. Not cheap, but deeply luxurious, and a real change from the standard pre-packaged international chain hotels.
  • Lendal Tower, [56]. This newly refurbished luxury establishment will surely be one of York's main landmarks within a couple of years. The 5 star ancient property offers a range of services including guest accommodation, private butler and chef, weddings and private dining.
  • de Bretton Hospitality, [57], 0845 4 60 20 20. de Bretton is a hospitality group that operates a range of luxury hotels and accommodation in York.

Learn

The University of York [58] is constantly one of the UK's top 10 performing universities, and is one of the top 100 in the world. The departments of Biology and Chemistry are particularly well regarded internationally as leading research centres.

Contact

Phone

York's area code (for landline numbers) is 01904 when dialed from within the UK or +44 1904 from outside the UK.

Internet

There are also several places that offer web and other internet access. These include:

  • City Screen Picturehouse, 13-17 Coney Street (tucked away behind St. Martin's church - look for the iconic clock), tel 0871 7042054, [59]Computers, printing, and wireless in the Basement Cafe. If you bring your own laptop, wireless is a pound otherwise you pay by the amount of time spent online.
  • Gateway Internet Café Bar, now situated in City Screen - above.
  • Evil Eye Lounge, 42 Stonegate, tel 640002, [60]. Just as with City Screen, if you bring your own laptop wireless access is just a pound. Pay at the counter just as you walk in to get that day's access code.
  • York Central Library, Museum Street (between the river and the Minster). Ask at the enquiry desk - you'll see plenty of locals using the computers, but the staff can arrange Web access for visitors too. Opens till 8PM on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

Stay safe

Just like in every town and city York has its bad parts that are best avoided: areas that seem to keep appearing in newspaper reports! These are the outlying suburbs of Tang Hall, Bell Farm, and parts of Foxwood and Clifton but even these are relatively tame compared to similar areas in cities like Manchester or Leeds. Also try to avoid secluded cycle paths at night as it is not unknown (but stil fairly rare) for robberies to take place in these parts, however this tends to be away from the main city centre.

The centre of town, however, is as civilised as everywhere else in Britain.

Take care on weekend evenings in York. Plenty of local youngsters overestimate their capacity for alcohol and the city centre can seem to be awash with lager louts, mainly over the river in the Micklegate area. If you are approached just keep on walking and they will find another victim to pester. Aim for our recommended pubs, though, and you'll find that safe socialising in the company of affable locals is still possible!

Get out

York is centrally located for the Vale of York and East and North Yorkshire, making it a great base for days out in any direction:

  • Aldborough Roman Villa [61] - it`s a bit of a push to the top of the county but well worth the trouble.
  • Castle Howard [62] - one of the locations for the filming of Brideshead Revisited, this amazing stately home is a great day trip out of York. If you've got a car and go to Castle Howard its worth a look at Kirkham Priory too, just off the A64 at the top of the hill near Castle Howard. Additional local historic sites in the York area include Beningbrough Hall, Bolton Abbey, Nunnington Hall and Riveaux Abbey.
  • Leeds - biggest city in Yorkshire. Fantastic for shopping, drinking, dining, and as a base for exploring Yorkshire.
  • Northallerton - from here get a bus to the picturesque, authentic, village of Osmotherley with three great pubs and plenty of good walking.
  • The coast - Victorian Scarborough with two popular beaches and a castle, Victorian Bridlington, Filey and Whitby. Filey is a smaller and less developed resort; it is home to a brigg that can be accessed at low tide, has long stretches of beach, however has reduced facilities compared to its larger neighbours. Whitby is a popular coastal town and home to many historic sites of interest. If you are visiting the town around mealtimes try one of the fish and chip restaurants. The portions are large and the taste to die for. Mushy peas are optional! This used to be the national dish before chicken tikka massala - and in Whitby they show you why. If you are travelling the main road between Scarborough and Whitby, try making a detour into the moors on the landward side of the road. Only a couple of miles or so from the road you will be into a land of babbling brooks and comfortable pubs (most without music) where you can enjoy a quiet drink and a well-cooked meal at very reasonable cost. And the plus is it seems like another world.
  • Thirsk - small horse-racing market town. Well known as a horse racing venue, but for me its claim to fame is as the home of James Herriott. There is a museum dedicated to his (real)life and vetinary practice and is well worth making a detour to visit. It`s a "hands on" type of museum and to any fans of the books and films constitutes and couple of hours well spent. You can sit in the actual Austin 7 car that he made his visits in and can round off the visit in the museum shop. Enjoy!Afterwards a drink in a local pub and perhaps a (very) substantial lunch.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also york

Contents

English

Most common English words: Duke « battle « bound « #737: York » impossible » greatest » property
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Etymology

From Old Norse Jórvík, from Old English Eoforwīċ, from Latin Eborācum, from Brythonic Eborakon (cf. Old Welsh Caer Ebrauc, mod. Efrog), from eburo 'yew; black alder' (cf. Welsh efwr, Breton evor).

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
York

Plural
-

York

  1. A city in North Yorkshire, England.
  2. The House of York, a dynasty of English kings and one of the opposing factions involved in the 15th century Wars of the Roses. The name comes from the fact that its members were descended from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York; their symbol was a white rose.
  3. Former name (before 1834) of Toronto.
  4. A habitational surname from the city or the county; See also Yorke.

Translations

Derived terms

See also








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