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York has been enticing sightseers since 8,000 BC. Vikings, Romans, Normans – they all travelled to York and now they’re a part of a fascinating spectacle you can't find anywhere else. We don’t do time travel at TransPennine Express, but this is the closest we get. Speaking of which, trains to York take a mere 23 minutes from Leeds and an hour and 15 minutes from Manchester. Book your train ticket now and step back in time.
We run 4 train services an hour to York and there’s a travel centre and tourist information booth in the station to help you plan your onward journey. Use First Bus services 3 or 4 to visit all the most popular attractions. For unlimited bus travel around the city, buy a York Plusbus ticket with your train ticket for £3.50 (£2.30 with a railcard). Local buses stop on Station Road, while the hop-on, hop-off bus tour also stops in front of the station.
Kids will love delving into the depths of the York Dungeon where actors and special effects bring the city's grisly history to life. From Eric Bloodaxe to the Black Death this is delightfully horrible history. The Jorvik Viking Centre is a fascinating and more forensic view of the city under Viking rule, while York Castle Museum is a historical treasure trove, spanning Roman times to the present day. Finally, for free tours, spectacular views and one of Europe’s most-important cathedrals, head to York Minster where there’s always plenty to do.
Melton's is a fine-dining restaurant that focuses on the food and sidesteps all the fuss. Its mouth-watering, modern British menu is a hit with the locals but it’s not exactly cheap. A 4-time winner of the best café in York award, El Piano boasts a menu that’s packed with flavour and innovation. La Vecchia Scuola, meaning 'the old school', can be found at the site of the former York School for Girls and serves up exceptionally tasty and traditional Italian dishes. And when it comes to a stop for tea and cake, Betty's is the place to be and one of the most popular places for afternoon tea in the North of England.
There are a number of ghost walks to choose from in York, which is no surprise, given the city’s rich – and, at times, bloody – history (slaughter, famine… the plague, York has seen it all). The Shambles is a winding medieval street packed with shops, cafés and pubs, and a must for a meander when you’re here. Real ale, pizza and live music? What’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing, as the ever-popular The Hop proves. Don’t just take our word for it though, this one of the locals’ favourite things to do in York.
The Hairy Fig sells speciality food, teas, coffee and chocolate from around the globe, and has an amazing little café next door. A York shopping trip wouldn’t feel right if it didn’t include a clutch of old bookshops, and what better way to work up an appetite than pausing to leaf through a historic tome as you stroll through this beautiful city? If you want to escape the old, you can catch the number 7 Park & Ride bus from York station to York Designer Outlet, where, within moments, you’ll be right up to date with the latest fashions.
For more ideas on what to do in York, check out Visit York.