Would you like to walk through two thousand years of history of England? You can easily do it only by walking York streets. There you have 5 itineraries that you cannot miss in the most picturesque city in England.
York is one the most beautiful historic city all over the UK. Every single past event that occurred in this city can be perceived just looking at the walls: you will find the Roman and the Saxon town (these were Germanic populations that were called “Engels”, from whom the name “England” comes), the Jorvic Vikings Centre, the Medieval York Minister, the elegant Georgian town along with its amazing houses and the Victorian city along with its incredible train stations.
Take a walk in York and you will experience two thousand years of England’s history. There you have 5 destinations that are worth visiting.

1. The Roman Foundation

Roman Bath, ancient pub of York
Roman Bath, ancient pub of York

It is not rare that after entering a bar you may find some wall, column or decoration that belong to the Roman Age. The Roman Bath,  one of the most typical pub in the city, was built just on the ancient Roman baths. So that, after having listened to some good rock music and tasted a beer you will have the chance to go and visit the frigidarium and the caldarium, and the heating system that was used in the Roman baths. Info: timetable and prices.

Roman York with interactive museum, just under the York Minister
Roman York with interactive museum, just under the York Minister

Below York Minister you will get to know the history of “Eboracum” -the Roman York– thanks to an interesting interactive museum. We also recommend you walk along the ancient wall of the Cathedral, called “castrum”. Info: timetable and prices.

2. The Medieval history

patio and entrance of the Barley Hall with trees and stairs
Barley Hall, patio and entrance

If you are interested in discovering about the Medieval York, you have to enter Barley Hall, an ancient house that has been recently restored and furnished like it was built at the end of the 1400s. Inside, you will have the chance to see how people used to live back in the time from the way they dressed to their belongings and “magical” remedies that they used to practice. Not only medicinal herbs but also alchemy and ceremonies, such as the way to cure nightmares, to be brave and predict the future. Info: timetable and prices.

the outisde part of the Merchant Adventurers' Hall
Merchant Adventures’ Hall, outside
a hall made of wooden with paints and sofas
Merchant Adventurers’ Hall. picture by Micheal D Beckwith, via unsplash

The Merchant Adventures’ Hall is another Medieval wonder in York. A meeting point of about 650 years. Here important adventurers, merchants and navigators used to meet. The Merchant Adventurers company travelled and lived a lot of adventures to bring goods to York and then sell them in the city.

3. York Minister

the tower of the cathedral and a tree

York Minister is the main landmark in the city. This is impressive and majestic, with stolen walls, big statues and stained-glass windows, for this reason the Cathedral can be seen from almost every part of York. Its tower is 200 feet tall, more than the Pisa Tower. You will need to go up 275 steps to reach the summit and appreciate the panorama on the city.
It was consecrated in 1472, after a 250 years’ work, and this result to be the most incredible architecture in York. People say that Walter Grey, Archbishop of York -who dreamed of the cathedral- wanted it to be taller than the Canterbury one.

York Minister. right stained-glass window
York Minister. right stained-glass window

stained-glass window stained-glass window
Nowadays, it is the biggest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. The right glass surface measures 186 sqm and it is the largest in the World. The amazing stained-glass windows will leave you speechless! Here in York Minister you will find the largest number of windows in England.

4. The Georgian England

White entrance of the Fairfax House
Fairfax House

“There is no place, out of London, so polite and elegant to live in (Francis Drake)”

In the late 18th century, York was considered to be the most elegant city in England just after London. Back in that time, buildings were built, and a lot of houses were decorated following the Georgian style. Among them, the Fairfax House and the Mansion Hause, where dances were usually organised along with banquets and the most important meeting in York. The Mansion Hause was designed in 1762 by the architect John Carr and it is considered to be an actual art masterpiece. In the 19th century it was used as a cultural centre, as a dancing hall and then as a cinema.

Interioir design of the Fairfax House, with tables, chairs, cheminy, paints and pink walls
Fairfax House, picture by Michael D Beckwith, via unsplash

Today, it has gained its fame again, thanks to the period furniture donated by Noel Terry. The guides who are in each room will help you understand the history of this incredible place.

5. The Victorian history

The train station of York
York Railway Station

The current train station of York, with its magnificent Victorian architecture, was inaugurated in 1877, and back in the time it was the biggest station in Europe. Its architecture, dominated by steel and glass, amazes everyone, along with the columns, the decorations and the roofing. A few stes away the station, you can visit the National Raylway museum, and it will be useful to find out about more than one hundred different types of trains.

Author: Alessandro Gallo

I am Alessandro Gallo, currently student of “Linguistic Intermediation for the Tourism and the Enterprises” at the University of Trento, in Italy. Tourism is such a relevant topic for me, not only from an academic point of view but also from a personal one. I do am interested in sustainable solutions and travels.
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