Tuesday 15 March 2016

uk city guide : york.

Well, I think it's fair to say that York is one of the prettiest places I've ever been, and that I didn't have nearly enough time there.

It's so full of beautiful old buildings, narrow cobbled streets, and enough cute little cafes & shops to keep you busy for days, amongst many other things. 

Bee and I travelled up by Cross Country trains on Thursday afternoon, watching the world go by, catching up, and wondering what our time in York would be like. We hopped in a taxi when we got there, greeted by the friendliest Yorkshire man of all time. This was a very good start.

Over the next few days there was lots of wandering around, eating, and soaking in some knowledge & inspiration at York Literature Festival. I was absolutely not ready to leave on Saturday afternoon, as there was still so much I wanted to do there. 

Here is what we did manage to cram in..


We stayed in the Monkbar Hotel, which funnily enough is right by Monk Bar - one of the entrances into the walled part of the city. It's a newly refurbished Best Western hotel, so you know what you're getting. 

Our twin room was the perfect size for us, and we had sweeties waiting for us on the bed when we arrived! Little touches like that are special. It was a really good base for us to come back to & rest when needed, as it was only a very short walk into the walled city centre. 


We were recommended so many places to eat that we didn't manage to get to all of them, but did snap a couple of photos of them as we made our way around the winding cobbled streets.

Places of note:

This was about 3 minutes from our hotel & had been recommended by so many people that we had to go on our first night. The food was amazing - so tasty! I tried swordfish while we were there, and I would definitely have it again.

Cafe Concerto for a cup of tea near the minster.

Shambles Kitchen for one of their famous pulled pork sandwiches.

• Any of the countless delicatessens, patisseries and fancy cafes..

The Donut Kitchen

Brew & Brownie - we couldn't get a seat in here as it's small & v popular, but it looked & smelled yummy!

Bill's for easy cocktails and tasty dishes.


Although we didn't buy anything, York is an amazing place to wander around and shop. There are so many independent stores as well as the big names. 

The Shambles - these narrow cobbled streets are full of amazing old wonky buildings & little stores with tiny doors. 

Pandora's Box - a curiosity shop full of taxidermy, skulls, and weird stuff.

Bowler Vintage - a perfectly laid out vintage shop. All the reasonably priced garments are arranged by colour!

Priestley's Vintage - not so reasonably priced, but some incredibly beautiful pieces.


This huge cathedral took over 400 years to build, and you can see why when you look closely at all the stunning detail. It's the largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe. I'm not one for religion, but I do like architecture. You can't go to York and not see the minster!

We didn't do much tourist stuff - although I wish we'd got one of those tourist buses.. One place we made sure we went was the Chocolate Story. York is the birthplace of loads of famous chocolates, and this place tells you all about the history of them. It's way more interesting than I'm making it sound, plus you get to sample things and make your own chocolate lollipop at the end. 

You don't get to sample any Terry's chocolate orange however, which I found heartbreaking. 

If you go to Visit York, you can buy a York Pass with 20% off, which will get you into loads of attractions like this one. 

The main purpose of our trip was to attend a few events at the York Literature Festival. This is on until the 23rd March, so you still have time to go if you're interested! 

Here's what we went to:

There was open mic poetry, special guest poets, and a spoken word show by Sophia Walker, and the theme of the night was feminism. There was also a labrador that Bee was completely obsessed with.

I've seen many poets perform before, but nothing has given me goosebumps like this. It really inspired me, and made me want to write more. 

I'm looking to go to similar things in Bristol, so if you know of anything, do let me know! 

"A day of comics, video and board games, graphic novels and other sequential art."

I am a big fan of zines, short comics and artist books, so this was right up my alley. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to attend any of the workshops or talks, but we spent a good while looking through all the gorgeous books in the foyer, and getting lost in the amazing university.

I've not written a book, but I do like the idea of getting my work published one day. This talk was a pretty useful insight into the world of publishing by 3 literary agents - one of which has the same name as my mum, which was a little confusing and off-putting. 

It felt really good to be learning again.

We were also booked in to see Wendy Cope, however we had to catch our train home. 

There are loads more amazing events on until the 23rd March, so make sure you check out what's on!

All in all, York is such a nice place for a short city break. It's incredibly beautiful, and I hope to be back soon to meander through the ancient streets.

• Travel, accommodation & tickets to York Literature Festival all provided for me, but I mean every word I said •

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  1. I have the post-York blues :(

  2. What a lovely guide :) I've only been to york once and it was just for a few hours. I hope to visit sometime later this year :) x

    - LS

  3. This was super helpful as I may be going here very soon! :-)

  4. York looks so adorable, I would love to visit sometime!
    xx Alyssa

  5. It sounds like you had a fantastic time Lyzi, all your pictures are beautiful x

  6. I love York, I used to live just an hour away and would go whenever I could. Your photos really capture it beautifully! Makes me want to go back ASAP.

  7. This is a lovely guide, I love your photography! Brew and Brownie do the best pancakes, i'd definitely recommend going back and trying them if you get chance :)

    Caz | This is Caz

  8. I absolutely adore York! I last went in December and have missed it ever since I got on the train home. I'd love to go again soon. I'll look at the Best Western you stayed at for my next trip, it looks lovely.

  9. I'm so in love with your photography. It looks gorgeous in York x

    Hannah | Oh January

  10. Thank you so much. your photos are very rustic. love it.. would love to plan a trip to York now.
    is there any tea recommendation? :)

  11. I just love York, the little streets always whisk me away to Harry Potter world. Looks like a beautiful break

  12. This is a lovely post, I love York! Apparently the little narrow streets are what isnpired Diagon Alley from Harry Potter! x

  13. I adored our trip to York last year. I really want to go back, it's such a great town.


  14. That first photo is so quintessentially British! Looks like you had a super lovely time and I really appreciated this little guide. :) xo

  15. Your photographs are beautiful! They make me want to visit York.

  16. I was in York only a week or so ago for my Birthday. It's a truly magical place where you feel like you've stepped back in time. =^-^=

    Sam | Momentarily Dreaming

  17. I will definitely have to have a little getaway to York some day! I went once but that was more than ten years ago and it was with school, so I'd love to visit again :)

    Lisa x

  18. oh wow, i never knew york was such a beautiful place! the picture of churros has made me crave them now haha

    xo Sarah

  19. Great post, I'm taking a trip to York soon so I'll definitely check out some of these places - the vintages shops look fabulous! Thanks for the tips :) Cassie x (

  20. Hi, thanks for including our little shop in your post. What a great guide to a wonderful city
    Pandora's Box ( Heather)


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