York, England, is a blend of the ancient, historic, cultural, and working city. Spectacular sights and history await your visit. York is a fabulous blend of the ancient (Romans in AD 71, Vikings in AD 866), cultural, historic, and bustling working city. Guy Fawkes was born here; Constantine was crowned here; and Dick Turpin was executed here. The wall still encircles most of the city. Visitors can walk the top of the wall and look out through the arrow slits, avoiding the traffic and immersing themselves in historic details.
York Minster Cathedral, the largest, most spectacular cathedral in the United Kingdom, was built in the 13th century. The stained glass rivals Notre Dame. The minster was the site of Constantine’s succession to the throne of the Roman Empire.
St. Cuthbert’s is the most ancient church in York. Surviving from AD 685, it is currently an office and storage area. Like most churches in England, ancient burials are in this church’s walls and floors.
Clifford’s Tower is all that remains of the castle that once stood in York. It was also the site of a Jewish Holocaust due to financial management of money and loans in York by Jewish bankers. The Jews were rounded up and locked in the Tower by the citizens seeking relief from their debts. The Jewish citizens were then incinerated by the town folk. The York Castle Museum nearby includes historical info about York.
Jorvik Viking Center is the archeological dig come to life concerning some of the oldest settlers of York –the Vikings. A ride takes visitors back in time to the streets of York at the time of the Vikings in AD 866, both fun and informational.
The Shambles is a quaint shopping area today; one can almost see Harry Potter and friends shopping for school things as in Diagon Alley. Its name has become synonymous with a big mess, i.e. “Your room is a shambles.” No wonder since the Shambles in the 15th century was once an open-air butchery. The gutters ran with the blood of animals butchered and sold along the street of the Shambles. Now it’s a great historic place to frequent English shops full of English and Scottish goods and to buy a wool sweater or scarf.
More modern sights in York include the National Railway Museum near the rail station (where you can check luggage for the day instead of hauling it all over York).
Outside the city, visitors can go north to the Yorkshire moors and dales and find the theme park based on writer/veterinarian James Herriot‘s work. To the south, visitors can find Robin Hood’s Nottingham and Sherwood Forest. The Way of the Roses road leads from York to Lancaster in the west.
It’s easy to use the railway in the United Kingdom to get to many other amazing areas of history and culture. It’s inexpensive, fast, reliable, and clean. There are so many other places to go to from the York Rail Station.
Additional information about Yorkshire as well as some fabulous pictures can be found in Realm magazine, June 2011 (pp.35-54).