York day trip

York is an ancient city which has known everything from Roman rule to life as a Viking capital. Later, it was medieval England’s bastion against attacks from the Scots. The mark of this colourful history is to be found all around this city, in its great wealth of historic buildings, its winding streets full of traditional shops, cosy old pubs, delicious Victorian style tearooms, brilliant museums and great family attractions.

Start your journey

Direct trains from London King’s Cross take 1 hour 50 minutes. From Manchester Piccadilly it’s 1 hour 20 minutes, and from Manchester Airport 1 hour 40 minutes.

For short trips like this one, individual rail tickets can be booked in advance through the Trainline. For longer journeys, one of the easiest and most relaxing ways to explore Britain is with a BritRail Pass, which allows unlimited journeys and the freedom to explore.

Pass products

The York Pass is the ultimate way to get the most out of this historic city. For one price, it includes entry to more than 30 attractions in and around York, and means no queuing to get tickets at each of the attractions, which include York Minster, Castle Howard, York’s Chocolate Story and the York Brewery Visitor Centre.

Book on the Visit Britain shop

Things to do in York

York Minster

It’s hard to miss the massive edifice of York Minster (a ‘minster’ is a church attached to a monastery, where the clergy are taught). Its grand gothic interior is best explored on a guided tour which gives an insight into 2000 years of history, before heading down into the undercroft for its fantastic interactive museum.

Website: York Minster

York’s Chocolate Story

York’s Chocolate Story reveals the stories behind the greatest names in chocolate, unwraps the secrets of chocolate making, and even teaches the art of the chocolatier. A fully guided tour and three floors of interactive exploration show how York’s fame and fortune have rested on chocolate for almost 300 years, and that, though much has changed over the centuries, York remains the UK’s home of chocolate.

For groups of 10 – 25 you can arrange an exclusive evening masterclass for your clients with one of the venue’s very own chocolatiers.

Min – Max capacity: Min 15 to qualify for group rate, max per tour 25-30.
Can accommodate larger groups over consecutive tours.
Frequency: Open daily from 10.00am (the last tour is at 4.00pm).

Tours run every 15 mins in peak season, 30 mins off peak. Please allow 90 minutes for the visit.

Closed 25 & 26 December and 1 January.

Private tours: Private evening tours and Chocolate Masterclasses available
FIT or Groups: FIT or groups.
Translation: Free admission for translators booking private tours.

Website: York’s Chocolate Story

York Dungeon

The city’s gruesome past is brought to life at York Dungeon with actors, sets and scary sounds! From brutal Vikings to a medieval tavern, an execution, torture and witch burning this is not for the faint hearted or easily frightened.

Min – Max capacity: Minimum: 2 per tour, Maximum: 24 per tour
Frequency: Tours start every 15 minutes
Private tours: N/A
FIT or Groups: Both
Translation: Language guides are available on entrance for: German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and Chinese

 

Book on the Visit Britain shop

Website: The York Dungeon

Ghost tour of York

A city as old as this one has more than its fair share of grisly tales and ghosts. The York Ghost Bus makes for a spine-tingling tour of this spooky city’s most haunted parts, including the grave of famed highwayman Dick Turpin. Actors and some technical trickery really make this tour entertaining. The Ghost Bus leaves from stop RE on Station Road on the south side of the Royal York Hotel.

Min – Max capacity: Min 1. Max 54.
Frequency: Tuesday to Sunday 7.30pm once a day

Saturday 6.00pm & 7.30pm

Private tours: Yes
FIT or Groups: Both
Translation: English only.

Book on the Visit Britain shop

Website: Ghost Bus Tour of York

Jorvik Viking Centre

The Jorvik Viking Centre reveals the houses, workshops and backyards of the Viking city of Jorvik as it stood nearly 1,000 years ago. The centre also has state-of-the-art galleries and a fantastic ride experience.

Website: Jorvik Viking Centre

York Castle Museum

This recreated Victorian Street demonstrates how 19th century residents lived and entertained themselves. A fun-packed activity for the whole family, it also has an interactive chocolate experience.

Website: York Castle Museum

York Sightseeing Bus Tour

An open-top bus tour gives a great insight into the sights and attractions that tell the story of the city’s 2,000 years of history. There are 22 stops across the city and there is an audio guide in 9 languages. The bus stops at all of the key attractions, including: York Minster, York Dungeon, Clifford’s Tower and the city walls.

Book on the Visit Britain shop

City Cruises York

Whatever the weather, a cruise along the River Ouse offers a great day out. Departing from either King’s Staith Landing or the Lendal Bridge Landing, the tour lasts between 45 minutes and one hour, and gives a fascinating insight into York’s Roman and Viking history. For a city cruise with a twist, the Afternoon Tea Cruise – with sandwiches and tea – or the Floodlit Evening Cruise – with jazz music and Prosecco – both offer the chance to see the city from the river whilst travelling in style!

Min – Max capacity: Minimum group booking size to qualify for a discount is 20 for sightseeing cruises and dining cruises.
Maximum group sizes are 100 for sightseeing and 80 for dining.
Frequency: York City Cruise (45-60 mins*)
01 Apr – 25 Nov ‘18 (ex. 26 Nov ’18 – 01 Feb’19**)
Daily (from King’s Staith Landing) 10:30, 12:00, 13:30, 15:00Daily (from Lendal Bridge Landing) 10:40, 12:10, 13:40, 15:10York Lunch Cruise (1 hr 45 mins)
01 Apr – 30 Sept 18 Tues, Wed, Sat & Sun (from King’s Staith Landing) 11.45
02 Apr – 06 Apr 18, 28 May – 01 Jun 18, 30 July – 31 Aug 18 Daily (from King’s Staith Landing) 11:45York Afternoon Tea Cruise (1 hr 45 mins)
01 Apr – 30 Sept 18 Tues, Wed, Sat & Sun (from King’s Staith Landing) 11.45
02 Apr – 06 Apr 18, 28 May – 01 Jun 18, 30 July – 31 Aug 18 Daily (from King’s Staith Landing) 14:45York City Early Evening Cruise (1 hour)
03 Mar – 03 Nov 18 Daily (from King’s Staith Landing) 19:30York City Floodlit Evening Cruise (70 mins)
05 May – 01 Sept 18 Daily (from King’s Staith Landing)Self-Drive Red Boats (1 hour) Max 8. people
24 Mar – 04 Nov 18 Weekdays – AMs (from King’s Staith Landing)Advance bookings not possible on weekends
10:00 – 12:00
Private tours: Private tours available on request, subject to vessel availability, group requirements and time of year.
FIT or Groups: FIT or groups.
Translation: Printed commentary translations available in Spanish, French, German and Dutch.

Website: City Cruises York

Britrail Pass

For those exploring Britain by train, a BritRail Pass is the easiest and most cost-effective way to travel. For a single fixed price, pass holders can make unlimited train journeys around the whole country or a region of their choice. BritRail tickets are exclusive to overseas visitors so they will need to buy their ticket before they arrive in the UK.

Find out more about BritRail Pass