Top Things To Do In York With The York Pass

Top Things To Do In York With The York Pass

Just over a week ago I headed to York for a long weekend with Visit York jumping on a train from London late Friday morning and heading back late Sunday afternoon. I’m going to be honest I had no real concept of how far north York was considering the train ride from London was less than two hours but it’s nestled just above Leeds on the North East Railway Line. According to my mum I’d been to York once before as a kid but I have no recollection of this.

I had most of Friday afternoon to myself to explore as Luke was heading up later in the day and then two full days for us both to explore. We were given York Passes for the period of our trip which helped us to cram as many activities within our trip as possible. I’ll be doing a full itinary in a couple of weeks but until then here are just some of the best things in York you can experience:

Get a city overview from the Hop On Hop Off bus tour

Anyone whose read my blog before will know that I am a huge fan of hop-on, hop-off bus tours as I think it gives you one of the best overviews of a city. The York city route is around an hour long and if you’re lucky enough you might get a live guide on board which makes the experience even more interesting. Drive around and see the old Chocolate Works, catch glimpses of most of the city wall and York’s famous racetrack alongside all the delights within the city centre itself.

Explore the York Castle Museum

This museum was an absolute highlight of my trip and allows you to explore 400 years of York’s past. You can take a trip back to Victorian York to the recreated Kirkgate street, enter prison cells that once held highway man Dirk Turpin and find out more about the swinging 60’s in York from the music to the fashion. There is so much to see in this museum you could go multiple times and keep finding something new. If you’re heading there before 29 April 2019 you’ll get a chance to glimpse a touring Vivienne Westwood shoe collection. 2018 celebrates the museum’s 80th anniversary with special activities.

york minster

Wonder at the York Minster

York Minster towers above much of York and can be seen from all over the city but did you know that the Minsters Great East Window is the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the whole of the UK?! For the past six years the window has been undergoing maintenance to preserve it and in May 2018 it was unveiled to the public for the first time in a decade. Check out the new state of the art attraction housed in the chambers under the Minster called ‘Revealing York Minster in the Under croft’.

Get a road train down to the Railway Museum

For the most conveniant route down to the National Railway Museum you can get the Road Train from next to York Minster to take you straight there while soaking up some of the beautiful scenery around you. Even if you’re not an avid locomotive fan the museum is incredibly interesting where you can see exhibitions such as Mallard, the world’s fastest steam engine and get a glimpse into Royal travel.

cliffords tower

Check out Viking life at the Jorvik Centre

During the time of the Viking’s York was known as Jorvik and the centre is the best place to gain a real understanding of what the city was like at the time. The centres improved ride experience gives you the chance to be transported back in time over 1,000 years to get an understanding of how the people of York at the time would have lived, worked and looked.

Try some of York’s famous chocolate at The Chocolate Story

Most other cities in the UK were built on industries such as coal, steel or wool, but York was built on chocolate. Both Rowntree’s who make perhaps some of the biggest names in chocolate (Kit Kat, Aero, Yorkie and Polo’s to name a few) and Terry’s were founded in York with the former still operating in the city under the Nestle brand. At The Chocolate Story you can discover more about the history of chocolate in York and how it’s made and developed with a fully guided tour of the three floors inclusive of plenty of chocolate samples.

rose theatre in york

Catch A Shakespeare Show at The Rose Theatre

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to York in August make sure you grab tickets to see a Shakespearean show at the pop up Rose Theatre which is the first Globe pop up to appear in Europe. You can catch Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet to name a few but it’s not around for long. I am pretty gutted that we didn’t book tickets to see anything while we were in York as it’s a once in a lifetime chance.

Shop at the Designer Outlet

Just ten minutes from the city centre sits York’s Designer Outlet centre with a large number of shops all with products up to 60% reduced. If you need a little time out from the culture and want to go do a bit of retail therapy there’s no better place for it. There’s over 120 brands so something for everyone.

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Top Things To Do In York With The York Pass

*This post was written in collaboration with Visit York but all thoughts and opinions are my own


  1. August 15, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    I love all these things you can do in York, it’s somewhere I haven’t been for years and years and would love to return to, especially to try out the chocolate story!

  2. Ann Snook-Moreau
    August 15, 2018 / 7:01 pm

    I am a huge chocolate fiend so I would definitely do the Chocolate Story! The museums sound like lots of fun, too.

  3. August 16, 2018 / 8:17 am

    These all sound like great things to do, York is one of the places I’ve not visited but really would like to.

  4. August 16, 2018 / 11:46 am

    I haven’t yet visited York, but I would love to go. The theater play sounds like a unique experience indeed and I would definitely book in advance when I decide to go to York.

  5. August 16, 2018 / 4:46 pm

    York is one of my fav places! For me it is all about going to York minister x

  6. August 16, 2018 / 5:16 pm

    Wish I had known about this when we visited York a few months ago, although we did all the stuff for kids with the Jorvik pass

  7. August 17, 2018 / 3:08 pm

    I loved doing all of these things in York when I went years and years ago, although I didn’t have the chance to visit the threatre! I loved walking around the shambles however and the wall. They also used to have an amazing haunted house/attraction there, before they shut it down x

  8. August 17, 2018 / 4:50 pm

    I’ve not been to York in a while but as someone who was born in Yorkshire it’s one city I’d love to take my family to visit at some point. I’d love to do the chocolate story too!

  9. August 17, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    York is such a great place, I had no idea they did a York Pass though. If I ever get to make it back there I think I would definitely have to look into getting hold of one of these passes!

  10. August 17, 2018 / 9:37 pm

    York is one place I hope to visit one day, I always drive past the city and yet to make a few days stop. I do need to check out the minster building.

  11. August 18, 2018 / 12:54 am

    I had no idea that there was so many interesting things to see in York.

  12. August 18, 2018 / 1:18 pm

    I love the sound of the Castle Museum! Victorian York sounds interesting and I love that you can visit the prison cells. It’s a bit creepy but super cool.

  13. August 18, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    I have been to York so many times and I still haven’t done the Chocolate tour, pretty poor showing given how much I love my chocolate x

  14. August 20, 2018 / 12:32 pm

    I have NEVER been to YorK before, but it looks like such a lovely place. I don’t know why so many people go abroad for their holidays – because the UK is full to the brim with fab places to visit!

  15. Angela Ricardo Bethea
    August 21, 2018 / 2:56 am

    York is one of the most beautiful places I want to visit this 2018. All the architecture are really awesome and stunning. I will be saving this for my personal reference when I visited that place soon.

  16. August 22, 2018 / 10:50 pm

    Everything about York sounds just lovely. I especially like hop on and off buses and agree they are a great way to see a city.

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