York is an ancient walled city in the Northeast of England built by the Romans. It is beautifully preserved and signs of medieval life are apparent everywhere as you explore around. The overhanging timber-framed houses and old fashioned shopfronts of The Shambles make it one of the most historically picturesque streets in the UK. JK Rowling spotted it too; she used The Shambles as her inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter books and you can clearly see the similarities! The Shambles Market is believed to date back to the 8th Century when Vikings occupied the city; this same market is still thriving today with a vast array of independent retailers selling their wares.
Taking centre stage in the midst of Yorks ancient streets is York Minster Cathedral - the largest gothic building in Britain. Construction of this magnificent place of worship began in 1220 and took around 250 years to complete and it contains the largest amount of medieval stained glass than anywhere else in the country. Leave a good amount of time to explore this incredible place.
York is also well known as being a huge Viking settlement and no trip to this city is complete without a visit to the excellent Jorvik museum. It recreates the Viking city with an extraordinary amount of detail - sight, smells, sound - and you become part of the action as you are guided around in a small cart exploring 10th century York. The museum also has a huge array of artefacts some over 1000 years old.
The area surrounding York is also packed with fantastic things to see and do. Explore Castle Howard - one of Englands most impressive stately homes, or take a trip out to see the dramatic Brimham Rocks.
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