The romantic, historical city of York is a must visit for any tourist in the UK, whether you currently reside here or are travelling from further afield. This hotspot, which was voted The Times’ best place to live in the UK in 2018, provides the setting for a truly beautiful getaway. The compact walled city, though very northern indeed, is just an hour and fifty minutes from London and represents a superb weekend away. So, with the help of used Mercedes dealers, Lookers, here are 7 IDEAL things to do on a city break in York.


A trip to York wouldn’t be complete without taking in the York Minster. One of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals, the Minster has stood at the centre of Christianity in the north of England since the seventh century and glistens via its exquisite handcrafted stone and medieval stained glass. 

If you’re religious, take in one of its daily masses, while for those who just want to bask in the glory of such a magnificent building, you can purchase an admission ticket to tour all it has to offer. It’s also worth checking out the York Minster website to see if they have any activities or events on at your time of visit. 


Are you a fan of rides, attractions and shows? Who isn’t, right? Well, the York Maze is the place for you. For us. For everyone. Created from over a million maize (maze, mazie, see what they did there?) plants, this award-winning spectacle is the UK’s largest maze. Need more reason to visit? Packed with over 20 different rides, attractions and shows, including pig racing, there’s fun and frolics for all the family here. Check online before you book and see exactly what seasonal activities they have available for you.


With so much history packed into such a small space, it’s no surprise that another attraction to visit happens to be steeped in historical stories. Shambles is one of the world’s most famous streets, with a host of timber buildings dating back to the 13th century packing the narrow pathway. 

Previously home to butchers, the street is now bursting at the seams with a bright mix of independent retailers, enticing you in. Be sure to read up on the past story of the Shambles before your journey so you can fully appreciate all that the street has to offer.  


If you head to York, it’s a must that you walk the city’s walls. These well-preserved delights mark the longest stretch of medieval walls in any English city. The walk takes approximately two hours to complete, as it runs for roughly four miles. However, if you’re not a keen walker, or your legs simply won’t allow, you can walk shorter sections. If you still haven’t had your fill of strolling after the shambles and the walls, the city offers a huge variety of walking tours.


Okay, most cities have a tour bus for you to go sightseeing on and York is no different. However, for a little bit of variation, why not hop on the York Boat so you can see what the city and its countryside has to offer from a different perspective? There are many different boats operating throughout the day and if the sun is out, you can normally take advantage of the open top decks available on most vessels. 

If you’d like to do things at your own pace, you can even hire your own self-drive hire boat on the River Ouse and explore with a little more autonomy. It’s important to note that all journeys are subject to river conditions and because of this, trips in December and January are sparse. 


There’s pretty much a pub for every day of the year in York. From quirky cocktail dens to watering holes in haunted basements, you’ll be sure to find the atmosphere you’re looking for here. If it’s a ‘real pub’ experience you’re wanting, try Ye Olde Starre Inne. This public house is one of the oldest established drinking spots in the city and offers its own unique experience. Should you be after a mix of fine dining and fine drinking, then the Star Inn in the City (confusing, we know) does some of the finest pub grub around.


If cocktails are more up your street, check out the Evil Eye Lounge situated in Stonegate. The quirky bar transforms from an East Asian restaurant and internet café in the day to one of the trendiest night-time haunts that has been frequented by stars such as Johnny Depp amongst others. Check out its QR code menus too, which are hidden in the walls. Quirky and mysterious, but very much chiming with the soul of the city. 

And for even more things to do in York, check out our IDEAL city guide here.