Claire and I went to York for a brief getaway trip in April 2003. We were lucky enough to get brilliant sunny weather for the three days we were there. We actually stayed in a hotel on the outskirts of Leeds, the Village hotel. We had reasonable rates for the room and the hotel has a swimming pool, so that was nice.
The first day we drove down, booked into the hotel, and drove over to York. It was late afternoon by this time, so we just made a reconnaissance trip, tried to work out the layout of the town, and took a look inside York Minster. The town centre is quite small, but is made up of twisty, turny streets, so I was never quite sure exactly where I was without looking at the map we had.
On Tuesday we had a whole day to spend in York. We parked at the station, and went to the Railway Museum first. This was free to get into, and is the biggest rail museum in the country. There was quite a lot to see, even for non train enthusiasts. They have a few of the old royal trains and you can look inside to see how sumptuous the decor is. They also have a bullet train from Japan, which was quite interesting.
After looking around the trains for a while, we took a trip on the road train into the city centre.
We found our way to Bootham Bar, and climbed up to the city walls. The walls don't go all the way around the city, but cover sections of the perimeter. You can walk along them and see how the locals were ready to defend the city against any attackers.
The Minster is a fairly impressive building, built over a period of 250 years. They say it is the biggest Gothic cathedral north of the Alps. I assume that means there are larger ones in Italy. Anyway, it gave us a good chance to try out our free digital camera on a few shots with lots of detail.
When they were digging out the foundations of the new shopping centre in York, they discovered a whole lot of stuff from around 1000 years ago, when the vikings had taken over. They've put together a reconstruction of a viking village, and have suspended cars that take you through it and give a commentary as you go. We had a go on this and quite enjoyed it.
After this we tried out the sightseeing bus tour. It's quite expensive, but great on a sunny day. The recorded commentary has a whole lot of info on the town and its streets, and it was quite relaxing to ride around on the bus after so much walking.
On the Wednesday, we just had a morning in York before driving back up to Scotland. We parked in the Castle car park, next to Clifford's Tower, and mostly just walked the streets for souvenirs to take home.