Travel Log: York, UK


On Tuesday we left Liverpool and headed east to York! The train ride was about 2.5 hours with a few stops along the way. If Liverpool was Jordan's destination, York was mine. I discovered during my planning that we were going to be in England the very week of York's annual food festival. I love fair and festivals like that and thought it would be something neat to do and see some of the culture and food of England all in one place. 

When I started looking up more information about York, I was convinced we had to go there. It sounded like such a neat town, and it really was! We are so glad we went and were sad to only have a short time there. We arrived in the afternoon on Tuesday and left Wednesday afternoon.

Our Air BnB was the cutest little place ever on the top floor of a building with a cafe beneath it (above is the view from our window). The location was excellent: walking distance to the festival and main shopping area. York is a historic walled city that was built in 71 AD by the Romans. HELLO OLD STUFF. You can actually walk along the top of the wall that surrounds the city, and that was pretty cool.

We also stumbled upon the street that is supposedly (so they say) the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter movies. Friends of ours had recently been to the UK and visited York. They told us about the street but didn't know where it was, since they just happened upon it while walking. Jordan and I were trying to figure out where it was and how to get there, but we couldn't pull up an actual location on Google or anything. Finally we just decided that the street we were on seemed like it enough, and if we couldn't find the actual street, we could imagine it pretty well.

All of the sudden we saw a huge crowd of people all pointing and taking pictures outside of this one store. We looked up at the sign, and it said The Shop that Must Not Be Named. We turned around, and there were 2 more Harry Potty-esque stores right there! We'd found the street and didn't even know it. The York Shambles are unlike anything I've seen in real life. Narrow, cobblestone streets with high buildings surrounding. 

We spent our time in York getting treats at the food festival, walking the wall, and wandering around the streets. It was a super neat place and glad we were able to go! The street performers there were unreal (there were kind of a lot!), and I included a clip of one group in my travel video. There was also a lady singing who seriously sounded like she needed to be in an opera house somewhere and not just singing on the streets.

Probably of all the places we went and things we saw in England, York stands out in my mind. It was so unlike anything I've experienced before and so.... I guess, just so European is the only thing I can think of how to describe it. The weather was gorgeous, the food was so yummy, and the sights were really unique. It was a friendly, beautiful old town that we really enjoyed.

We ate most of our meals at the food festival, and we got pastries and sausage rolls and tea for breakfast at a place called The Cornish Bakery (pictured above). Observation from our time in England: their sausage rolls are legit, and the US needs to get its act together. Also, MEAT PIES. I mean, I know we have chicken pot pie and shepherd's pie, but we can step it up in th meat pie department, I think. Also x2, fun fact: in most places we went to in England, food is cheaper if you take it to go! They charge a tad bit more if you "sit in" verses "take away."

We had to checkout of our Air BnB Wednesday morning at 10am, but we kept our backpacks in a locker in the building while we explored more, which was nice. Ability to store our bags was something I looked for when I was looking at places to stay. We ate lunch at the food festival and then caught a 2:00 train to Cambridge! 

Maria said...

Now you have me wanting to go to York and to be honest, I haven't heard of it before this blog post! When we were in The Netherlands, I said I wanted to visit the most European feeling town they had and we did just that in Maastricht; cobblestone streets, family-owned cafes, gelato, and historic walls and churches. Perfection. I totally get what you mean when you say it just felt "European". There's a coziness to it, huh?

So, I have yet to read Harry Potter or watch the movies, but my interest is piqued. However, I've decided to hold off until N is old enough so we can read the books together and have HP movie watching nights. She's a lucky kid. And then maybe...I'll take her to York ;)

Sarah said...

i've never *WANTED* to go to york before, but now i need to!! i've never "not wanted" to either, but it just hasn't been on my radar. so lovely!!

Unknown said...

Wow, York looks so beautiful! I think it's neat that you could walk along the wall. I think it's so neat to see how really old stuff in Europe is still standing, and it reminds me of just how young America is.

Jen said...

Wow what a beautiful place!!! I'm definitely adding this to places I want to visit.

Rach said...

I want to go!!! I love this post! Ancient architecture, FOOD festival, Harry Potter inspiration... so much goodness! I officially now love everything about York and before this post really didn't know much about it, haha! I'm adding this to my list of places I need to visit someday! :)

Ellen Ross | Ask Away Blog said...

wow it looks breathtaking there! your photos are beautiful!

Audrey Louise said...

What a beautiful city! I love narrow cobblestone streets and old architecture!! So so European (and especially British)! What a fun little place.

Betsy said...