IN LOVE WITH YORK
There is so much to discover in this great British city.
We know the gorgeous city of York like the back of our hands, and we’re here to give you perfect pointers. As a taster, here are a few of our favourite finds.
York’s last surviving windmill is also the oldest 5-sailed windmill in the country. Despite having worked since 1770, it’s still hard at it, producing traditional stone-ground flour thanks to some sturdy restoration work. It’s a real hidden gem worth taking a wanderout of town for. And while you’re out that way, there’s the gorgeous West Bank Park to enjoy too.
The City Walls
Walk the 3.4k of York’s City Walls (also known as The Bar Walls and The Roman Walls), and you’ll see this pretty city at its best (plus lots of the gorgeous gardens lovingly tended by its residents). The finest, longest and best preserved of any in England, the walls feature four big gateways and over 40 towers. Over a million people a year take a walk through 1900 years of history on these walls that were all about defences and are now all about history.
Tucked behind York Minster, this city centre townhouse is not as it first appears. In 1897, Frank Green (the grandson of a wealthy industrialist) bought and created a lavish show home, grand enough to impress Edward VII during his visit. He was passionate about history and indulged this by saving Treasurer’s House and other buildings in York.
York Art Gallery
Head here to see a collection of paintings that spans more than 600 years and ranges from 14th-century Italian panels to 20th-century works by LS Lowry and David Hockney. There’s also a massive collection of British studio ceramics at the Centre of Ceramic Art on the first floor, plus a great café, gardens, shops, and a learning space. And the building itself is a gem dating back to 1879.
York Cocoa Works
This working factory is where to see, eat and craft your own chocolate. You’ll see how it works from single-origin, sustainably-and-ethically-sourced cocoa bean to calling-to-you chocolate creation. There’s a shop and an academy where you can join workshops and masterclasses for budding chocolatiers, chefs and cocoa enthusiasts.
10 Castlegate, York, YO1 9RG
Explore one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals. Experience vast spaces and breathtaking medieval architecture, discover York’s Roman roots and learn about the Minster’s role in Viking York. The cathedral has more medieval stained glass than anywhere else in the country and in 2018, for the first time in nearly a decade, visitors are able to see one of our most famous works of art – the Great East Window – revealed following a major restoration and conservation project.
Yorkshire Museum & Gardens
Established in the 1830s, Museum Gardens is a botanical wonderland. But there’s more than greenery to enjoy. Among other things, there’s The Yorkshire Museum and its ancient artefacts. There are the remains of St Mary’s Abbey, built in 1088 and bursting with stories of William the Conqueror and Henry the Eighth. And there’s The Hospitium – a sort of early hotel for merchants who were not allowed to stay in the main abbey with the monks.
2 Many Wines
This wine shop/ bar that’s open all day, every day until late, offers an impressive array of wines from around the world. You can take away or settle in for a glass or three from an ever-changing menu based on new finds by the wine-obsessed owners. To go with that, there are small plates of deliciousness to try, plus some very carefully chosen cheeses and charcuterie.
Cave du Cochon
Pizza and wine are a divine combination. After years of obsession, Chef and Sommelier team Josh and Vicky Overington (from the award-winning restaurant Le Cochon Aveugle) have formed this casual wine bar to be the holy grail for both. Whether you pop in for just a glass of wine and a modest snack or a full-on feast with friends, you won’t go wrong.
The True Neapolitan Pizza Association in Naples has acknowledged this place of greatness as “a true Neapolitan pizza maker”. There are only eight pizzerias with this certification in the U.K (and this is the only one in York), so you’re in authentic hands here. Owner Berardo Caggiano uses ingredients imported from Italy, traditional methods and a pizza oven from Naples. If you fancy something to keep you going while your pizza’s in the making, they do mean pasta frittatinas (batter-fried pasta snacks).
A little neighbourhood bakery based just off Bishy Road. ‘Simple things made well’ is their motto and they definitely live up to it. We recommend getting their early as there tends to be a queue. Oh and follow them on Instagram; you’ll not only want to eat all the buttery, flaky pastry goodness they make but you’ll also totally want to be in their gang! Just sooo cool.
Kiosk Coffee and Food
Head to this perfect-for-people-watching place on one of York’s most popular indie streets for coffee that’s, without doubt, some of the best in the city. Their chunky sandwiches hit the spot at any time of day. You should also download their ‘Now That’s What I Call Kitchen Dancing’ playlist on Soundcloud.
This modern North African restaurant with a beautiful, covered, and heated garden is a delicious dream of a place. The chef and owner, Tarik, serves up a range of small and big plates influenced by his culinary journey that began in his native Algiers and continued throughout the Mediterranean Basin.
There’s a lot to love about Partisan – a vibrant, independent coffee shop, licensed restaurant and arts space. You can grab breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea every day of the week. It’s owned by Florencia Clifford, whose Scottish, Italian and French ancestry means she loves food and feeding others, and her partner Hugo, who has farmed in North Yorkshire for nearly forty years (and is one of the herb and vegetable suppliers to the restaurant). There are exhibitions by local and national artists, and most of the objects, art and furniture are for sale.
If you can, be sure to get a lunch or dinner table at this Michelin-starred restaurant by chef Tommy Banks. Set in a characterful 19th-century building, Roots’ menus are inspired by the constantly evolving palate of produce grown on the Banks’ family farm and kitchen garden. A specially curated drinks pairing is offered alongside the tasting menu.
Ye Olde Pie & Sausage Shoppe
If you like pies, pastries and sausages, you need to get yourself over to this highly charming home of handmade, crafted, quality goods made to traditional recipes that have firmly stood the taste test of time.
SPARK:York is a hive of integrity and activity. It’s a heady mix of street food, bars, shops, co-working and event spaces. All the businesses in there are independent, local to York, and all driven by a social purpose. It’s family and dog-friendly, with regular events going on for all ages.
Tea drinkers – you will love this shop. Their philosophy is that every person who walks through their door is unique and that there’s a corresponding infusion to meet their requirements. Delicate and aromatic, rich and fruity, or light and refreshing, there’s something for everyone. They stock an impressive selection of black and green teas, chai, oolong, pu-erh, herbal infusions, Ayurveda blends, rooibos and all the accessories you need to brew like a pro.
Fun fact: this shop bursting with practical and sustainable household products is named after a documentary about the Icelandic band Sigur Rós. Owner/shopkeeper/knife-sharpener/general helpful chap Maff Punton is a third-generation hardware store owner; he practically cut his teeth on garden hoses and broom handles whilst growing up in the environs of the family hardware shop. He’ll happily help with any of your queries and is a font of knowledge on many home-related subjects.
Minster Gate Bookshop
The street on which you’ll find this shop has enjoyed a long and continuous association with books. And this traditional antiquarian and second-hand booksellers with a large general stock housed in seven rooms and over four floors is celebrating that good and proper. They have substantial sections of old children’s and illustrated books, Folklore, British and Medieval history, and they’re good for literature, art and architecture, theology, and philosophy too. There’s also a print room full of old maps and prints, with old lithographs and engravings of York and Yorkshire, as well as a good selection of decorative prints and wood engravings.
Concept store Snowhome offers a carefully selected range of homewares and lifestyle products to bring joy to both home and life. With a focus on small spaces and slower living, the store offers a regularly changing collection aimed at elevating simple, everyday pleasures with well designed, beautifully made and thoughtfully created objects. With a strong ethical set of values behind their sourcing and a belief that everyone’s home should inspire and delight; this much loved York independent is one to visit.
The Little Yorkshire Candle Company
If you’re looking for a souvenir to remind you of your visit, a gift for a loved one, or if you’re simply in need of a little tranquility, The Little Yorkshire Candle Company is the place for you! This cosy shop on Goodramgate offers all-natural home fragrances in the form of candles, reed diffusers, room sprays, essential oils, and wax melts. All hand-made in York, each product draws on the power of scents to create an atmospheric mood or evoke a treasured memory. The shop also stocks a range of gifts and homeware, creating a carefully curated haven of hygge, nestled in the oldest row of houses in York.