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Tourist Attractions In York UK - Top 5 Touristic Museum & Places To Visit

Updated on January 7, 2012

Welcome to the beautiful City of York in the UK. This has been my hometown since 1976 and in my opinion it is without doubt one of the most picturesque and interesting cities to visit in England. We are steeped in history here, with sights to see from both the Roman & Viking days. After London it is one of the UK's most visited cities attracting visitors from all continents across the globe. Let us take a look at what I believe are the top 5 attractions in the City.

1) York Minster - The first York Minster dates right back to 627 and is Europe's largest Gothic Cathedral. Videos & photos do not do the Minster justice, it is a stunning sight to be seen live and in the flesh. To get the full story of its history there are free guided tours available from Monday - Saturday during the day.

Minster Tower has 275 steps that you can walk up to the top and take in some panoramic views of the Cities ancient streets and beyond. On the way up you will pass the both medieval pinnacles and gargoyles. The Tower itself weighs 16,000 tonnes which is approximately the same weight as over 35 jumbo jets.

Stained glass windows are both huge and detailed. To really see the finer details it is a good idea to take in some binoculars as they contain both biblical stories and historical events. My kids always took in a pen and notepad to make it more interseting for them by writing things down & taking them back to school.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time when visiting & don't forget to pass by in the evening for some stunning views when this iconic building is lit up by night.

Tourist Attractions In York - York Minster
Tourist Attractions In York - York Minster | Source

2) Castle Musuem - This superb musuem has over 400 years of York's past all under one roof. Covering Elizabethan soldiers, Victorian debtors, Georgian doll's houses right through to the Swinging Sixties exhibits and see how your Grandparents really lived life. You can experience a true to life day in the past when you walk down the restored Victorian street, Kirkgate.

Learn all about history from the Civil War to the Space Age with interactive studios that bring the past back to life. Of all the musuems in York my kids loved this the best (when they were 12 yrs & 7 yrs old). A bonus is that the Castle Musuem give you admission for as many times as you like within 1 year. It has been quoted as "the closest thing to a time tunnel experience." Definitely one attraction not to be missed!

Video On York Castle Musuem

3) Jorvik Viking Centre - This world famous attraction has had over 16 million visitors through its doors since 1984. Take a journey through the reconstruction of the Viking streets as they would have looked 1000 years ago.

You will be on the site of one of the most famous discoveries of modern archaelogical times. Back in the 1970's York archaeologists found houses, backyards and workshops from the Viking times. Your journey within the centre will include real life smells and Norse speaking citizens to make it a true to life experience.

This attraction is in the Top 10 of all UK attractions so my advice to you is to visit if you can when the UK children are in school. During school holidays you will experience seriously long queues to get in.

4) The Shambles - I love this street! It has just been voted "the most picturesque street in Britain", it is York's oldest street & the most visited street in Europe. So I hope there are enough positive reasons for you to visit The Shambles on your trip to York. You may even see me shopping or eating there as I do quite often!  

To give you a little taste here's some real history. Livestock was actually slaughtered in the Shambles & the meat was served on the shop window bottoms which were originally called Shamels. Twice weekly the butchers would flush blood & ofal waste down the street channels. Records show that at one time there were up to 27 butchers in that one small street, amazing!


Tourist Attractions In York - The Shambles
Tourist Attractions In York - The Shambles | Source

5) National Railway Musuem - This is my 5 year old grandson's favourite, so it's a musuem for all ages. Here you can discover over 300 years of rail history and over 1,000,000 objects that really did change the world. Another great aspect of the NRM is the FREE entry, though you can donate if you wish to do so.

The collection includes over 100 locomotives telling the story of railways form the early 19th Century up to present day. You will be visiting the largest train musuem in Europe which includes its very own "Search Engine" library and archive centre. Here you & your children can find out all the answers to your railway questions. If you wish to relax/take a break, there is a cafe and on leaving the musuem an excellent souvenir shop too.

A Final Thought - These top 5 tourist attractions in York will keep you very busy and make your stay extremely enjoyable. There are lots more attractions to see in York so I will write some more Hubs in the future and recommend some other fabulous places to visit if all of these 5 do not appeal to you. Enjoy your stay & if you pass by me in the street don't forget to say hi:)

Tourist Attractions In York - National Railway Museum
Tourist Attractions In York - National Railway Museum | Source

Video On Tourist Attractions In York

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    • maria.rose profile image

      maria.rose 6 years ago from Florida

      I’m really glad you enjoyed this hub so much. thanks for sharing............

    • Whidbeywriter profile image

      Mary Gaines 6 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

      I would love to visit England one day.....loved your info thanks for sharing it - I am now a follower. Cheers!