I visited the beautiful English city of York a few weekends ago and it was so much fun for many reasons. The first reason is that York is a picture perfect city that is surrounded by a medieval wall, the second reason is that York serves amazing food and last but not least, we were able to catch up with a long time friend and her lovely mother.
We met Rachel a few year ago while traveling in Peru and became such great friends that we have kept in contact ever since (read about some of our adventures here). She is located in the northern part of the UK so when I moved here, we thought that we’d go on an adventure somewhere in England. So York it was!
When we first arrived in York, we decided to go for a nice walk around the city to see what we could see. The first little street that sparked my interest was the well known street called “The Shambles”. The Shambles is an old street in York that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The cobble-stoned roads lead you to unique shops that sell all sorts of interesting things but what was most interesting to me was the fact that the buildings maintained their old world charm.
After walking through The Shambles, we spotted some men in colourful outfits and decided to follow them. They lead us to a square. As we entered the square, we could see a crowd that surrounded a bunch of merry men dancing to traditional English folk music. We stopped to watch them and tried to spot the region that each of these dance groups belonged to. These men are Morris dancers and they were dancing traditional English folk dances that were unique to their region. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and I could tell how proud these men were of their tradition.
Betty’s for afternoon tea!
We had worked up quite an appetite just by watching these energetic men dancing, so Rachel suggested that we eat an English high tea at Betty’s! When I asked friends for restaurant suggestions, Betty’s was always suggested as a must do in York so off we went to wait half an hour in line for the most delicious high tea selection I have ever tasted (for those wondering, yes it just beats my The Ritz London experience!). We were seated inside the tea room downstairs, which was decorated much like an old English manor.
We sat around and giggled away for hours, enjoying our high tea platters, drinking champagne and sipping our tea. The scones and cakes were absolutely delicious but my favourite part of the meal was the fresh poached salmon and chicken sandwiches!
Since it had been such a long time since we’ve seen each other face to face (Rachel visited us in Sydney last year), we spent hours catching up on our lives and sharing stories about our hilarious and adventurous days in Peru. Then 4 hours later, we turned around and noticed that the tables around us were empty, yet the tea room was quite full. Everyone was quietly chatting away and we were obviously the noisiest (yet polite) table in the tea room. Oh well, we were on holidays and we wanted to display our joy!
We sampled some delicious foods in York, including seafood. The seafood was fresh and dare I say it, comparable to seafood in Sydney.
All very delicious meals, but my favourite and most memorable meal was the pork roll at York Hogs Roast. The pork was roasted tender and had home made apple sauce spread thickly across it. We ate in silence while enjoying this delicious sandwich!
York has much to offer
There are so many things to do in York so we selected just a few as we only had two days.
York Minster was absolutely beautiful inside as it was on the outside and if you visit at the right time, you may be able to witness the choir singing.
We also spent hours in the beautiful York Castle, which has now been transformed into a museum. The Castle itself is not in it’s original form but the views are still beautiful!
I was excited to get a glimpse of how people lived hundreds of years ago in York…
….and even met a ghost or two who told us more about how they lived in the dungeon, which is below the York Castle.
The Medieval Wall
A visit to York is not complete without wandering the city and walking around the medieval wall that surrounds this picturesque city. Before we walked around the wall, we wandered through the cobble-stoned streets and breathed in the fresh spring air!
After walking through the city, we finally found one of the entrances to the medieval wall.
As we walked down the medieval wall, all we could hear was the trees blowing in the wind and some squirrels jumping from branch to branch. We could not hear the cars or the people walking in the streets, only metres away. It was almost like we had stepped into a whole new city, just by stepping through that doorway.
The wall leads across the city and was used years ago to protect the City from intruders. After walking down one quarter of the wall, we decided that it was time to go back inside this beautiful city, find ourselves a bar and have a drink before catching our train back home. Cheers to good times!
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York is currently my favourite English city to visit, what is yours?