48 Hours in York

48 Hours in York
Share Me!

I arrived in York, England by car.  I had just visited the ever so dreamy Cotswolds and made my way three hours north to the medieval town of York.  Not a town that I had heard of before, but a town that should be on everyone’s “must visit” list.  In fact, I don’t know exactly where I heard of York and what prompted me to visit.  But once I arrived in the UK all of the residents had the same reaction when I told them I would be staying in York:  “Ugh, you’re so lucky.  You’re going to love York.  I love York.”  So I knew – I was in for a treat.

York, England

Upon arriving in York I felt as though I had stepped into an alternate universe.  And perhaps I had.  The haunted, medieval feeling that York gives you envelops you from the moment you step foot into the city center.  York is old, bustling, full of character, and alluring.  There are many adjectives I could use to describe this town that dates back to 71 AD.  But I challenge you to visit for yourself and choose your own adjective.


Day One:  Get a Feel for York

After arriving in York I recommend starting with a free walking tour of the city hosted by The Association of Voluntary Guides to the City of York.  They’ve been showing tourists the ins and outs of the city since 1951.  The tour runs at 10:15 am and 1:15 pm and meet outside the city walls at Exhibition Square. It claims to last two hours, however, my tour went three hours.  If you need to dip out early don’t feel bad, the guides have no problem with people leaving as they please.

York, England

Your tour ends on the shortest street in Britain – Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, but also close to Shambles Street.  Dating back to the 14thcentury, Shambles Street got its name from butchers hanging meat on hooks outside their shops.  If you look up, you’ll notice that the hooks are still there.  More famously, Shambles is known as the place that inspired Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter phenomenon.  Although not filmed in York, Shambles Street has taken full advantage of this.  You’ll notice a shop with the address “9 ¾” and “The Shop That Shall Not Be Named”.  After walking down the spooky street head to the next street over where you’ll find the Shambles Market.  Enjoy all types of food from food trucks or buy your own groceries from the market carts.


Day Two:  Explore York’s City Walls and Ancient Buildings

York’s walls are the longest in England and makeup approximately two miles of surviving masonry.  Walking the wall is free and is open from 8:00 am until sunset.  Grab a coffee and cake at the Perky Peacock and begin your walk. If you complete the entire walk, it’ll take you about two hours.

York City Walls

While you’re walking the ancient walls, you’ll be able to see York Minster from all different angles.  I encourage you to view it from inside.  You can pay to get into this cathedral that dates back to 637 AD and has the largest stained glass window in the UK.


Where to Eat

Drakes Fish & Chips – A hole in the wall restaurant all over the city.  Best for takeaway fish and chips.

The Cornish Bakery – An award-winning bakery located all over the UK.

Pairings Wine Bar – Just that – a pairing of wine and small plates.  Also offering wine flights, sit back, relax, and enjoy the dimly lit atmosphere.

Shambles Market – At the outdoor Shambles Market you’ll find food for cheap.  Ranging from hot dogs to crepes, and even international food!  Choose what you’d like and take a seat at the many covered (and heated in the winter) picnic tables.

Crepe at Shambles Market


Where to Drink

Perky Peacock – A small and intimate coffee shop located under the bridge, on River Ouse.

Bettys – Enjoy their infamous afternoon tea in a plush interior.  It also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner aside from their afternoon tea.

The House of the Trembling Madness – A local, crowded, loud, pub that is full of character and shouldn’t be missed.  I walked by this place three times before I actually found it.  It’s the perfect hidden pub in the center of York.

Evil Eye Lounge – Cocktail and gin bar also serving Asian street food.

York Cocoa House – If you happen to be in York on a cold blustering day, step inside the York Cocoa House to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate.  Hot chocolate flavors ranging from milk chocolate to peanut butter, and even hazelnut.

York Cocoa House

Taking two days out of my UK road trip to see the city of York was one of the highlights of my trip.  When I pulled into York I was on day six of my two to six-month world adventure.  I came to town feeling tired and lonely, for reasons unbeknownst to me.  But after walking around this medieval city for two days and meeting the locals, I left with my cup overflowing.  Yes, York was crowded and touristy.  But the beauty and history of the town made up for it.  From the girl who sat across from me in the coffee shop and spoke passionately about her career and her country.  To the 80-year old Australian woman I met on my free walking tour.  The city and people of York hold a piece of my heart.


Hey!  Do you prefer visuals over text?  Check out my Instagram page/highlight reel for more on my time in York!


Pin Me!

48 Hours in York


Share Me!

Kylee splits her time between being a NICU nurse and solo traveler. Spending half her time at the bedside, Kylee has been caring for premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for five years now. She began Passports and Preemies in 2017 to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – A vacation geared towards nurses aiming to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


  1. November 10, 2018 / 8:09 am

    Aww this makes me miss York!! It was a favourite place of mine as a kid. Did you do any of the Museums?

  2. November 10, 2018 / 11:13 pm

    So happy you loved York! Next time I am there I will take your advice (from your instagram) and get up at 5am to explore a quiet city! York was beautiful and I am sad I missed out on walking the wall. I love your pictures and I am glad you had an amazing time! When you connect with strangers is it just you speaking to them randomly? or how do you connect with people as you travel?

    • November 12, 2018 / 1:00 pm

      Getting up early isn’t fun at the time time but it ends up being the best experience for sure! And I think that it’s just me speaking to them randomly hahaha. Sometimes nobody talks back to me, but usually I meet some pretty friendly people too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *