Morning Insiders 👋 You’re in for a treat this week! As you’ve probably already spotted we’ve made a few changes. There’s a slightly refreshed look to your weekly dose of travel insights, and so we’ve updated our store with new merch. We’ve also decided to pack our weekly guides with even more travel tips exclusive for our premium members, highlighting the things you need to know before travelling to each city, as well as our guide to the best cafés, bars and restaurants (all for the price of coffee each month).
To celebrate these new changes, we’re giving away 5 free lifetime premium memberships to the 5 people who refer the most new subscribers before next weeks edition.
Welcome to the enchanting city of York, where history whispers from every cobblestone. Located in the northeast of England, York is a tapestry of medieval marvels and rich heritage. Wander through its narrow, winding lanes and you'll find yourself transported back in time. From the towering York Minster to the picturesque Shambles, there’s a huge amount to explore. York is also know as a vibrant festival City and has events throughout the year. Don’t miss out on the Viking festival in February or the Christmas festival in December.
Need to know…
🚆 Travel time: Travelling to York is pretty easy, regardless of where you’re coming from. If you’re travelling by train there are direct rail links from Edinburgh, Manchester and London, all taking around 2hrs (give or take). There’s a few international airports that are decently accessible (Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds/Bradford), and you’re also within a 2hr drive of the ports at Hull and Newcastle. Finally if you’re travelling by car, York is pretty much halfway between Edinburgh and London and is situated next to the M1/M62 motorway network.
🌡️ Weather: Today, 15°c and rainy
😋 Must try dishes: No surprises here that while in York you should try a Yorkshire pudding. You could go one better though and opt for a “British Burrito”. Head to The York Roast Co and get yourself a Yorkypud wrap. It’s essentially a roast dinner wrapped in a yorkshire pudding (and it’s delicious!). You also need to try a Fat Rascal (I mean the name alone is brilliant!). It’s basically a crumbly scone made with currants and citrus peel then topped with glacé cherries and almonds.
🚲 Getting around: York is a compact city (you can walk from one side to the other in around 20 minutes) best explored by foot. If you’re fed up with walking, York has an electric scooter hire system called Tier.
💬 Key phrases & slang:
Ey up (Hello)
Fancy a brew? (Would you like a cup of tea?)
It’s chuckin’ it down (It’s raining hard)
Armuch? (How much?)
What to do?
Go treasure hunting for cats on the lucky cat trail…
⛳ First up, a fun activity for all at the ‘World’s most magical golf course’. The Hole in the Wand Golf is a vibrant mini-golf wonderland with mystical themes and challenging holes that make you feel like a golf wizard. From bubbling cauldrons to magical portals, this wizarding inspired golf course has its own unique charm. My favourite hole? The leaky cauldron.
🍫 If you’ve got a sweet tooth (like me), then this one’s for you. At York’s Chocolate Story discover the history of chocolate and learn how three famous families made York the UK’s home of chocolate and introduced famous brands like KitKat and Terry’s chocolate orange. Marvel at the skills of professional chocolatiers and learn to taste chocolate like an expert. Trust me, the aroma and free samples alone are worth the visit 😅. If you want a little extra, then book on for the truffle rolling experience (only available on the last tour each day).
🚢 Wanting a more leisurely way to explore the city? Why not cruise down the River Ouse with City Cruises. Picture this: a gentle breeze, the sun setting over the historical York Minster, and you, cruising along the river. It's a relaxing experience that offers stunning views of the city (although if you’re doing this in the winter, make sure to wrap up warm!). Pro tip: Evening cruises during sunset cast a magical glow over the waters. Romantic, much?
☢️ Next up, take a trip to English Heritage’s newest (and perhaps most spine-chilling) properties at York’s Cold War Bunker: Goosebumps alert! Stepping into the York Cold War Bunker is like stepping back in time. The atmosphere is eerie, yet utterly captivating. The guides share intriguing stories and insights about the Cold War era. Standing inside a space frozen in time makes history feel tangible.
👻 While we’re on the theme of goosebumps, York is the perfect place to go on a Ghost Tour. Believed to be the oldest ghost walk in the world, discover the City's hidden alleyways, streets, and haunted buildings. As the moon casts an eerie glow over York's ancient streets, the ghost tour begins. Listen to haunting tales of York's spooky past and enjoy genuinely mysterious experiences. A word of advice: don't wander off alone!
🐱 If you’re a feline lover like me, then you’ll absolutely love York’s Cat Trail. The city is adorned with lucky cats waiting to be found. It's like a city-wide treasure hunt. Each cat has its own story, and finding them feels like discovering York's hidden luck, one purr at a time. The statues have a long history in the city with statues first being places on buildings over 100 years ago. Let me know if you manage to spot them all!
🧪 Now for an unusual drinking experience at The Potions Cauldron, a magical shop where you can brew potions like a wizard. The setting is straight out of a fantasy novel. Try the cauldron experience where you’ll get to mix colourful potions and create tasty magic – it's an immersive experience for Potterhead’s and curious souls alike.
🌳 Next visit the Edible Wood in York Art Gallery’s Secret Garden. This beautiful hidden garden is based on the principles of permaculture and forest gardening, and features a wide variety of edible plants from around the world. It’s a peaceful oasis, but be warned - don’t try and taste any of the plants as some may be poisonous.
🏎️ Finally, if you need something more adrenaline packed, take a trip to York Motorsport Village. Zooming around the track in a go-kart or tackling the F1 racing simulator is a rush like no other. It’s a quick track with plenty of opportunities to overtake - it’s great fun with a small group of you.
Where to stay?
Stay in the house where Guy Fawkes was born
🍊 If you're after a cosy, home-away-from-home experience in the heart of York (around a 10min walk from York Minster), Clementine’s Townhouse Hotel is the way to go. Tucked away in a quiet corner, this charming spot exudes a welcoming ambiance. The rooms are beautifully decorated, giving off a warm and inviting vibe. Picture plush beds, antique furnishings, and large windows that let in plenty of natural light. It's the little details that make a big difference - you'll find fresh flowers and perhaps even a sweet treat waiting for you. The staff here are incredibly friendly and helpful, always ready with recommendations to make your York adventure unforgettable.
🎆 History buffs, this one's for you! Staying at the Guy Fawkes Inn is like taking a step back in time. Nestled in one of York's oldest streets, this inn is brimming with character and tales from the past. The rooms, have a delightful antique charm with some featuring beautiful stone floors, original timber beams or just regal four-poster beds. The timbered walls and creaky floors add to the overall medieval atmosphere. The inn is rumoured to be where the infamous Guy Fawkes was born – a fascinating piece of history you can soak up during your stay. Don't miss out on dining in their traditional pub; it's an experience in itself.
🦬 For a touch of contemporary luxury with a side of history, The Bishop & The Bison is a top pick. The location is fantastic, just 20 minutes from York Minster. The blend of modern design and historical elements seamlessly comes together in the rooms, with each individually decorated and featuring beautiful wallpaper. The beds are heavenly, promising a good night's sleep after a day of exploring. And let's talk about the food – the on-site restaurant serves up mouth-watering breakfasts that are as much a visual feast as a delight for your tastebuds. The staff are attentive, ensuring your stay is nothing short of exceptional.
Want more tips for when you next visit York? Become an Insider Premium member for just the cost of a coffee a month, and keep reading on for our favourite restaurants, bars and cafés, plus the things you need to know before visiting York!
Next week we’ll be heading to the Midlands and the UK’s second city, Birmingham. If you’ve got any tips you think we should feature next week then just reply to this email.