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How To See The Best Of York In 1 Day

UK Travel Guide: 1 Day York Itinerary

1 Day In York Itinerary by The Organised Explorers (Shambles, York)

With the current travel climate, many Brits are skipping trips abroad and opting for staycations instead, exploring the UK's beautiful countryside, discovering it's historic towns and tasting some of it's delicious local dishes. One of our favourite UK destinations is York.

​If you're visiting from nearby, or are planning to make York a one day stop on a tour of the UK, you'll want to make the most of your time here. In this 1 day York itinerary, we'll be showing you the best this historic town has to offer. So get ready to see some world famous sights, soak in incredible architecture, taste some delicious food and discover why York is one of the UK's most popular and well-loved destinations.

Start Your Day In York With Breakfast At Brew & Brownie.

It's only right to start a busy day of sight seeing with a delicious breakfast at Brew & Brownie. Brew & Brownie is one of York's more popular breakfast spots, and for good reason. The menu is small, but you'll still have a hard time choosing what to order - from the incredible Brioche French Toast to the hearty full English breakfast, there is something for everyone. They also cater for those on vegan, vegetarian and gluten free diets.

Brew & Brownie do not take bookings and tables fill up fast, so we suggest arriving a few minutes before opening to get yourself a table.

Location: 5 Museum St, York YO1 7DT

Admire The Architecture Of One Of Europe's Largest Cathedrals.

After breakfast, take a short stroll over to York Minster. This impressive religious building has a long, rich history and has undergone a number of restoration projects over the centuries, but is still standing tall as a prominent fixture of York. ​As you approach the Cathedral, you can't help but admire it's immense size (it's one of the largest Cathedrals in Europe) and incredible architecture. Take some time to go inside, admire the stained glass windows and even join a tour to ascend up it's central tower. There are a number of different tours you can take to explore York Minster further, which you can book here

Location: Deangate, York YO1 7HH

1 Day In York Itinerary by The Organised Explorers (York Minster)

Explore One Of The UK's Best Preserved Medieval Streets.

After a visit to the Minster, enjoy a short walk through the maze-like streets of York until you reach Shambles. Shambles is an incredibly preserved medieval street and one of York's most recognisable landmarks. This quirky cobblestoned street is full of character and history and a must see when visiting York.

Shambles is also a great spot for Harry Potter fans. Although never confirmed, Shambles is said to have provided inspiration for Harry Potter's Diagon Alley. Walking down this ancient street is truly like stepping into the books and films. The Shambles is even home to 3 Harry Potter themed shops, the first to open being The Shop That Must Not Be Named. This beautifully themed shop is extremely popular and usually has a short queue to see inside, but is well worth a visit.

(Did you know you can walk down the real Diagon Alley set as part of the Harry Potter Studio Tour? Check out our blog post for our top tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the tour here)

Location: Shambles, York YO1 7LX

1 Day In York Itinerary by The Organised Explorers (Shambles, York)

Explore York's Viking Past at Jorvik Viking Centre.

Visit one of York's most visited attractions, Jorvik Viking Centre. This ever popular attraction stands on the site of an archaeological excavation which revealed much of York's Viking history. A mix of dark ride and museum, Jorvik Viking Centre is great for families and history lovers who would like to see what life was like in York almost 1,000 years ago.

We would recommend booking your tickets in advance as this attraction is popular year round and can sell out.

Location: 19 Coppergate, York YO1 9WT

Enjoy Afternoon Tea At Bettys.

A day in York wouldn't be complete without visiting the famous Bettys Tea Rooms. Bettys is one of the most popular, longstanding tea rooms in the UK. The York tea rooms first opened it's doors in 1936 and has been a favourite with locals and tourists ever since.

The afternoon tea comes highly recommended, but the lunch menu also offers dishes such as soups, sandwiches, salads and quiches as well as burgers, haddock and chips and Yorkshire rarebit. Make sure to treat yourself to something sweet from the shop whilst you're here too! The varied menu caters for those on vegan, vegetarian and gluten free diets.

Bettys popularity means there is usually a long queue to be seated but we have found that it moves fairly quickly and is worth the wait.

Location: 6-8 St. Helen’s Square, York YO1 8QP

Walk The City Walls.

If you're up for a bit of exercise, we recommend walking the famous York city walls. York's historic walls are beautifully preserved and are a must do on your day in the city. We would suggest setting aside about 2 hours if you'd like to walk the entire perimeter (about 2.5 miles) but as the route is circular, you can do as much or as little as you'd like. It's a great way to see the city from above!

Location: Various entrances around the city. Look for "City Wall" signs.

1 Day In York Itinerary by The Organised Explorers (York City Walls)

Take The Weight Off Your Feet In The York Museum Gardens.

If you're enjoying nice weather on your day in York, we recommend taking some time out of your day to relax in the peaceful York Museum Gardens. The botanical garden is free to enter and provides a bit of calm and quiet on a busy day in the city. Spend some time admiring the beautiful plants and flowers, relax on the grass, and explore the medieval ruins of St Mary's Abbey.

Location: Museum St, York YO1 7FR

1 Day In York Itinerary by The Organised Explorers

Learn About York's Rich Chocolate History.

York has a rich history in chocolate and is the birthplace to to some of the UK's favourite sweet treats. Smarties, KitKat and Terry's Chocolate Orange all had their beginnings in York, so it is no surprise that there are a number of chocolate related activities and tours to experience in the city. The most popular is York's Chocolate Story, an informative guided tour where visitors can learn about the history and production of chocolate and includes free samples (yay!).

There is also a shop and café at the end of the tour to pick up lots of goodies to take home with you. (The shop & café are open to anybody with or without a tour ticket)

Location: 3-4 King's Sq, York YO1 7LD

End Your Day With A Great Meal.

What better way to end a busy day of sight-seeing than with a glass of wine and a tasting board made up of breads, cheese and antipasti. If this sounds like the perfect cosy spot to finish off your day, make sure to book a table (or tasting experience) at the popular Pairings.

Location: 28 Castlegate, York YO1 9RP

If you'd prefer a traditional English pub experience, head on over to Guy Fawkes Inn. Booking again is recommended to enjoy a meal at this AA rosette restaurant. The food and service are excellent and the setting charming. What's not to like?

Location: 25 High Petergate, York YO1 7HP

We hope you enjoyed reading our 1 day in York itinerary and that it has given you some good ideas of what to see and do in the city. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment box below.

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How To See The Best Of York In 1 Day. The Organised Explorers

1 Comment

Aug 10, 2022

Love the post guys! I'm sure you already know that we both love York and reading your post makes us want to go back even more. The Guy Fawkes Inn is a great spot - always a brilliant atmosphere in there. But to be honest, you can't really miss when it comes to good pubs in York! We always recommend Ambiente on Fossgate as a great place to eat - perfect if you like tapas. Looking forward to your next post!

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