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North East - York

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in north east england

York

1. Jorvik Viking Museum

A visit to Jorvik Viking Centre opens the door on life in the Viking city of ‘Jorvik’ in AD975, as you travel through a reconstruction of the actual Viking-Age streets, exactly where archaeologists found their original remains. See wood-turning, metalworking, a fish market and the street market of Coppergate (the cup makers), complete with sounds and smells! Get face-to-face with expert Viking residents as they do traditional Viking crafting and give talks on Viking weaponry and battle tactics.

2. York Minster

York Minster is the largest Gothic Cathedral in northern Europe and is one of the great cathedrals of the world. Building work on the cathedral began in the year 1220 and lasted for 250 years. The Great East Window is a magnificent example of medieval stained glass, depicting over 100 biblical scenes. The soaring stone arches and huge spaces are a living testament to the faith and craftsmanship which make York Minster a truly awe inspiring place.

3. York City Walls Walk

Originally built by the Romans as a defense against marauding British tribes, the York's city walls have more miles intact than any other city in England. The Vikings repaired the walls from 867 onwards, and they were added to further during the medieval period. Impressive fortified gatehouses known as "Bars" puncuate your journey, which is about four and a half miles in total and takes you through the town and past rivers and countryside.

4. Fairfax House

Fairfax House, situated in the heart of York, is a stunning Georgian Townhouse displaying some of the finest English 18thC furniture in England. It was created in 1762 as a dowry for Anne Fairfax, the only surviving child of Viscount Fairfax. John Carr, York's most distinguished architect, designed the interior, which is stunningly evocative and has been beautifully restored to it's former glory. Ceramics, paintings and silverworkl are also on display.

5. The National Railway Museum

York is home to the world's largest railway museum, which is impressively packed full of of big and interesting trains. Explore three giant halls for a great family experience and interactive fun. With true railway legends such as Shinkansen, the sleek 'Bullet Train' and Mallard the fastest ever steam locomotive, plus a replica of Stephenson's Rocket, you can see the really big names in trains. They have recently been joined by perhaps the most famous name of them all, the legendary Flying Scotsman.

6. York Castle Museum

Take a trip through time as you step into York Castle Museum's famous recreated Victorian street, Kirkgate. It's alive with the sights, sounds and characters of York more than 100 years ago. Step inside shops and meet the fascinating folk who work there. Explore the rest of this amazing museum of everyday life and find authentic household scenes, toys and clothes from the past, Civil War and Second World War galleries and the cell where highwayman Dick Turpin spent his last night.

7. Betty’s Tearooms

Over 90 years since first opening it's doors, tea and cakes at Betty’s Tearooms is still going stronger than ever and now attracts some one million customers a year. Customers are greeted by a tempting array of delicious Yorkshire and Continental confections in the shop, and an elegant Cafe Tea Room serves teas and meals in the traditional English style.

8. The Shambles

The Shambles is York's oldest street and was mentioned in the Domesday Book, making it over 900 years old! The 15th century buildings lean into each other so that their roofs almost touch over the middle of the cobbled road. The Shambles is Europe's best preserved and most visited medieval street and has become a wealth of shopping, tourist attractions, restaurants and many other things to see and do including tours, ghost walks and historic talks.

9. York Art Gallery

York Art Gallery combines a distinguished history of displaying fine paintings and ceramics with a modern-day welcome to all. Paintings are displayed in six areas over the two floors of the gallery and are divided into themes such as portraits and landscapes. They span more than 600 years and range from 14th century Italian panels and 17th century Dutch masterpieces to Victorian narrative paintings and 20th century works by LS Lowry and David Hockney.

10. The Yorkshire Museum

The Yorkshire Museum is home to some of Britain's finest archaeological treasures and the history of England until 1550 can be traced through its galleries. Many of the archaeological objects were discovered in the region and reflect York's changing identity under different invaders as Eboracum (Roman York), Eoforwic (Anglo Saxon York) and Jorvik (Viking York). Visitors can travel through these different periods, and see items from ordinary people's everyday life as well as treasures owned by the very rich.
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