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How to spend 24 hours in beautiful York
We've got the guide to making the most out of your day in the historic city
Found yourself in York with some time to kill? You lucky, lucky thing, for this beautiful city has it all: history packed to the gills, a picturesque location along the River Ouse, stunning architecture and a dynamic city centre. 24 hours is not nearly enough to take in all that York has to offer, but we've put together a rough roadmap for a day out in York – enough for you to get a taste of York's treasures and start planning for your next trip back.
Best to hit the ground running, so stretch out your legs by heading over the River Ouse to The Shambles, York's most iconic street. You're almost guaranteed to have seen these iconic timber-framed buildings in a postcard or period drama of some sort, but there's nothing like walking beneath these 14th century buildings in person, and imagining all this street has seen since its first mention in the Domesday Book of 1086.
Head south and hang a right down Silver Street, where the Shambles Market is likely already in full swing. Grab a bite of breakfast at their street food court, where an incredible variety of food vendors await, ranging from fresh Italian foccacia, flavourful French galettes, Turkish coffees and more. And why not do a bit of browsing while you're munching? Stalls hawking clothing, trinkets, flowers, fresh produce and more line the street, so be sure to inspect their colourful wares before heading on your way.
Hopefully you're not too laden down with souvenirs as you head back north to the Yorkshire Museum, which famously houses pre-eminent collections of geological and archeological specimens, many of which have been unearthed in Yorkshire. Though it may be tempting to while away the day here, we'd suggest focussing on the museum's archaeology exhibition, which boasts artefacts from York's Roman, Scandinavian and medieval history. Be sure to also take a turn around the Museum Gardens and explore the atmospheric ruins on the grounds.
After such a packed morning, it's surely time for a well-deserved treat, so nip down south to Bettys Cafe Tea Room on Stonegate and sample their famous traditional afternoon tea, which they've been serving for nearly a century. Take a glass of fizz with your scone if you're feeling particularly fancy.
Now refreshed, time to head to York's crown jewel: the York Minster. It's likely that you've already spotted the Gothic spires towering over the rooftops on your walk through the city centre, but nothing can prepare you to face its imposing facade for the first time. The second largest of its kind in Northern Europe, step inside this hallowed space and marvel at the magnificent stained glass windows and the coloured decorations on the vaulted ceiling. There are free guided tours of the cathedral if you want to learn more about its storied history or, if today happens to be a leg day, hie your way up the 275 steps leading to the top of York Minster's central tower and enjoy unparalleled views of city.
Climb down from the heavens and prepare to be transported to an equally sweet paradise at York's Chocolate Story, where you can find out about York's history as the home of beloved confectioners Rowntree's and Terry's. Be sure to nip by the shop and cafe for a few tasty samples.
The sun is almost setting on your day in York, but you're only a five minute walk away from the hugely entertaining Jorvik Viking Centre, an immersive Viking-era experience featuring reconstructions of settlements and its inhabitants from the period, as well as a museum of hundreds of Viking age artefacts that were recovered from the area. If you've got any questions, ask one of the heavily-bearded Vikings on staff.
If there's still daylight left to burn by the time you've emerged, head down to Rowntree Park and take a reflective stroll through its immaculate bowling greens, lakes and canals as your perfect day in York winds to a close.
Making days such as these happen are now easier than ever with LNER. With free wifi on all trains for all customers, you can browse, work, play and plan on the go, wherever you are. Also, with no booking fees when purchased directly from their website, and their Price Promise of matching and refunding the difference if customers find a cheaper ticket, there's never been a better time to explore the many gems along the UK's magnificent east coast.
Moreover, the whole line will soon be getting a makeover, as the new Azuma trains begin rolling out through 2019. Built using Japanese bullet train technology, your travels will be smoother, quieter and more reliable. Prepare to get comfortable as well, with extra leg room, more luggage room, power sockets on every seat and free, improved wifi on both Standard and First Class. LNER are also currently running a competition to win up to four First Class tickets and travel in the lap of luxury. So what are you waiting for? Book your next adventure now.
Visit the LNER website for more details on train times and ticket prices.