5 affordable weekend adventures in York

The walled city of York would be my first choice if an epidemic ravaged the rest of the country. Surrounded by water, the Roman city has plenty of high buildings for protection, large bells for signalling attackers and gate-houses for welcoming outsiders. Oh yeah, it’s also a really good weekend away.

And if you’re thinking: “I spent all my money last weekend in Keswick“, don’t worry. These great adventures aren’t just buckets of fun, they’re affordable as heck. Get on a train or plane or automobile or, if you’re lucky, step outside your door to soak in everything York has to offer.

Here are five great things to do while in York!

1. The Shambles 

With over-hanging timber-framed buildings, The Shambles is by far the most charming street in York. What began as a meat market in the 14th century, now houses quaint souvenir shops and independent food spots. It also served as inspiration for Diagon Alley.


Image credit: Instagram – @Kyel.w

2. The Gatehouse café

York is home to more gorgeous coffee shops than anywhere else in England, however, The Gatehouse is special. Built into the city walls, this fairy-lit cafe has exceedingly cheap food and drink and the occasional live music night. A beautiful experience whether you’re sitting in the warm or on the walls themselves, overlooking the city.


Image credit: – Instagram – @Gatehousecoffee

3. York Maze

Who doesn’t love a good maze? Open from July, this maze complex doesn’t just have a field to get lost in, there’s a load of exhibitions and other attractions. There are also rumours that they have competitive pig racing…


Image credit: Instagram – @christhornton

4. York’s Chocolate Story

Attention all chocoholics! This tour/sweet emporium is right in the centre of town and is only a tenner for a tour. You’ll learn all about Mr Rowntree and the development of the sweets we know an dove today. You’ll probably get to eat some as well – only if you’re into that kind of thing.


Image credit: Instagram – @Samarie.93

5. York Minster

We have to throw in the obligatory educational activity. Head over to this gothic monolith and at least learn a little about the history of this magnificent city.


Image credit: Instagram – @aaslanina