Last updated: 04 November, 2022
One of Britain’s most beautiful historic cities, York is a millefeuille of history, with layer upon layer of drama and intrigue, from the first Roman settlement in AD 71 to the bloodthirsty medieval period, when the Vikings came roaring down from Northumberland.
Many of the Roman streets still exist today, lined with a picturesque jumble of medieval houses, elegant Georgian townhouses and Victorian homes. Cobbled alleyways run between, linking the world-famous 13th-century gothic Minster with imposing fortified towers and the two rivers that flow through the city, the Foss and the Ouse.
The city boomed in Victorian times, thanks to the building of the railway which made the city one of the most important hubs in the north for industry. Local companies such as Rowntrees and Terry’s Confectionery became national names, hotels were built and new residential areas of the city created.
21st-century York combines this diverse history with a lively student population, and a thriving restaurant and foodie scene, with independent bars, cafes and eateries dotted through the historic streets. Compact, and easy to explore on foot, York makes the perfect weekend break.