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Last updated: 28 October, 2022
Expert travel writer: Will Hide

It might be a cliche, but Grays Court genuinely is a hidden gem; wander down the cobbled lanes behind York Minster and it’s easy to miss this elegant 11th century building. It’s only when you turn into a gated courtyard that the hotel shows itself.  

Once inside it’s a tasteful oasis of calm, with antique furniture sitting beneath contemporary black and white pictures, taken by local photojournalist David O’Neill. 

There’s a feeling of a country hotel that just happens to be in the middle of the city, heightened by a large garden that snuggles under the city walls, which you can access privately. Even the head chef’s background is from time spent at a pub near the North York Moors. 

Surrounding Area

Tucked away down a quiet cobbled lane, there’s a feeling of stepping away from the city’s hubbub at Gray’s Court – even though this is the historic heart of the city.  

In spite of being such a central location, most visitors get as far up the lane as the Treasurer’s House and don’t venture further, giving the hotel a quiet, sanctuary-like feel.  It’s surrounded by a lattice of pretty cobbled lanes. 

The Treasurer’s House – a National Trust-owned Grade I listed mansion and garden – sits next door and the Minster is in sight. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops nearby on Goodramgate and Low Petergate. 

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Key facilities

Airport transfers: Not available
Beach: None
Fitness centre
Fitness classes
Golf course
Hot tub
: On-site *
Pool (adults only)
Pool (indoor)
Pool (outdoor)
Pool (kids)
Tennis courts
WiFi: Free

Food & drink

All inclusive
Kids menu
Restaurant on-site
Self catering
Additional charge

Room types


Room facilities

Air conditioning
Flat screen TV
Jacuzzi (private)
Pool (private)
Tea & coffee making facilities

Bedding options

2+ bedrooms
3+ beds
Connecting rooms
Rollaway/sofa bed

Bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

York Minster

York, Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK)[0.2 miles]

York Minster is northern Europe’s finest Gothic cathedral, taking 250 years to build, and famous for its vividly beautiful stained glass.

Best for ages: 18+ | £12

Walk York’s Roman city walls

York, Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK)[0.2 miles]

Walking York’s ancient city walls – the best-preserved in Britain – offers glimpses of the city’s rich history, with fortified towers, Roman gateways and a wonderful view of the medieval rooftops.

Best for ages: 8+ | Free | 2 houra

National Railway Museum

York, Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK)[1.1 miles]

Europe’s premier railway museum boasts every type of train from steam locomotives to the only bullet train outside Japan – a wet-weather winner for kids of all ages.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free

Other worthwhile experiences in this destination if you have the time or the interest, closest first

Interior of museum showing a variety of displays about chocolate

York’s Chocolate Story

York, Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK)[0.3 miles]

Five million KitKats are produced in York every day. You can’t tour the Nestlé factory, but here at St Helen’s Square you can find out all about the city’s sweet history and make your own chocolate.

Best for ages: 4+ | £15

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Overview >
Exterior of two-storey art gallery with a fountain and statue in front

York Art Gallery

York, Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK)[0.4 miles]

A regional art gallery that punches well above its weight, you’ll find Victorian and contemporary artists displayed, including David Hockney and Grayson Perry. General admission is free.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Overview >
The exterior and window display of the popular Betty's Cafe and Tea Rooms at night


York, Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK)[0.4 miles]

This iconic tearoom opened in 1937 and there’s a good reason people queue for two hours for afternoon tea here. Book online in advance to avoid the wait.

Best for ages: 10+ | Free

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Overview >
Small stall at the York Christmas Market

St. Nicholas Fair

York, Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK)[0.4 miles]

One of the largest Christmas markets in the UK, the St. Nicholas Fair sees market stalls take over the city centre, transforming Parliament Square into a Christmas card worthy scene and offering festive shoppers the chance to stock up on gifts, arts and crafts. Daily, from mid-November-Christmas.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free | 5 weeks

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Overview >

Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay


Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK)

York’s dramatic past – from Roman settlements to Viking invasions – has created one of Britain’s most beautiful historic cities, home to the world-famous York Minster and the most complete medieval walls in the country.

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Overview >