York Visitor information
An Introduction to York
York remains one of the great attractions of the North due to its historic importance throughout the ages and is often seen as the Norht's key city. York is Renowned for its exquisite architecture, cobbled streets and the iconic York Minster.
Attractions in York
The city houses several museums including the National Railway Museum and the Jorvik Viking Centre. Lesser known attractions include Barley Hall, Fairfax House and the Treasurer's House. You can also enjoy guided walks of the city, boat trips on the River Ouse and simply wandering through York's winding cobbled streets or seeing the "Shambles", an old street in the heart of the city.
Getting to York
Leeds Bradford International Airport is 45 minutes drive from York. There's a regular daily shuttle service to London's Heathrow Airport. Manchester Airport is two hours drive from York. There are frequent direct trains to York from Manchester.
By Coach and Bus
You can travel to York from destinations all around the UK via National Express. Frequent Park and Ride bus services operate into the city centre from sites adjacent to the A64, A19, A1079 and A166. Some of the bus services, such as Arriva and First are from larger groups but the majority of the companies are independent.
York is served by the A64, A19, A1079 and A166 routes into the city and is situated at least 3 and a half hours from London.
York is on the East Coast Main Line. It takes less than two hours to get to York from London by rail. Edinburgh is only two and a half hours from York. There are also direct services from Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and the South West. York railway station is situated to the west of the city centre, just outside the city walls.
Before the Roman invasion of York in AD43, Britain was ruled by a confederation of Celtic tribes known as the Brigantes. In AD71, the Roman Govenor of Britain set up a camp which became a permanent fortress. Over 300 years of Roman occupation of York ended about AD400 when Roman legions were withdrawn to serve in Gaul. In the 5th century, the Germanic tribes of the Anglo Saxons invaded the country.
Ivar the Boneless took advantage of Northumbria being in the middle of a civil war and the Vikings captured York on 1st November 866. The Viking warriors settled down to a more peaceful farming existence, and the village became a major river port, part of the extensive Viking trading routes throughout northern Europe. In the years 1056-66 York changed hands following local rebellion the defeat of the Norwegian army at Stamford Bridge.
Over the next 300 years York grew to become the second largest city in the country and was the northern capital of England. During the 1400s, the population was declining, and the all-important wool industry was moving elsewhere. Although the Wars of the Roses (1453 - 1487) did not have a great impact on York, their aftermath did. King Edward IV never forgave York for its Lancastrian sympathies, and ruled the city harshly. Trade and manufacturing were in decline, but York's role as the social and cultural centre for wealthy northerners was on the rise.
The railway came to York in 1839, brought by an entrepreneur called George Hudson. Ten years later York was a major railway centre.