A few weeks ago, my Mum and I ventured up the motorway to visit York after being invited by the lovely people at Travelodge. We had both been there once before but years ago so we were excited to explore! We had a few suggestions of places to visit (have you even been to York if you haven't visited Betty's? Apparently not!) so our schedule for the weekend was pretty full but we also managed to discover our own favourite places so I thought I'd share a few of them with you.
Warning: this post is very photo heavy!
York Minster is one of the defining features of the city, you can see it from pretty much everywhere in the city as it's so huge but despite its size, it's incredibly intricate and delicate in design. We stared up in awe while we were surrounded by people supporting Pride which gave the whole place an amazing atmosphere!
The city walls (pictured at the top of this post) were one of my favourite activities as you can see everything, I think they are only around 4km long so they don't take too long to walk around either!
You can find out more about opening times and admissions to York Minster here.
Bettys is an absolute must visit for anyone venturing to York, every single person we asked for recommendations to visit told us to go to Bettys so there's no way we weren't going to try it out. Bettys is a classic Yorkshire tea room with incredible cakes, food and tea selection that begin in Harrogate in 1919. York has two locations, the main cafe in St Helen's Square and Little Bettys in Stonegate.
We opted for Little Bettys as we were in the mood for something all together more charming and quaint (it definitely wasn't because it is right next to Evil Eye where we wanted to go for an afternoon cocktail afterwards, deifnitely not). There was a small queue at the time we arrived (around 1pm) but by the time we left an hour or so later, the queue snaked down the stairs and out of the door so get in early if you don't fancy queuing!
My mum chose Eggs Benedict which she assures me was incredible and I went for a Bettys classic: a Fat Rascal scone, the biggest and most delicious scone I have ever eaten. Well not quite all of it as it was SO big!
You can find out more about Bettys here, I thoroughly recommend that you do! You can even order online now too.
The Shambles is a warren of streets lined with cute shops, bakeries, pie shops (my favourite) and restaurants with a market sat in the middle. It's a beautiful place and looks pretty much exactly like Diagon Alley to me... It was also awarded Britain's Most Picturesque Street by Google.
Find out more about the Shambles here, they are definitely worth a visit earlier in the day to avoid the crowds, these photos were taken around 10am but when we went back at around 3pm, the streets were completely full!
The same can be said for everywhere in York really, we were expecting quite a quiet city but by the time late afternoon rolled around, pretty much everyone was on a hen do or drunk... I've been assured that it's only like this at the weekend though so if you'd prefer a quiet visit, try and go during the week instead of at the weekend.
Quite a few people suggested that we visit the National Railway Museum, both of us where a little hesitant because we're not train obsessives but we had time before our dinner reservation so we decided to venture there. We completely fell in love with it, we developed a love for trains that neither of us knew we had and found ourselves excited about learning more about Japanese bullet trains from the 1960's, who knew?
They also have a very cute little cafe that is set out like train carriages, we stopped for a pre-dinner glass of wine (they were only £2 each, bargain) but they had a whole range of food, cakes and sandwiches to choose from. I kind of wish we'd stayed there for dinner instead!
Find out more about the National Railway Museum here, it is so worth a visit.
The Treasurers House garden was one of my favourite discoveries of the trip, we stumbled in there by accident on our way to York Minster and it was full of incredibly beautiful flowers, wildlife and architecture. We didn't venture inside as we were rather enamored with the garden itself, we spent a good hour in the tiny garden making friends with bugs and chatting, it was incredibly peaceful even though it was just next to the bustling Minster.
Find out more about Treasurers House here, I'd recommend a trip during peony season (now!) to see the beautiful blooms.
We went for dinner in the Walmgate Ale House and Bistro after I'd seen good reviews online, plus it was perfectly located for where we were staying. It's a beautiful 17th century listed building and has a beautiful bar downstairs, the restaurant is upstairs but I was rather disappointed with the food. It was perfectly adequate but considering the price and the reviews, it was nowhere near what I expected.
It's the perfect place for an early evening glass of wine or Yorkshire ale though. Find out more here.
This may have been the most gorgeous view ever from any Travelodge I've ever been to, complete with the canal, castle and beautiful buildings. We stayed in York Central, which is an excellent location for sight-seeing around the city and a night there is around £56, not too shabby!
There are plenty of affordable locations across the UK and they now have super comfy king size beds in all of the rooms so it's the perfect place to get a great night sleep on a budget. Take a look here to book and find out more about Travelodge.
*We were invited as guests by Travelodge but all opinions are my own, as always.