York Rail Breaks

York City Breaks by Rail

Typical York Rail Breaks journey times to York (times are approximate)
Aberdeen to York 5 hrs 0 mins Dundee to York 3 hrs 45 mins
Inverness to York 6 hrs 0 mins London to York 1 hrs 55 mins
Berwick to York 1 hrs 45 mins Newcastle to York 1 hrs 0 mins
Durham to York 0 hrs 45 mins Darlington to York 0 hrs 30 mins
Edinburgh to York 2 hrs 20 mins Montrose to York 4 hrs 20 mins

King George VI said once said that York’s “history is the history of England.” This wonderful historical city is still surrounded by two-and-a-half miles of finely preserved walls built in the medieval period. You can walk almost completely around these walls, taking in the view of the entire city of York and the countryside. This and many other intriguing sites are worth a quick rail trip to spend a day in York.

One of the most beautiful sites in York is York Minster. It is located in the middle of the city and can be seen from just about anywhere in York. York Minster is considered to be one of Europe’s best cathedrals and most significant sites. It is the biggest Gothic building in Britain. Construction began in 1220 and took 250 years to finish. It boasts 128 stained glass windows. This is thought be about half of the medieval stained glass found in England.

Cliffords Tower, also centrally located in York, is on the top of hill, and after the Minster, probably York’s most imposing landmark. It is worth the effort to trudge up the many steps to the tower and then climb to the top of the tower for the magnificent view. The history of Cliffords Tower has its dark side. William the Conqueror built the original tower and hundreds of Jews were once massacred inside the walls.

The basement and gardens of the Yorkshire Museum hold the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey, which was built in 1080. This is an amazing museum whose exhibits recount the story of the county. The prize of the museum is the diamond-encrusted sapphire dating back to the 15th century called the Middleham Jewel. It was not discovered until 1985.

If you are into the darker history of the area, there are two things you might like to see. The York Dungeons is a wax museum with macabre animated displays of torture through the years of York’s history. It includes depictions of plague-ridden streets of York in the 14th century, not to mention England’s most famous highwayman, Dick Turpin, waiting for the hangman. Follow up your tour of York Dungeons with a nighttime tour on the Ghost Trail. It starts at York Minster and the walk takes you back to York’s “blood-chilling” history.

After your day of history, site seeing, and ghost hunting you may want to take a walk down The Shambles, York’s well-preserved medieval street. Then stop off for a stout at the Black Swan, a pub that dates back to the 16th century.