A to Z of Windows – Y is for York in UK

I have been challenged several times for neglecting to visit more places in the United Kingdom and so after many years avoiding UK travel opportunities we set off for a couple of days into neighbouring Yorkshire together with my sister Lindsay and her husband Mick .

It seemed appropriate to do so because they live in Gloucestershire in the south of England and confessed to me that they have never  visited England’s largest county.  After setting off we  passed from Lincolnshire, the second largest county, into Yorkshire across the stunning Humber Bridge which spans the estuary of the same name and which separates the two English heavy-weight counties.

At almost one and a half miles long the Humber Suspension Bridge is the seventh largest of its type in the World.  This statistic used to be even more impressive because when it was first opened in 1981, and for the next sixteen years, it was the longest single-span suspension bridge in the World and the distance by road between Hull and Grimsby was reduced by nearly fifty miles as a consequence of the construction and put the ferry company immediately out of business.

We were making our first stop at the Cathedral City of York which is somewhere that I have visited several times before.  This is me in 1980, I used to really like that jacket, it was reversible, burgundy and grey and I think the sleeves zipped out but I always preferred the burgundy!

I don’t know why I keep going back to York because I would never include it in a top ten of favourite places in England.  It is touristy and busy and getting in and out in a car is really, really difficult because the old medieval road layout is completely unsuitable to cope with the volume of modern day traffic and there is almost always severe congestion.

And parking is at a premium and expensive.  Yes, there is Park and Ride but who wants to leave their car five miles out in a field and then crawl into the city on an overcrowded bus?  We found a car park near the centre and eventually paid a vicious £11 for two and a half hours parking.  If I was staying any longer I would have needed to arrange for a bank loan.  I couldn’t help but notice that there was defibrillator placed conveniently next to the pay station.

Kim tells me that I am getting old and grumpy and that my expectation of fees and charges has been firmly left behind in about the year 2000, maybe even 1990,  but the plain fact is that I just find York expensive.  The Castle Museum costs £12, the Jorvik Centre £20 and York Minster (second largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe after Cologne in Germany) is £11.50.  I really resent paying to visit a Cathedral, last week I went to Madrid and it was free.  Lots of Cathedrals charge these days, Westminster Abbey is a massive £22 which makes Lincoln look a bargain at only £8.  The most visited Cathedral in England is in Durham and that is free!

To be fair, I have to say that my favourite museum in York is the National Railway Museum which doesn’t charge an entry fee but spoils that with extortionate car parking charges.  I’ll tell you about the National Railway Museum in another post.

Another thing that I don’t like about York is, and this has to be said, it isn’t especially attractive.  Yes in the centre there are one or two well preserved medieval streets around The Shambles area but there is also an awful lot of ill conceived and inappropriate 1960s redevelopment from a time when town planners and architects were tearing down historic buildings and replacing them with concrete and steel.  These people who were responsible should be retrospectively tracked down and sent to prison.

York is a city for tourists…

45 responses to “A to Z of Windows – Y is for York in UK

  1. York is all that you say, expensive and touristy. Yet it does have some charm, probably more when one doesn’t have a vehicle to worry about. We visited in 2018 after walking Hadrian’s Wall. We enjoyed walking the city wall and climbing up Clifford’s Tower. We went there because our English Heritage Trust Pass covered it (we had that because it covers several spots along Hadrian’s wall which was the main event of our trip to England). I was getting a bit miserly, and a little overwhelmed, by that point in the trip…and you can’t every see everything anyway. Not grand or glorious, but charming, and a bit on the small side: Holy Trinity at Goodramgate provided a little quiet time away from the crowds on the afternoon we arrived. We skipped going into York Minster, we’d been to several churches and cathedrals during that trip and the views from Clifford Tower were so good that I doubt we missed anything.

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  2. Looking forward to hearing about the Railway Museum.

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  3. I do agree, and you can understand my preference for Durham, but the area around the Minster is pretty fabulous. I had a lovely meet up with some lady friends there last year. The price of fish and chips was enough to make me feel faint! We did enjoy them though.

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  4. Oh, get over yourself Andrew and use Park and Ride! It makes a visit to York much easier, and you can even return from a different stop from the one where you got on, which makes life simpler. We were there yesterday with Team London, and spent our time avoiding most of the obvious bits, wandering down charming old alleyways and getting the best views from the walls. Being post-Covid January, and pretty damn’ cold, it wasn’t even that busy. Having said that, I’d never live there. Apart from anything else, those floods ….

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  5. I agree with you about cathedrals.They are after all a place of worship and should be free.

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  6. Ahh York never been but had friends who played football/soccer with me!!

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  7. Yes, York is touristy and expensive, but I have enjoyed my (few) visits. As to cathedrals charging…they do need maintaining, you know, Andrew!

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  8. I don’t understand why you keep going back either

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  9. Not about York, Andrew, but Marseilles. I’ve just had this very interesting article on France’s second city from BBC Travel which you might like to read.
    https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20220208-marseille-frances-good-natured-city

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  10. We got married in York in 1977. I fell in love with the city, so much character and history. Hubby was raised there so knows his way around. We´ve been back a number of times and celebrated our 40th Anniversary there. We don´t bother with a car and you can walk everywhere downtown, I took a ghost tour one night which was a lot of fun. it may be touristy but for a girl from the Canadian prairies, it is magical.

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  11. I’ve made many visits over the years, from school days onwards – I have particularly good memories of the Mystery Plays.

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  12. Andrew, I’ve told you before that you do not park in a field when using the York Park and Ride. They have ‘proper’ car parks with modern and comfortable rest facilities. the buses are every ten minutes, oh and for your interest, children under sixteen ride free.

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  13. I visited York once and I really loved it there! Very beautiful city.

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  14. The bank loan and the defibrillator cracked me up. You can be so dang funny, Andrew. I also love how your readers are giving it back to you about being a grump. I think it’s wrong to charge to go into a cathedral too, just on principle. This whole post was mostly you bitching about a place you keep going back to see – so funny. Very entertaining post. ha ha ha. Anyway…. I’m here because I wanted to check on you both and see if you’re still upright after the storm.

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