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day trip to York

i am looking for information on a day trip from London to York, we will be travelling there by train. Where would we pick up the train in London and is the station in York walkable to the Minister? Any recommendations for guided tours, reasonable and good places to eat? We would hope to stay for Evensong at the Minister.

Posted by
631 posts

London station is Kings Cross. All of the historic part of York is in a fairly tight section with the railway station by the west gate so quite conveninent. Train tickets should be booked in Advance to get bargains (but be aware these will be fixed reservations with penalties for alterations). Most trains are run by Virgin (there is another company but their last train back is between 7 and 8PM depending on day of week).

for food I like Brigantes on Micklegate but not been this year. Nerdy note: in Yorkshire an address ending gate does not mean there is a gate, it's from the viking name for street (as in norwegian and similar to danish -gade).

Posted by
538 posts

York also has an amazing Train Museum quite near the station. I believe it is the national Museum. very interesting.
IMHO, York is worth an overnight esp if you want to see any of the countryside.
Evensong is lovely

Posted by
8889 posts

Barbara, Trains to York run from London Kings Cross to York station.
The train company is "Virgin East Coast", and you can look up times and buy tickets on their website:
There is roughly one train every 30 minutes, and the trip takes 2 hours.
The usual rules apply, if you buy in advance from the website it is cheaper the earlier you buy, but you must decide which train to take when you buy. If you change your mind later it costs more.

York station is very convenient, you walk out the front of the station and the city walls are facing you on the other side of the road. Anything within the walls (including the Minster) is walkable.
See this map of York, marking the walls, station and Minster:

Posted by
6802 posts

We ate at the Star Inn. It was a bit too trendy and, uh, posh for us. There are tons of choices in the area around the minster. We enjoyed the market area. A day trip would be rushing it. The tour of the minster itself took a couple of hours, as does the railway museum. The free walking tour of the city was worth the time. It meets at a set location every day and you just have to show up.

Posted by
1005 posts

I also ate at the Star Inn the City and loved it. It was the best meal I had in Britain on a two-week trip. Definitely it is pricey and aimed at "foodies," but the food was excellent and the service was charming yet professional.

Posted by
30 posts

that Star place is hideously expensive. As is the Minster (up to a few years ago it was free)!

Train - kings cross. There should be a train to York every half hour or so. Only a 2 hour trip.

Out of the station, turn left and you'll see the Minster in the distance. Just follow the road down and over the bridge.

Once you are done with the Minster then take a two minute stroll down the Shambles, cross the road at the bottom (helpfully called Pavement!), turn left and then first right and you are onto Fossgate. Loads of good, non chain, restaurants and cafe's down here selling food and drink at reasonable prices.

If you spent a night here then you could in the evening sample some of the excellent pubs as well. But that is another story. I hope you have a good time. Just remember, the city centre is much smaller than it appears on the map so you will be fine walking around.

Posted by
310 posts

York is absolutely lovely. I realize you asked about a day trip, but if you could manage, it is certainly worth an overnight.

As others have mentioned, it is very walkable. Kings Cross to York is approximately two hours. For the majority of the day, you can get direct trains every half hour. From National Rail, it looks like the last direct train back to London is 2220. If you like trains, the National Rail Museum is a must. Brilliant museum for train enthusiasts.

As to food - the Eagle&Child and Yorkshire Terrier are good to eat at. I've also eaten at the Punchbowl with no complaints. The Old White Swan is nice as well. Jaimie's Italian and All Bar One, while chains, are both good in York. Betty's Cafe Tea Rooms is always a treat.

If you are looking for a drink after your train ride, or perhaps before your ride back to London, look no further than the Maltings on Station Road, just after you leave the station and before you cross the river.

Posted by
3352 posts

Barbara, it's York Minster, not minister. :-)

York Minster is definitely walkable from the train station. York is great for that. Evensong is lovely; I highly recommend it. There are lots of little restaurants; poke your head inside and look at a menu. Make sure you walk through the Shambles just for the architecture alone.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks to all for your information - very helpful and appreciated! I have traveled to both Bath and York but that was many years ago, and had our driver, my brother-in-law, driving us everywhere throughout England and Wales during our many visits. But this time I am on my own with a friend and haven't traveled within Britain by train, we are looking forward to it. After going over your replies, we have tentatively decided to start our adventure (after a rest day from RS's week-long tour) from London to Bath by train, staying 2 nights. Next morning, on to York from Bath via train staying there 2 nights also. And then heading back to London from York with a stop at Oxford for a short time (?, if feasible). After a rest day in London, take the train again to Moreton-on-Marsh for a Secret Cottage Cotswold day tour - whew! Hopefully we are not being too ambitious with our itinerary?
We fly home on the 23rd so the 22nd is definitely a 'rest day' in London :). Again, I am grateful for all your input and suggestions!

Posted by
631 posts

that was going well until you said visit Oxford, then stay London then visit Moreton-in-Marsh! Oxford is only 31 miles from Moreton. Is the tour a commercial operation that only runs from London? If you could stay Oxford and visit Moreton it would save a lot of running around and may be cheaper. And Oxford to Heathrow is easy as well so you could miss the London end completely if you have nothing specifically planned.

Posted by
4 posts

thanks Steve for the info about staying in Oxford for 1 night and then travel to Moreton-on-Marsh for a tour of the Cotswolds
best regards, Barbara

Posted by
934 posts

I did the jump on jump off tourist bus a couple of week backs cost was reasonable and the driver had a very good line in corny jokes as well as the more historical stuff.
Walmgate Bar cafe,is worth a call .
Another vote for Evensong too.

Posted by
409 posts

I spent a great deal of time in York over the past 4 years (new husband taught at Ampleforth). I see you're staying there a couple of nights, now. I highly recommend

1) the railway museum at York station - free and amazingly interesting!

2) getting up early at wandering the streets around the Minster is wonderful. Shops might not be open, yet, but you'll have more space. It gets very crowded at times! Speaking of streets - yes you can walk from the train station but the surfaces are varied and ancient in parts. No heels recommended!

3) Betty's in York is certainly nice, and VERY popular, yet there are some wonderful small tea shops that are just as lovely, interesting, less touristy, and no lines. No shortage of tea shops in Yorkshire! Also the "artsy" movie theatre City Screen has a great cafe with lovely views over the river.

4) Speaking of Ampleforth - it's a 500 year old Benedictine Abbey and now boarding school. Touring the church, listening to the monks chanting, glorious. The bus from York is easy and goes through some very picturesque areas of Yorkshire!

Waterville, Ireland

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you Susan for all this information, very helpful! I am grateful to all who have replied, it has helped us plan our days/trips more efficiently in time and travel!