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Is a day trip from London to York doable? (It doesn't have to be perfect)

Anyone have opinions on taking the train from London to York for a day trip? We definitely only have time for a day trip and understand it's 2+ hours each way by train. We would have about 5-6 hours in York (?). This is our 2nd trip to London in the last 3 years so we are trying to venture out to new locations.

Posted by
96 posts

It would be a long day but well worth it.
The national rail website shows a few £15, each way, tickets if booked 12 weeks out. If you leave at 7:06 ( I know, early for a vacation ), you can be in York at 9:25. The train station is a short walk to the city centre. I would recommend the tour given by volunteer guides which starts at 10:15 in front of the Art Gallery. It is a good way to get an idea of the city. After lunch you have a choice of the Minster, half a dozen museums ( Yorkshire and Railway are my favourites ), then when the museum close you have a walk along the river or wall or do a brewery tour before grabbing a quick dinner and a 7:00pm train back to London..
As previously mentioned, all the attractions are close together and all within easy walking distance.

Posted by
1976 posts

I did this a little over a year ago. I spent about 5 hours in York. You could make a list of everything you want to see in York and decide how long you should spend there. I like medieval sites and that's all I did: walked the city walls all the way around from the train station; went to York Minster and took the free tour; went to the Shambles; and went to Clifford's Tower. You can stop off at all 3 of these sites from the walk around the walls.

Posted by
3428 posts

York is one of our favorite day trips from London. We'd usually take the train that arrived around 10:30 or 11:00 (that meant leaving London around 9:00), have an early lunch then wander around until supper time. We'd have an early supper (5:30ish) and catch a late train to London, arriving 9:30ish. A bit of a long day, but the train rides are 'rest' time for us.

We love shopping in the Shambles. Lots of small, locally owned shops with great hand crafted items. There also seems to be an abundance of jewelry shops in York! There are nice gardens, too.

If you are looking for ideas, Cardiff Wales is another 'doable' day trip. If has a great vibe (a bit funky, a bit 'old', definitely unique). It has several Victorian era shopping arcades with lots of cool shops, an old church that's been converted into a 'market' with lots of neat stalls, a small mall, and the castle in the center of town!

Posted by
2491 posts

Go on www.nationalrail.co.uk - preferably about 11 weeks before departure and search for the cheapest trains. I would avoid Sundays = engineering work and Fridays = higher fares due to high demand. You may well find cheaper trains for early departures from London (kings Cross) KGX > YRK on Saturdays. As well as Virgin Trains, Grand Central & Hull Trains also operate the route. Click DETAILS & it will tell you which company operates the train and where it is going. If buying Advance singles (one way) for specific trains, nothing to stop you going one way with one company & back with another.

You will usually get more bang for your buck by staying in hotels that are not in London. So, in future, you may like to consider ‘wandering’ around Britain. Also note that as London is so big, it can take a while to cross the city to the relevant station.

Posted by
16894 posts

You're quite welcome to bring food and beverage onto the train, if you don't want to spend your time in York sitting down to dinner. Among others, www.theyorkroastco.com has good take-away options.