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London to York in One Day?

Hi fellow travel enthusiasts,

I wonder if anyone did London to York day trip. If I don't want to overnight in York but use London as the base, is it too tight or tiring to make a London-York-London day trip? Thanks so much in advance for your insightful suggestions/ideas.

Posted by
8805 posts

2hrs each way. Go early, come back late. Depends on your stamina I guess. AND if trains are running.

Posted by
4 posts

Thx for the speedy response! You put down "AND" in capital letters, so I guess I'll need to check the train schedule first and foremost?
Thanks again!

Posted by
3806 posts

"AND if trains are running" may refer to this recent announcement:

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/england/nationwide-rail-strike-from-mid-june

Opinion on your York day trip: It can be done.
However, York is one of my favorite places in England, so I think a day trip is not enough time to do it justice.
I prefer York to London and believe a stay of 2-3 nights is a good idea.

But to answer your question, yes, a day trip can be done.
I understand that you don't want to overnight there; made clear from your post.

"is it too tight or tiring to make a London-York-London day trip?"
Only you know your energy level, so I cannot judge that for you.

Must-see stuff:
Do see York Minster and do a walk around town.
Do get on top the old Roman and medieval town wall and walk it.

Posted by
2 posts

I think it's completely doable. I'm planning on doing the same myself this summer. As already said, the train takes about two hours; my plan is to take the 8:30am train out of London, and then catch the 7:30pm train back into London, which will give me a good 8 hours in York. It will be a full, long day but I'll have plenty of time to rest and journal on the train there and back.

Posted by
4 posts

Wow, you're all awesome! I'm feeling more clear now about things to consider surrounding this excursion. Thank you!

Posted by
1986 posts

I'd definitely do overnight as York at night is quite different than when all the tourists are there. My favorite memory was of an early morning walk I took around the walled center with just me and the people going to their jobs.

Posted by
7805 posts

NO, NO, NO, York deserves three full days. There is much to see, walking the ancient walls; visiting the wonderful Minster (Cathedral- we spent four hours there); several museums and more.

Posted by
1277 posts

It could be done as a day trip but you will have a very heavy heart leaving and be regretting it with every mile travelled back to London.
York is beautiful and a world away from the crush of London.
Even if you have prebooked London accomadation it might be worth considering burning on of those nights

Posted by
1329 posts

Keep in mind that two hours on the train doesn’t include getting to and from train stations as well as time waiting for a train. So, you’re looking at about 2.5 hours each way or so.

So, no, I wouldn’t do it as a day trip.

Posted by
1986 posts

@Richard- I agree completely. I loved London until I spent 4 days in York. I stayed at a flat inside the walls and use to walk every and visit the little church Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate that was right by my flat. A world away and Yorkshire has the most beautiful scenery in England IMHO.

Posted by
5635 posts

I visited York as a day trip. While I agree that a multi-night trip would be better, it was an excellent day trip. I visited the York Minster, took a walking tour, had tea at Betty’s and wandered around the town. While I hope to go back for a longer trip, it was a very nice and enjoyable day trip.

Posted by
231 posts

I only do day trips to York…if you’re on the 8:00 leaving London you’ll get there just about the time things open for the day. Have a lovely day and finish with a meal at Betty’s. You can then catch a 19:00 or so back and be home at a reasonable hour.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you all! That's awesome feeling that I'm so supported. I'm a rookie - first time signing up a Rick Steves tour- although I always like Rick and have been watching his tour videos. It's reassuring and comforting to know that this community consists of nice people like you all, and I'm so happy I reached out to the community.

Since I have a "Medieval Soul", I may extend my York excursion and won't be worrying about "burning on the reserved/paid London accommodation" for a night or two to trade for the York charm.

Cheerios for now and thanks to you all again!

Posted by
3806 posts

"I'm a rookie - first time signing up a Rick Steves tour- "

If you're signed up for the Best of England RS Tour, this one stays in York for 2 nights.
If you're signed up for RS London tour, you can check out of your tour hotel at the end and go to York for two nights.
Be sure and cancel your London hotel if this is the case.

Posted by
118 posts

I was on holiday in York, and the day of my train back to the southwest I woke up early to see the Minster emerge from the morning fog.
Give it 2-3 days at the least just to see York from every angle it deserves.