York, England

I am considering a week in York in late September. What is the weather like then? How about the crowds? Will I need a car? Any hotel recommendations?

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1260 posts

If your budget is healthy, the Dean Court Hotel has some rooms that face Yorkminster. If you are staying for a week, you would probably want a car so you can visit the many abbeys and castles in the Yorkshire moors....While no one can predict the weather for September, 2013, you can find 10 year averages for temperature and precipitation at weatherbase.com. Both of our York visits were in June, crowds were modest - nothing like what you find in London........Candace Robb wrote a series of mysteries set in medieval York if you like that sort of novel. The protagonist is a female apothecary.....You might also enjoy watching a few episodes of All Creatures Great and Small to see some of the beautiful scenery in the dales.

Posted by Philip
London, United Kingdom
2393 posts

Weather will be completely unpredictable. Don't bother packing anything until a couple of days before you leave the US. York will be crowded at any time of year. No need for a car unless you plan to explore the countryside around the city. Central York is easily walkable. Hotels: I know people here usually don't like chain hotels but I can strongly recommend the Premier Inn branch in Blossom Street near the railway station.

Posted by John
Tampa, FL, USA
69 posts

I love York. It is both historical and kinda ticky-tacky touristy for the many English to go there. So you get the fun of people watching and as well as most of what is left of a medieval city left in Britain (thanks Luftwaffe!). York is always a bit crowded...especially Friday to Saturday. A big weekend destination and a lot of festivals going on. The local are very proud of "the North" compared to "the rest" as some called the greater London area. Reminded me of Texans a bit. Reading some history and/or background will yield rewards and not nearly as convoluted as London's history. Agree on the weather. September...in can change a lot on you. I think a car is a liability to see York. Very walkable...in fact you cannot drive in the core. Outside the core the bus system is poor. Train connection north-south is excellent. I'd consider throwing in Durham if you could.

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
1183 posts

For two or three days in York a car would be a liability, the city is easily walkable. For more, a car would get you into the countryside, the moors, dales, Castle Howard, Fountains Abbey, etc. etc. Durham would be a great all-day trip if you have time, fast motorway and a cathedral that compares with York Minster (two of the best I've seen in Britain). But you'd need pretty much a whole day. We stayed at the Abbey Guest House, http://www.abbeyghyork.co.uk/, for three nights and liked it very much. Right on the riverbank and easy walks to the medieval center, the park, and across the river to the railway museum (and the station if you're coming by train). Nice breakfast.

Posted by Kathy
136 posts

If you can find a hotel/B&B/guesthouse near the Minster, do it. We stayed on the other side of the river and I wished we were closer to the city center. I'm looking to return to England next year (2nd trip abroad) and am planning on starting my trip in York (doing London first last year wore me out and I was in no shape to tackle York immediately after thatended up sleeping most of the second day there!). What I plan on doing is going back to the Minsterwe did go there to walk around and attend Evensong service, which was just lovely. Next time, I'm going to take the tour and possibly even see the stained glass repair shop, as well as see the Quilt Museum, do a few of the guided walks around town, walk the walls, and just enjoy more of the city. Check out visityork.com for ideas of where to go. Then, head outside of town. We went to Castle Howard, which was really impressive even though we had rain that morning, so we didn't check out the grounds except for those right next to the castle. After that, we went to Rievaulx Abbey, which was my favorite stop on the entire trip. Stunningly beautiful ruins in a quiet valley with more sheep than tourists! Make sure you have room on your camera for all the pictures you're going to take there, and allow at least two hours to explore the site. Next year, I'm planning on revisiting Rievaulx, then going to Durham to see the cathedral as well as drive around the Dales to see the scenic vistas.

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
4204 posts

Certainly you don't need a car in York, but there are so many places to visit nearby. I want to second the recommendation for Peter Robinson's books. They are wonderful. The James Herriot series is based on series of books which are available as ebooks. I'm currently reading the third. Castle and Rivaulx are wonderful. Sharan Newman wrote a wonderful book that takes place partly at Rivaulx at the time of Heloise and Abelard. The Dales themselves were just wonderful. I would like to go to Whitby and Scarborough someday. There's lots of wonderful geology. So, do get a car and have a great time. Pam

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1260 posts

Whitby is definitely a worthwhile daytrip from York, especially if you get a day with blustery weather. Whitby has a very old area of shops, just past there are the 99 steps which go up to evocatively ruined Whitby Abbey. Visiting there was one of the highlights of our time in Yorkshire.

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1260 posts

Whitby is definitely a worthwhile daytrip from York, especially if you get a day with blustery weather. Whitby has a very old area of shops, just past those are the 99 steps which go up to evocatively ruined Whitby Abbey. Visiting there was one of the highlights of our time in Yorkshire. Whitby is only 46 miles / one hour from York.

Posted by Adrienne
Vienna, VA
30 posts

I very much enjoyed the Abbeyfields B&B on Bootham Terrace. Friendly hosts and great food. I second the recommendations to make a side trip to Durham, to see the cathedral. If you like historical mysteries, one book in the Matthew Shardlake series is set in York, during the time of Henry VIII. It is called Sovereign and the author is CJ Sansom - unfortunately it is the third book in the series (although I enjoyed the first two so you could just start at the beginning if you wanted!)

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
891 posts

I'm not sure I'd bother going to Scarborough, but I agree that Whitby is worthwhile visiting. If you are driving then you might visit Rievaulx Abbey on the way (it is not on the most direct route, but only adds about 30 minutes driving time). It is possible to get between York and Whitby without a car, but the quickest public transport route is 2 hours each way. My recommendation for a town outside York to visit is Skipton - especially on a market day (there are around 4 per week). A few years ago, Skipton was voted as having England's "best street" (I don't know what "best" means here, I just remember the decision really annoyed some Londoners, which is always a good thing). After a morning in Skipton (which also has a fine castle), you are on the doorstep of the Dales - especially close-by are Bolton Abbey and the "Barden Triangle". It is possible to visit Skipton/Lower Wharfedale in a day from York by rail/bus (and special tourist steam trains in the Summer), but a car makes it much easier. If you have more time, and a car, I'd also suggest a day trip to Upper Wensleydale, going there via the previously mentioned Fountains Abbey. The Dalziel and Pascoe detective series is also set in Yorkshire.