We took a short birthday trip to York to celebrate a certain Lady’s birthday. What follows is an account of those days and some stunning photography!
York is one of our favourite UK city break destinations.
In December 2014 Lady Lynne and I went there to spend a few days walking the cobbled lanes and checking out some of the history and museums.
I hope you enjoy the pictures below as much as I enjoyed taking them.
We were in York from Sunday 7th December to Wednesday 10th December.
It’s such a beautiful historical city and fortunately for most of those days we were extremely lucky with the weather.
Yes, it was bitterly cold, but the winter sun and the light were just perfect for some great photos
The dry weather too meant we were able to walk the city walls. Probably the best way to see the city and to get the best views!
Yorks has city walls that are about 3.5km long.
There’s plenty of places to come off them and grab a coffee and cake in one of the abundant coffee and home baking shops.
We certainly took advantage of this in the cold to heat us up!
The wall was a little slippery with ice in places. You can see the look of fear on Lynne’s face!
You can see different views of York Minster from all around the wall.
It’s magnificence dominates the landscape and it can be seen from miles around.
It’s hard not to get carried away with snapping lots of pictures.
I did. The weather and light made it so easy to take lots of beautiful photographs.
It was really difficult to select which were the best ones to publish here.
York Railway Station.
The sunlight here is completely natural. I love how it shows the brick work.
The station itself was opened in 1877, and at that time, with 13 platforms, was the largest station in the world.
The building on the right is the Royal Station Hotel. At that time most railway stations were built with huge luxurious hotels beside them.
In the age where travelling took much longer than it does today, these hotels were part of the whole Victorian travel experience.
York has had two railway stations in its time.
This station was built outside the city walls.
I stood on wall to take this photograph.
The original one was built within the station walls but soon became too small for the rapid railway expansion of that time.
York is surrounded by the remains of its Roman city walls
Most of these city walls still remain.
Gaps have now been cut into them for traffic to flow in and out of the city though.
One thing about the wall (as you can see in this black and white shot above) is the fact at some points there are no railings.
Meaning you have to be especially careful when it’s wet and icy!
Skeldergate Bridge is one of the many pieces of stunning Victorian architecture in York.
Opened in 1881, it was the third crossing of the River Ouse.
Last time Lynne and I were in York, the River Ouse had flooded and was about a metre higher than in this photograph!
The view off Skeldergate Bridge, westwards, shows old moorings and buildings on the left.
Previously, when tall ships sailed into York, they would have had their cargo (wool/textiles/agriculture) removed and stored here.
Cliffords Tower has been part of York’s history since the Vikings.
It was originally built of timber.
Then it was destroyed by fire in 1190 and then by a gale in 1245 so it was rebuilt of stone soon after to protect York from the wars with the Scots!
What remains now is more of a ruin.
We opted to avoid walking up to get a view off the top.
It was cold enough at ground level!
We walked through York city centre and to York Minster.
It is open to the public but it’s not free.
As we’ve been in before, this time was just a stop to take some pictures.
Even though it was cold, York is such a historic and popular tourist destination it’s busy all year round.
As I mentioned earlier there’s plenty of places for coffee and cake.
And as Lynne was looking decidedly cold at this time that’s exactly what we did. We headed off for hot coffee and cake!
Back on the wall walk.
Suitably heated up now.
You can see how high the wall was built in certain places to protect the city.
This is at Micklegate.
This part of the wall is to the North of York Minster.
A little more sheltered for walking in compared to some of the other more exposed parts.
It was later in the afternoon when I got this shot of the Minster from the wall.
The late afternoon sunlight glinting off the facade.
A York Minster landscape shot similar to the previous photo.
It was difficult to get the whole Minster into one picture.
I love this photograph!
We were walking through the Museum Gardens and the remaining sunlight of the day was caught just in this one ruin window.
It was completely mesmerizing. Just stunning.
I stopped for a while to take several photographs and imagine what it must have been like, when this building was still a church, and the light was pouring in through the medieval window.
A second photo of that sunlit window.
I deliberately moved to where it was darker to try and capture the light differently.
It looks somewhat eerie here wouldn’t you say?
I could have looked at it for much longer, being taken in by its enchanting hold.
As the city began to get darker, Lynne and I were in much need of some food.
This picture above is the Ouse Bridge which we had to cross to get back into the part of the city where our hotel was located.
Walking up the steps of the Ouse Bridge, the view is looking West.
The sun setting behind the buildings in the background.
The final shot of the day is the Coat of Arms of the City of York
This was on the Ouse Bridge.
The netting is there to stop birds from getting onto the nice paintwork and decorating it in their own special way!
York’s National Railway Museum
No trip to York is complete without a visit to the world’s largest railway museum!
A particular favourite of mine. We visited here on the Tuesday.
Again, not a first visit for us, Lynne’s second, but for me I remember first being here in the early 80’s and completely entranced.
Even for Lynne, who is not as enthusiastic as I am about the museum, she still enjoys the visit and it’s different every time we go.
It’s free and a MUST SEE if you’re ever in York!
This is Lynne at a model replica of Stephenson’s Rocket.
The actual one is kept in the Science Museum in London.
There is also another working replica kept here too.
Funny to think that this steam engine, Rocket is what started the whole railway revolution, such a long way back in 1829!
And there’s a statue of the man himself responsible for it all in the back ground.
On 3 July 1938, this A4 class locomotive, Mallard raced down Stoke Bank at 126mph.
It set a new steam locomotive world speed record.
That word record still stands today.
The Great Hall is full of so much railway history.
This former engine shed is home to over 300 years of railway history including some of the biggest locomotives in the National Collection.
I think Lynne was trying to hide here, probably bored of my history lesson!
This is a place you can literally spend all day in.
And being free it’s a great place for kids too
Eating Out in York
Whilst in York we visited several excellent restaurants.
Monday night at kapadokya was a fantastic Turkish restaurant where the owner personally recommended a selection of mixed grill meats and salads for us.
Tuesday night we were at Krakatoa, an Indonesian restaurant, with a reputation that certainly didn’t let it down! Fantastic curries!
As I mentioned above this wasn’t my first trip to York. It’s an amazing city and We’ll be back again soon.
If you ever get the chance to visit yourself, don’t turn it down!
JUST WOW. And Neil, you photos look amazing!! That workshop really did you well!
One day, I hope I will get the chance to go to York, until then I will just revel in these!
Thanks so much for those amazing comments Susie! 😀
I’d love it if you could head over here to York! Let us know when you’re coming and we’ll show you round 😉
DON”T YOU THREATEN ME :O
One day we hope to get my mom to Ireland–that is her dream. I was supposed to visit my girlfriends in Edinburgh and Swansea in 2009, but I got a terrible bladder/kidney infection the week of and had to cancel TWO DAYS before. I was gutted. Instead I went home and spent Spring Break at the doctors’ and on antibiotics.
Time to make up for it, methinks 😀
Gosh, that sounds terrible having to cancel 2 days before your trip! 🙁
Edinburgh is 45 minutes from me, so see you’re not going to get away with visiting here when you are able to, and not getting a visit form us!! 😆
Sounds like a great future “round” trip for you, Ireland, then Edinburgh, then Swansea all in a circle!
Gorgeous photos! I went to York for my birthday last year, we also had amazing sunny weather (in January!) Beautiful city!