Every December, the medieval city of York transforms into a winter wonderland. Its quaint cobbled streets are lit with glowing lights as festive markets pop-up and live music fills the frosty air. Located just two hours from London and Edinburgh by train, York is the perfect place for a UK winter break – but a trip to this historic city doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are ten things to do in York this Christmas for under £10, written by guest blogger Jess Gibson from The Travelista.
1. Discover the York city walls’ Christmas lights
A stroll along the York city walls is a must-do at any time of year, but this Christmas; Micklegate Bar, Walmgate Bar, Monk Bar and Bootham Bar have been transformed with cascades of shimming lights. Free entry.
2. Thaw out in Thors Tipi Tent
A roaring fire and cosy faux fur sets the scene of this Nordic winter pop-up which offers alcoholic tipples as well as hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows. There’s also a winter BBQ serving up gourmet hot dogs, fries and donuts. Located on Parliament Street until 1st January 2017.
3. Skate at the Ice Factor at York Designer Outlet
Get your skates on at the largest outdoor ice rink in the North East. With a 30ft Christmas tree and Alpine-themed viewing café, it’s the perfect place to get into the festive spirit. Kids can also enjoy fun fair rides, Santa’s grotto and live entertainment. Adults £10.45, Children £9.45. Until 2nd January 2017.
4. Pick up festive gifts at the St Nicholas Fayre
Snug wooden chalets and twinkling lights line York’s Parliament Street from 17th November. Boutique stallholders will be selling unique gifts from jewellery to homewares and crafts to locally made produce. Until 23rd December.
5. Sip mulled wine in the Guy Fawkes Pub
Escape the cold and sip a warming mulled wine in the Guy Fawkes Pub, where Guy Fawkes himself was born in 1590. Imagine roaring log fires, dripping wax candles and original medieval features. A drink in this pub is an atmospheric step back in time. 25 High Petergate, York.
6. Sing Christmas carols at York Minster
Credit: C & N via Flickr
Step into York’s most iconic landmark this Christmas and join the cathedral celebrations. A series of family-friendly events are taking place at The Minster during December including Saturday story-telling sessions, craft workshops, Christingle making, and Christmas Carol Concerts. A climb up the bell-tower is also well worth it for stunning views over the city.
7. Take a Christmas ghost walk
Many believe that ghosts and ghouls of York’s historic past still roam the streets today. See if you can spot any paranormal activity this Christmas on one of the guided ghost walks, sure to be filled with festive tales. Tours run every day except Christmas Day. Meet at top of Stonegate outside Starbucks at 7.30pm. Adults £6, Children £3.
8. Visit Santa in The Shambles
Santa will be at home in his cosy log cabin, located just off York’s best-loved street; The Shambles. Families will be able to explore Santa’s old fashioned sweet shop, take part in chocolatey activities and meet the man himself in his study. £9.95 per child, additional siblings £7.95. Until 24th December 2016.
9. Experience a Victorian Christmas at the York Castle Museum
One of York’s most popular museums is celebrating Christmas Victorian style. Find out how Christmas was celebrated all those years ago with a special focus on cards, presents, decorations, Christmas trees and carols. Adults £10, Children free with a paying adult.
10. Tuck into sweet treats at Betty’s Tea Room
Betty’s Tearooms is a York jewel and is best known for its fancy afternoon teas and artisanal cake shop. With festive tea blends and freshly baked Christmas treats, it’s the perfect place to indulge in something sweet and pick up some gifts along the way.
Written by Jess Gibson, founder and editor of award-winning UK travel blog, The Travelista.