As soon as our exams finished we decided to escape to York to get into the Christmas spirit! York is only 2 hours and 30 minutes on a train from Edinburgh, perfect for a short break. We spent a couple of days in this enchanting city exploring the fairy-lit alleyways and exploring York’s main attractions!
As soon as we arrived in York we took the bus from outside the station to Ashley Park Road where our Airbnb was. As I have never used an Airbnb before I was slightly apprehensive of the situation but I was amazed at how perfectly it worked out. I cannot recommend Kilmartin Lodge enough, it was cosy, well located and Michelle the host was extremely welcoming (fresh bread and homemade jam on arrival)!
We arrived into York early evening so we just got settled into our accommodation then headed into York for dinner. As it was our first night we just took an Uber into York (cost around £6) and dined out. Our first meal was at a gorgeous Italian restaurant called Gusto. It had a canape of fairy lights and leaves, perfect for a romantic dinner! I would highly recommend the smoked haddock risotto for a heartier option….
Before heading back to the apartment we journeyed into the Teepee Tent that was in the centre of the Christmas market to indulge in some mulled wine!
We woke up early to ensure that we had a full day of exploring York! We started our day by journeying into York on the Coastliner bus which was only a short walk from the accommodation. Once we arrived in the city centre we headed towards York Minster which is definitely a sight to see! It is a stunning cathedral that can be accessed with an entry fee of £10 (all profit goes to the maintenance of the site).
After taking in the architecture that York Minster has to offer we strolled over to The Shambles. This is a picturesque street combined of many antique shops, confectioneries, jewellery shops and of course Harry Potter shops. This famous little street is said to be the inspiration of Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series (hence the 3 Potter shops)!
Then we headed towards the York Castle Museum to find out what living in York was like through the decades.
Feeling peckish and with so many quirky places to try, we ventured into an art bar called Victor J’s to grab some lunch. This is definitely a great spot to admire local art work while warming up in this cosy bar/restaurant.
Before heading back to the apartment we explored the Christmas market again, trying everything that was on offer….especially the York Fudge!
In the evening we dined at a restaurant that was recommended by a local and we were not mislead. We had dinner at a unique Spanish tapas restaurant called Ambiente . Like many restaurants in York the building was originally someone’s home, which made the place even more charming. Spanish cuisine is my personal favourite so we had the tasting menu for 2 and loved every dish… (the meatballs were fought over… which can only be a good sign)!
We woke up and gave our keys back to our wonderful Airbnb host in the morning which was all very easy. I can honestly not express how well my first experience of using an Airbnb went , I will definitely use the website for future travels.
We headed into York for the last time and took our luggage to the storage space near the station. It was the best option seeing as our train home was not till 6pm. After dropping our luggage off we headed back through the city walls, and down to the river for a walk in the park. We also climbed up Clifford’s Tower to take in the bird’s eye view of York.
Afterwords, we visited The Shambles one last time and of course bought some more fudge to take home with us! We still had a few hours of exploring before we needed to go for an early dinner, so we went to the York Dungeons . This was one of my favourite attractions in York. The actors were incredible and made me scream once or twice….. it’s such a good way to learn the history of York….even if you do get accused of witchcraft….
Before catching our train back to Edinburgh we had an early dinner somewhere that we always walked past and were eager to try. Lucia is an Italian restaurant that has lots of seating in the fairy-lit canopy courtyard. To keep dinners warm outside in the winter they also have outdoor fires amongst the tables as well as an indoor seating area.
Our time in York was amazing and we would definitely spend more time in this beautiful city. If we went back we would visit the places we ran out of time to see such as the top of York Minster and The Chocolate Story Museum!