We love York.
The stony heart of England’s North, it is a wonderful collision of key timezones in British history, with flavours of various Roman eras, Viking invasions, and stunning buildings dating from the Middle Ages to the present time.
It’s one of the few places in Britain that hasn’t destroyed a recoverable, beautiful building to replace it with a lump of steel, concrete, and glass.
I fell in love with York as a child, taking trips there with my mum and dad in the car, occasionally with mum on the train. The railway museum was always a hit, and I can just about remember it before it was extended. I also had a brochure from there for years until it fell to pieces. (I’m a bit obsessed by this National Railway Museum and have taken hundreds of photos of the various exhibits over the years…)
In more recent times, I’ve enjoyed days in York with Ceri, then taken our nieces for trips there, then the twins, then added Daisy to the list. It’s our go-to place for picturesque locations, interesting museums, and a nice selection of shops, ranging from well-known chains to a figurative army of independent retailers who essentially trade on York’s quirkiness.
Many of these are on The Shambles, but really they are everywhere!
— Christian Cawley (@ChristianCawley) September 26, 2021
However, in the past few years, our trips to York have reduced, for obvious reasons. I don’t think we made it there at all in 2020; according to my satnav history, we last went into the city as a family in August 2019. A Christmas shopping trip followed in November that year.
So, today, we went back to York for the first time in two years. Setting out early to get a good Sunday parking space, we walked a quarter of the wall, answered questions about the history with the children, and grabbed brunch near the Minster. This was a nice little cafe called Nice to See You, where I had two poached eggs and bacon on a piece of unbuttered sourdough toast. Very nice!
Unknown to us, we’d arrived in York on the last day of a food festival, so we checked this out before doing a bit of shopping and heading back to the food tents to try a few things. A pork, apple sauce, and stuffing sandwich came with a quintet of crackling pieces was very nice. This complemented a spicy pork hotdog, which was then followed by a non-spicy hotdog, and a Greek bean burger in a wrap. The twins enjoyed a bubble waffle stuffed with ice cream and sauce and marshmallows.
All in all this was a nice day out. I’d hoped to make it to a retro gaming store on the way back to the car, but we were too late. Fortunately, the famous Fudge Kitchen was still open, so we managed to grab a quartet of ridiculously rich fudge, with two made with oat milk for the two of us unable to drink cow’s milk.
I have a vague plan to go back for a Christmas shop in December, but we’ll see how things turn out. Suffice to say, we had a grand day the twins got to spend a bit of pocket money, and Daisy got her first shoulder carry in months.
I’ve never understood why York doesn’t get more recognition for everything it has. Then again, it’s nice to have these secrets in Yorkshire.