Fancy a little city break? York isn't one to miss...
If you follow me on insta, you may have seen how often Ru and I venture off to York - it's a 40 min drive away from us, dependent on traffic and has so much more to offer than little old Scarborough. There's a huge Primark there for starters, a massive 24 hour Asda, loads of our favourite places to eat, a big John Lewis full of lots of my favourite high end brands, gorgeous little boutique shops in town surrounded by cobbled streets... I could go on! It's just so picturesque there and it's the nicest city closest to where we live, so it's safe to say we spend lots of time there. As it is so close, I've never stayed there overnight before but I recently had a voucher to use up on a hotel in the centre, so I thought I'd use the opportunity to put a little post together where I'm able to recommend somewhere to stay for those that live a bit further away.
A walk around York Minster isn't one to miss, it's surrounded by some lovely gardens and cobbled streets that are completely instagram worthy. The little street near it with the tudor-like houses is one of my faves. It's got some super cute little cafes at the bottom of it that always has an abundance of bicycles outside it and it really reminds me of Amsterdam even though I've never been! It just has the same look that I see on Pinterest and I love. There's lots of little streets to explore around this area if you just love walking around a beautiful city.
York hold a balloon fiesta every September time and we didn't manage to make last years due to the crazy amount of traffic - but we went the year before and it was amazing! They put a post up on facebook about solving the traffic issue for this years so hopefully it won't be chocka like last time and we can actually go again this year. Well worth a visit, you see all the hot air balloons taking off from the ground and when it gets dark they do a light show, it's incredible, even just seeing it from the images that are put online!
If you've ever been to Scarborough, you might not know how crap it is for shops, so one of the reasons I love York Centre is because of all the fab shops it has that we don't have. To name a few, on the cobbled side streets there's a Kiehl's, Jo Malone, Oliver Bonas, The White Company... and then in the more 'main bit' there's a Lush, Office, Paperchase, Primark, H&M, Zara and there's also a Fenwick which has counters like MAC, Estee Lauder, Urban Decay, Laura Mercier, Dior - and of course stocks luxury brands like Mulberry, Michael Kors and Vivienne Westwood! I think having an Anthropologie would top it all off nicely for me - but sadly the closest is in Leeds!
The Shambles is a little history-filled cobbled area of York and it's absolutely gorge. There's a pretty famous little cobbled street that everyone will stop and photograph when walking down it, it's quite dark but it has a very Harry Potter vibe to it! Around the area there's loads of little food stalls and a seating area and it always smells amazing down there. It's where the market is held too which you can find open 7 days a week and they do a beautiful Christmas one!
The Churchill Hotel
If you need a recommendation of somewhere to stay, I loved The Churchill Hotel. I didn't have Ru with me the night I stayed over in York, I incorporated the stay with catching an early morning train from York station down to London - but it definitely wasn't overly child friendly anyway. It's an absolutely gorgeous hotel though, it's a 4 star hotel in the centre of York which is a luxury Georgian mansion with bedrooms and a restaurant. The room we got was called "10 Downing Street" with a four poster bed, wardrobe, shower room and a little desk and chair. It was quite small but did the job for two people just for a nights stay. It wasn't anything like my usual taste in decor, it was very dark and moody but I absolutely loved it! I think it's so refreshing to stay somewhere totally different from what you'd normally choose yourself you know? It was very luxurious and I loved the vibe. And don't even get me started on the bathroom, there was no bath but the shower was heavenly and those tiles! Divine. There was so many little bits in the bathroom like the most gorgeous citrus-y hand soap and body wash, and even a matching shampoo & conditioner. I smelled absolutely lush after that shower.
We got a free full english breakfast with our stay which was a lovely start to the day. It included freshly brewed coffee (to die for!) and freshly squeezed orange juice (again, heaven) and it was just amazing. The food was delicious and you got some toast with the breakfast too on the side. All of the staff were really lovely and friendly and offered top ups of the coffee and juice which all came with the free breakfast so absolutely winning! I do worry about staying in more high end hotels that they end up having hidden costs that they charge you at the end since they take your card details when checking in, but we had none of that with this one. The only catch is that they charge you £10 to park your car in their carpark overnight which I thought was a bit cheeky if you're paying to stay there, but otherwise it was a gorgeous stay.
Overall, York is just one of my faves. it's such a gorgeous city with so many hidden gems. Staying overnight actually helped me to discover a few corners of York I haven't ever seen before so it was well worth the overnight stay even though I don't live that far from it! They do a market at Christmas which is always quite same-y but if you've never been then you'll love it, so many lush food stalls too. I go every year now, even though it's similar every time, it's become a little tradition!
Have you ever visited York?
Disclaimer: my stay at The Churchill Hotel was complimentary with a redletterdays voucher I was gifted for a previous gift guide, I was under no obligation to share the actual hotel stay itself, I just thought it was lovely!