Since I’d spent most of my house sit in Knaresborough working on various projects, I really hadn’t seen much of the surrounding area. With just two days left and a clear weather prediction, I decided to head off to explore the small city of York.
As visiting York was a last minute decision (aren’t they all?) I didn’t really know much about the city except for what I read in a guide book blurb. The things I read that interested me most:
- York is a walled city and the walls still exist and you can walk almost all the way around the city on them.
- It has the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe.
- It has a well-maintained medieval city center.
- It is reputed to have more pubs than days in a year – which seems like a lot for a city of only @200k people.
The train station is just a short walk from the city center and if you go on a nice weekend, you can probably just follow the masses of people who are also going that direction. Or, you can just aim yourself towards the giant cathedral in the distance. Since I went on Saturday, it was absolutely packed with visitors, markets and buskers. In the old city center, which is full of narrow, winding roads, around each corner and down each alley was a new surprise.
After spending a few hours wandering the city, walking the walls and exploring the stalls, I ensconced myself in one of the 365+ pubs in the city and enjoyed a nice pint of cider. As usual, the people watching was as interesting as the sight seeing. The best group was a hen party comprised of 20+ 50-something women all decked out in animal prints. Given how they were behaving at 5 pm, I can only imagine how the night ended.
At about 6:30 pm I headed back to the train station through eerily empty streets. One thing about the UK that always amazes me is how entire cities just shut down and go home at 6 pm. It is a very strange thing and somewhat frustrating.
All-in-all, a very enjoyable and relaxing day. I really liked the feel of the city and could see myself spending a few days there counting pubs. Below are just a few of the gajillion photos I took throughout the day.