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West Yorkshire

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Thinking of buying in York? We’ve got the lowdown on everything you need to know about this beautiful northern city. Discover what schools in York are like, as well as the history of the city, and all the best places to eat and drink. We’ve got the lowdown on all aspects of the quality of life in York – just read on for more details.

History of York

York has a long history, with its origins dating back to Roman times. It was founded in 71 AD and was a hugely important location in the Roman Empire, even being declared as the capital of Britannia Inferior. You can still see many relics of Roman times in the city, most notably the city walls which you can still walk around today.

After the Romans left, the Vikings invade York, in the 9th century AD, and it’s from this era that the city’s name is derived. The Vikings named it Jorvik, and you can still find the Danish legacy in many of the city’s street names.

York was also prominent during Norman rule, as well as during the Georgian period. In the Victorian era, the city became an important location thanks to the development of the railway. Today, York is still a key cultural centre, with tourism making up an important part of the city’s economy.

York’s Culture

York has over 2,000 years of history and culture to enjoy, and is full of wonderful museums, dedicated to retelling the city’s history. The Jorvik Viking Centre is a highlight, featuring life-size recreations of the city streets and its people during Viking times. Every year, there’s a Viking festival held in the city, which is said to be the largest of its kind in Europe.

The National Railway Museum is another of the city’s key attractions, detailing the development of the railway in the UK, and the impact it’s had on British society.

For architecture buffs, York Minster is recognised as one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world. The largest medieval cathedral in Northern Europe, the first recorded church built on this site dates back to 627AD.

It’s not all about ancient history, though! There’s also plenty that’s modern about York. York Barbican is one of the largest venues in the region, putting on a programme of live music, comedy and family shows. York Racecourse is another popular attraction, with regular fixtures throughout the year, and the York Christmas Market is regularly voted as one of the UK’s best festive markets – great if you want to stock up on yuletide treats, or enjoy a family-friendly night out.

Food and Drink in York

Although it’s a small city, the food and drink scene in York offers a lot for foodies to enjoy. For lovers of good beer, York is full to the brim of craft breweries. A favourite spot in which to sample the local wares is Brew York in the city centre. As a microbrewery, it creates its own beers on-site, and there’s also a beer hall with 40 taps, offering the largest selection in York, and a taproom where you can sip on a pint whilst watching the latest batch of beer brew.

There’s plenty of good food in York too. From hip cafes serving up imaginative brunches to high-end restaurants with eight-course tasting menus, there really is something for everyone. Don’t miss the Shambles Market food court. Open every day, it’s popular with locals and tourists alike, and the food court is heaving with delicious international cuisine. Favourites include Los Moros, which serves North African dishes; Krep, for both sweet and savoury pancakes; and Shambles Wraps, where you can enjoy traditional Turkish food.

Shopping in York

As a compact city, all of the best shopping in York can be done on foot, and there’s nothing more enjoyable than spending an afternoon wandering around the city’s winding streets looking for the perfect purchase. York has its fair share of big-name high street retailers, as well as lots of lovely independent shops, so you can have the best of both worlds when you live here. It really is a shopper’s dream!

Take a trip to Shambles Market for over 85 stalls, or discover the independent stores in the Gillygate and Petergate areas. Hit up Parliament and Coney Street if you’re looking for high street names, and if you do fancy venturing slightly further afield, the York Designer Outlet is just a short bus or car journey away. There you can find over 100 designer brands offering discounted prices for men, women, children and homeware.

Schools in York

There are 63 publicly funded schools in the city of York (including primary, secondary and special schools) as well as a number of independent schools catering to both primary and secondary pupils. Of the primary schools in York, New Earswick Primary School, St Paul’s Church of England Primary School and Burton Green Primary are the best-performing according to government league tables.

The best secondary schools in York are Archbishop Holgate’s School and Fulford School, both of which include sixth forms, and were rated as outstanding in their most recent Ofsted inspections. If you’re looking for private schools in York, there are several options to choose from. St Peter’s School is the third oldest in the UK and offers both day schooling and boarding. Clifton Pre-preparatory School was named by TES as the best prep school in 2018, whilst The Mount School is acknowledged as being one of the top independent girls’ schools in the country.

Transport in York

York is ideally situated for commuters, whether you’re travelling from one of the surrounding villages into York itself, to other Yorkshire cities like Leeds or Bradford, or further afield to Edinburgh, Newcastle or London. Trains to Leeds take under 30 minutes, just over an hour to Newcastle, it’s 2 and a half hours to Edinburgh, and the fastest train to London takes under 2 hours.

York city centre is small, so it’s often easier to cycle or take the bus into town rather than driving, something which is made easy by the six Park and Ride sites which are conveniently situated around the city, allowing you to park for free and continue your journey by bus.

Have a question?

If you need advice for first-time buying in York – or if you’re looking for a highly rated mortgage advice in North Yorkshire – don’t hesitate to contact us today.

We’re experts on all things mortgage-related (and our services are always 100% free).

York Clifton Moor

Tower Court, 3 Oakdale Road, York, YO30 4XL map

York City Centre

2a St Martins Lane, York, YO1 6LN map

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