Top things to do

Top Choice Cathedral in York

York Minster

The remarkable York Minster is the largest medieval cathedral in all of northern Europe, and one of the world's most beautiful Gothic buildings. Seat of the archbishop of York, primate of England, it is second in im…
Top Choice Museum in York

National Railway Museum

While many railway museums are the sole preserve of lone men in anoraks comparing dog-eared notebooks and getting high on the smell of machine oil, coal smoke and nostalgia, this place is different. York's National …
Top Choice Museum in York

Jorvik Viking Centre

Interactive multimedia exhibits aimed at bringing history to life often achieve exactly the opposite, but the much-hyped Jorvik manages to pull it off with aplomb. Thoroughly restored and reimagined following flood …
Top Choice Bistro in York

No 8 Bistro

A cool little place with modern artwork mimicking the Edwardian stained glass at the front, No 8 offers a daylong menu of classic bistro dishes using fresh local produce, including Jerusalem artichoke risotto with f…
Top Choice Cafe in York

Parlour at Grays Court

An unexpected pleasure in the heart of York, this 16th-century mansion (now a hotel) has more of a country-house atmosphere. Relax with coffee and cake in the sunny garden, enjoy a light lunch of Yorkshire rarebit, …
Top Choice Cafe in York

Mannion's

Expect to queue for a table at this busy bistro (no reservations), with its maze of rustic, wood-panelled rooms and selection of daily specials. Regulars on the menu include eggs Benedict for breakfast, a chunky Yor…
Top Choice French in York

Cochon Aveugle

Black-pudding macaroon? Strawberry and elderflower sandwich? Blowtorched mackerel with melon gazpacho? Fussy eaters beware – this small restaurant with huge ambition serves an ever-changing tasting menu (no à la car…
Top Choice Pub in York

Blue Bell

This is what a proper English pub looks like – a tiny, 200-year-old wood-panelled room with a smouldering fireplace, decor untouched since 1903, a pile of ancient board games in the corner, friendly and efficient ba…
Gardens in York

Museum Gardens

In the grounds of the peaceful Museum Gardens, you can see the Multangular Tower, a part of the City Walls that was once the western tower of the Roman garrison's defensive ramparts. The Roman stonework at the base …
Museum in York

Yorkshire Museum

Most of York's Roman archaeology is hidden beneath the medieval city, so the superb displays in the Yorkshire Museum are invaluable if you want to get an idea of what Eboracum was like. There are maps and models of …