Typically, when asked where you can get the best view of York, people will rather unimaginatively suggest the Yorkshire Wheel (I think it’s called that), the Minster, or an aircraft (durr). All of these options are thoroughly nice, thoroughly panoramic, but a little stale and impersonal. They offer sweeping vistas married incongruously to the grinding of mechanisms, the whirring of rotors and the chatter of tourists. They also come at a price.
Sequestered within the far depths of Acomb’s suburban sprawl stands a mysteriously beautiful alternative. Bachelor Hill is (very) roughly 100×50 meters in size, rises 90 feet above sea level on banks of sand which occasionally show through its grassy surface, and is topped by a clutch of tall pine trees.
The Romans used to believe the site was magical, and members of their race were buried here alongside their most treasured possessions. In more recent centuries it’s heard the hum of metal detectors, the giggles of children catching crickets and the noisy babble of underage drinkers in the night. From the top of the mound you can see a vast stretch of land from the water tower and blocks of flats to the North-East of Acomb and the Yorkshire Wolds beyond to Holgate windmill, the Minster and a great deal of the city’s Western skyline.
If at any point you find yourself feeling romantic, whimsical or inebriated (I was experiencing all three of these feelings on my last visit) then I strongly recommend paying Bachelor Hill a visit. Or if you fancy a picnic. Or a game of frisbee. Or an illicit nightcap beneath the stars, watching the streetlights glow and the dawn beginning to break. Photographers, poets, dog walkers and sight-seers, joggers, idlers, if you’ve never experienced Bachelor Hill then you’re missing a trick. Standing unassumingly over the brick red and grey oversized yawn of Acomb is a truly unique spot, the appeal of which transcends interests, personalities and moods. Forsake the tired tourist trail and spend some time relishing the soul of this diamond in the rough.