It’s fair to say that York has something for everyone and never is it more true in Autumn, when the change in season lends itself to long walks wrapped up and also sampling the city’s best indoor attractions. We’ve teamed up with Best Western Hotels to look at a little selection of what York has to offer in the coming months.
1. TAKE SOME TIME. Discover Fairfax House, one of the city’s most popular attractions, and find yourself transported back to the eighteenth-century. Known for its stunning architecture and vast collection of antique furniture, the Georgian town house was saved from ruin in the 1980s when it was restored by the York Civic Trust. Visit between October 5th and December 30th and you’ll catch an enchanting exhibition of Georgian clocks and learn about the craft of clockmaking.
2. LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE. York’s biggest event of the year, the Illuminating York Festival, returns to the city from 31 October – 3 November. As part of the celebrations, comedy legend Vic Reeves will be turning the York Museum Gardens into a surreal Wonderland inspired by the work of Lewis Carroll, open for visitors to explore and play with. With installations planned for all over the centre of York and special exhibitions opening around the city, such as the Orb at the breath-taking (and well worth its own visit) York Minster, this promises to be an unforgettable event.
3. EAT IN. For those with a sweet tooth there’s no better time to indulge than during Chocolate Week (8-14 October). York’s Chocolate Story in King’s Square is leading the celebrations with a mouth-watering selection of events, such as a workshop, a tasting evening and even a chocolate sculpture making demonstration. Be sure to also check out their ingeniously named Chocolate Bar, and try some Yorkshire-made ice cream, cakes and fondue.
4. FREAK OUT. If you’re more adrenaline junkie than chocoholic, you might be better suited for a visit to the hair-raising York Dungeon. The perfect half-term attraction if you’re visiting as a family, the Dungeon takes a look at the more grisly side of the city’s history, with interactive exhibitions and special effects that kids will love. Visit from the 19 October to 4 November for a Halloween special on Yorkshire Witch Alice Hudson – creepy!
5. MEET THE STARS. Renovated in the 1990s, Barley Hall is a reconstructed townhouse in the city centre, its oldest features dating back as far as the 1360s. An impressive sight in itself and with plenty of authentic medieval features, until early next year the Hall is also running ‘From Hamlet to Hollywood’, an exhibition of historic costumes used in films such as The King’s Speech, The Duchess and Around The World In 80 Days.
6. SEE SOME MOOR. If you’re willing to explore a little further outside of the city, your first stop should be the North York Moors National Park. Not only an area of immense natural beauty with many historical sites dotted all over, there are all kinds of events and activities to get involved with, from group trails to photography workshops and craft making. With plenty of hotels in York and its surrounding areas too, there’s no excuse for not taking a trip to absorb some of these stunning landscapes during your stay.
7. LISTEN TO YOUR ART. Any culture vultures should be sure to take in an exhibition at the delightful – and free – York Art Gallery before it closes for refurbishment at the end of the year. While only a small gallery, the collections are impressive, with a diverse range of work spanning six centuries. You can also catch special displays such as the unique ‘Art and Music’, which runs until the end of December.
8. TALK SHOP. York isn’t all about looking into the past, and for the fashion forward a great place to visit is the York Designer Outlet, which stocks a whole host of big-name brands in clothing, gifts, homeware and cosmetics. Lucky students get to enjoy an even bigger discount on the 18 October for Student Fashion Night when the outlet will also be offering pampering treatments, competitions to win prizes, and have even set up a free shuttle bus to run to and from local universities on the night.