When I’m asked why I moved to York for university, I always say the same thing – that as soon as I stepped out of the incredible train station to see flowers and grass surrounding the ancient walls I knew. York isn’t a big party city, but coming from Bristol I appreciated how peaceful it was, and immediately felt at home. I knew this was where I was going to spend the next three years of my life.
People visit from all over the world to see York, whether it’s for the fantastic architecture – the Minster especially, the rich history from Vikings to Constantine, or simply for the huge selection of independent shops and markets – including some of the best-stocked charity shops I’ve ever seen. The city of York is like a community, we look out for each other. My family always rave about how friendly Yorkshire folk are when they come to visit, which is a fair amount – not for me, but for the city.
Other cities may have better clubs, but we have a good mix. Alternative nights at Mansion, cheap nights at chain bars like Vodka Revolution, all the way down to Willow – which, as a new student, you will become all too familiar with! And if you get bored of the many pubs (the old joke being that there’s 365, one for every day of the year), Leeds is a short train ride away and has some great pubs and clubs.
So many students in York fail to take advantage of the tourist entertainment, which is a shame. The ghost walks are top quality, as are the museum and galleries, and walking the walls is a must. Signing up for the York central library is a great idea too, as the card gives you discounted or free entry to many of the tourist attractions – the Castle Museum for example is a great way to spend a few hours.
But my favourite thing about York? Simply how beautiful it is. Whether you’re sat in Museum Gardens or watching the sun set from the top of Clifford’s Tower, it’s a city that never fails to take my breath away, and I couldn’t imagine being as happy anywhere else. I may be a southerner, but I’m not afraid to declare that I love York – and hopefully you will too.