We arrived at the York train station and started walking to our hotel. One of the first things to greet us was:
York has been around since AD 71 when it was the northernmost city in the Roman Empire. It has gone through several name changes starting with Eboracum - a northern provincial capital. Romans built a huge stronghold around the city to protect it from the northern barbarians (aka the Scots!) It sits at the junction of 2 rivers which made it attractive for trading. Constantine was proclaimed Roman emperor here in AD 306.
When the Roman empire started to decline in the 5th century the emperor sent a letter telling England that it was on its own. York then became a Saxon (the Germans came over) capital called Eoforwic. A Christian church was built here during that time in 627- the beginnings of the minster that stands there today.
The Vikings took over the town in the 9th century for 200+ years as a Danish trading center - it was called Jorvik.
Later the Normans (the French) invaded and destroyed the town. They rebuilt the city with the walls that stand today. A medieval city of 9000 inhabitants, York grew rich on wool trade. Henry VIII used the York Minster as his anglican church's northern capital.
Enough of ancient history and on with our trip. One can make use of the local HOHO (hop on, hop off) bus or...
Or take the recommended walking tour - we chose the latter!
Clifford's Tower sits high on a hill overlooking the river. William the Conqueror built this to be a stronghold shortly after the Norman invasion of 1066. The original castle burned down and this one dates back to the 14th century.
The over hanging timber framed buildings in The Shambles date back to the 14th century. The name derives from the German meaning Great Flesh Shambles - where the butcher shops would be. Although most of the butchers have gone, the name remains. Some think that the overhanging timber framed buildings were to shield the walkers below from the raw sewage dumped from the upstairs windows. Let's not go there!
The outdoor market is alive and well..
Or perhaps you would like fancy tea and cake at Betty's…
Or a hot coffee at a more familiar location!
Or maybe put together your own creation!
We had a wonderful dinner here, complete with…
After a visit to the National Railway Museum…
It was time to catch our train at the York train station.
And all too soon…
We were back at King's Cross in London relishing our memories of a wonderful weekend in York!!
PS - We did visit the York Minster..
Leaving that for another blog post!