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adeleh Nov 11th, 2013 07:27 AM

York or not York?
We will be in London in January for three days and can't decide if we should take the train to go to York for a day.
We have been to London many times and have spent a week in The Cotswolds and a week in The Lake District.
We loved every village and small town that we visited.
I love to go to York but not sure if it is worth the trip for one day.
If we decide to go, should we get train tickets now?
Please tell me what would you do.
And I should say that this might be our last trip to UK. But of course who knows.

Thank you.

janisj Nov 11th, 2013 07:55 AM

York is a long day trip but certainly doable. A little over 2 hours each way on the train. It is best to book as early as the timetable is available - usually 12 weeks out. Big savings.

I'd usually recommend not trying to squeeze York into such a short visit but since you've been to London many times - sure, go for it. But you will be playing weather roulette. If it is a horrible day, you will be locked in because of the pre-booked tix.

lauramsgarden Nov 11th, 2013 07:58 AM

I wouldn't do York just for one day. If you can swing an overnight then you would have time to visit, otherwise you will spend most of your time on the train. York is a lot of fun with much to see

PalenQ Nov 11th, 2013 07:58 AM

York to me in one of the most interesting cities in Britain - not just because of the fantastic York Minster but the town itself - and if you are at all intrigued by transporation museums the National Transportation Museum (proper name?) is right next to the York train station and is free - see the collection of Royal trains - old trains, etc.

That said York is about 2 hours each way by train and train tickets could cost a lot - go to for all the various fares - booking early can mean significant discounts but weekdays you may not be able to leave London before 9:30 and with those discounted tickets you usually have to be on one exact train coming and going - locked in stone - that's for the deepest discounts I believe - other discounted tickets may give you more leeway - like how do you know when you want to return to London from York - but full fare and full flexibility is so so expensive - but it is all at - check the conditions of use for each fare. has a wealth of info on British trains.

bilboburgler Nov 11th, 2013 07:59 AM

Yes the weather may be...

But it is a small city, with lots of shops to dash into, the cathedral is lovely, it is doable and why not.

Given that the daylight at that time is so short catch an early train.

PalenQ Nov 11th, 2013 08:19 AM

Foul weather in York only makes Betty's Tea Cafe or Tea Rooms or whatever they call it even a nicer place to hole up in! Don't miss Betty's if in York!

sofarsogood Nov 11th, 2013 09:10 AM

Yes definately go to York - fastest trains under 2 hrs but do book in advance here

Going is better than not going.

anicecupoftea Nov 11th, 2013 12:56 PM

I live a 2 hour train journey from London and frequently do that as a day trip. Get as early a train as ticket prices allow, pack in what you can before it gets too dark and cold, have dinner before getting an evening train back, then a little bottle of wine from the buffet car followed by a snooze. Perfect.

Morgana Nov 11th, 2013 01:11 PM

Of course you should go to York!
I live near York and frequently go to London as a day trip. You'll just be doing it the other way round.
The fastest trains take an hour and three quarters.
If it's fine then walk the walls, visit the Shambles etc. If the weather is against you then do all the wonderful indoor things that York has to offer.
Agree that Bettys is a fine place for brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or an evening meal (there are two branches I the city). It's a Yorkshire institution and serves many local cakes like Parkin, Curd Tart and Fat Rascals.
Yorkshire people are famed for their friendliness, and the city itself is just beautiful.
It is most definitely 'worth it' and I hope you'll love it so much you'll return to North Yorkshire for a longer period.

scotlib Nov 11th, 2013 01:35 PM

Here's a sample 1-day itinerary, fun to watch,

Ditto to PalenQ: if you enjoy trains, don't miss the National Railway Museum,

europeannovice Nov 11th, 2013 04:53 PM

Definitely go to York. We went for the first time last year and really loved it.

If you can stay over though, that would allow you to see more--there is a lot to do in York. The York Minster is fabulous and the National Railway Museum is a lot of fun even for non train enthusiasts but if you like trains you will really love this museum. There is also the York Castle Museum with a wonderful Victorian street that changes from day to night every twenty minutes. The rest of that museum is fun too. A walk along the wall and in the Shambles is a must. Plus I don't know if they do the volunteer walking tours in the winter, which are also highly recommended. That is just a small sample of York has to offer. Enjoy your visit.

MariaKruk Nov 12th, 2013 01:56 AM

I would have definetely visited York. At least, to see where The White Queen events took place. Besides, I read there are plenty of attractions in the city, one can enjoy even during one day - If there is a chance to go to York, go for it!

adeleh Nov 12th, 2013 01:17 PM

Now I am convinced that we have to go.
Thank you for all the information.

PalenQ Nov 13th, 2013 10:50 AM's_House,_York

check out the Treasurer's House next to the Minster - it is allegedly haunted by Roman soldiers who came to England to fight and are still trapped in the basement!

The York Train shed is a work of art in itself - a Victorian wonder - unique for its curved shape - my favorite train station in England!

Dukey1 Nov 13th, 2013 10:53 AM

Depends on what turns your crank. We took the train north just to visit Castle Howard and did it in one day. No regrets whatsoever.

alanRow Nov 16th, 2013 09:54 AM

<i>Foul weather in York only makes Betty's Tea Cafe or Tea Rooms or whatever they call it even a nicer place to hole up in! </i>

Foul weather means even longer queues for Betty's.

There's plenty of things hidden away in York that don't attract the tourist crowds - like the Barley Hall & the Merchant Adventurers Hall - and can anyone remember which shop on Stonegate has the Georgian panelling on the upper floor?

Morgana Nov 16th, 2013 10:37 AM

You can make advance bookings for Bettys for afternoon tea (Belmont Rooms) on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

PalenQ Nov 16th, 2013 12:53 PM

And then there's Yorkshire Pud! Does Betty's do puds?

Morgana Nov 16th, 2013 01:05 PM

I don't recall ever seeing a Yorkshire pudding on the menu at Bettys. The thing about Yorkshire puddings is that they are best served immediately piping hot from the oven before they collapse - they don't wait around well.

spaarne Nov 16th, 2013 09:09 PM

<i>adeleh on Nov 12, 13 at 4:17pm
Now I am convinced that we have to go.
Thank you for all the information.</i>

Broken record here. Yes, go to York. Too bad you only have 3 days for London. I spent two nights in York. The minister is amazing. The RR museum is impressive. I thought that the art museum is unremarkable. Skip the Roman bath museum. I couldn't find a restaurant I would go back to so I'll check out Betty's next time. I need to see more of York Minister. The Bentley Guest House was one of the best B&Bs I stayed at in three weeks touring the UK and Ireland.

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