Posted by: marymarthatours | February 10, 2010

What to do and see in York, England

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York garden, York Minster (Cathedral) tower, and Minister interior

The September Miniatures Tour will include a FREE day in York. Oh, wow. When I look ahead at each day of the tours we have planned, I have fun researching the possibilities for the free days when travelers are on their own to explore and to do what many of them love to do: shop. The M&M’s provide a map and some suggestions for these days. And I dream ahead about what it is that I would like to do with the time.

York has me very excited. The possibilities are vast. I will need to set up some sort of schedule for myself and yet leave space for the unplanned surprises that can come along. Some of the time that day, I might be in the company of other tour travelers sharing experiences with them. For now, it’s open and who knows what will actually happen. That’s the fun of FREE days.

What would Martha like to do on the free day in York?

Here is my “current” list of personal picks:

  • A walking tour with a local guide in the morning to get an overview and history of the city
  • A visit to York Minster to explore the remarkable stained glass and the architecture, perhaps timed to be there for a worship service or to hear the choir at Evensong
  • Exploring of the small gardens within the city
  • Walk along the ancient walls
  • A stop at the needlecraft shop and at the knitting shop
  • Maybe I will go to the miniature shop, to which the miniaturists will flock
  • Definitely a stop at the York Quilt Museum and Gallery; this I must see
  • Lunch at some place with history or charm, maybe the famous tea rooms
  • A visit to the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall to marvel at the beam construction
  • Finally, an amble in The Shambles to window shop and get to the yarn store


The Shambles

And you wonder if I will really be able to do all the above. Well, maybe not all, but I am known to “pack it all in” and I can walk quickly when on a mission. How will I decide, hum, prioritize and zip along. Occasionally, I will just stop and soak in something very special and serene.

I am looking forward to York. It’s a small city packed with so many treasures.

The other M’s York plans (by Mary)

Like Martha, I love York. I’m game to join her or our travelers at any of the places on her list, but I have one special place that’s at the top of my own list. I have promised to draw up 1 inch scale plans of Barley Hall for a friend who wants to recreate the great hall and pantry in miniature. So, for me, it’s off to see Barley Hall, a 15th century townhouse which is hard to find, because it’s tucked away on one of the “snickelways” of York.

What’s a “snickelway”, you ask? They’re small lanes between buildings, not wide enough for vehicles, and York is full of them. They have great names like “Mad Alice Lane” and “Hornpot Lane Nether”. “Pope’s Head Alley” is only 2’7” wide. You can go on a guided walking tour of the snickelways, or you can plan your own route with the great resource book, “A Walk around the Snickelways of York”, by Mark Jones. I wonder if any of us will get lost.

For more information about York’s sights and its Snickelways check out:

Visit York
York Walks
Barley Hall Site

and for an overview of the City and the Minster:

by Martha, M&M Tours

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