York, England: The Original York

Max Hartshorne visits the historic town of York in northern England. Tourists can walk along its ancient walls and burial grounds, listen to live music, talk with professional ghost hunters, and more!

A walled city that was once a capital is today one of England’s finest attractions

Boogie woogie piano man jamming in the center of York, England. Photo by Max Hartshorne.

We arrived in the city of York by train. It was almost hot, and by Northern England standards, that’s call for celebration.

York’s reputation was cemented when the earliest visitors to the New World named what would become their biggest city after this English city of 195,000, which was first settled in the year 71 AD. Back then it was called Eboracum.

Walking over one of the many road and footbridges over the River Ouse, the sun glinted off the water and onto the terraces of the cafes, and it was indeed a beautiful morn on one of Northern England’s most scenic cities. York is known far and wide as a place to get away to, a touristy sort of town with major league attractions.

While the attraction of these ancient walkable walls and Roman-era burial grounds and intriguing excavations still in progress brings millions to the city each year, York is firmly looking ahead in 2011, with lots of exciting exhibits taking place in and around the city.

The center of York and the edifice everything is built around is the York Minster, that towers up 275 feet. Visitors can pay a pound and climb up hundreds of steps in a narrow dark aisleway, and at the top marvel at the view. It’s a big cathedral that takes up so much space that all of the streets head down toward it like spokes in a hub.

Looking out over the Yorkshire countryside from the top of the Minster, in the distance some of the largest buildings are former chocolate and candy factories; today the biggest industries here are the National Health Service and the university.

Exhilaration Station

But it’s not just dry history that gives York its appeal. One new attraction planned for 2011 at the National Railway Museum in York is Exhilaration Station, where guests will race around a train-themed track on Segway two wheeled scooters. There will be inflatable railway tunnels and even some level crossing barriers!

At DIG – An Archaeological Adventure, visitors get a chance to dig through the layers of history and learn about a real archeological dig that is taking place now, all across the city. It’s a children’s attraction without using real dirt.

York, England: The Original York