York - 01904 239 988

Harrogate - 01423 503 226

Romantic Winter Activities to do in York

The winter months are the perfect time to enjoy a weekend away with your loved one, and we think Yorkshire should be at the top of your list of destinations! Our holiday apartments, York, offer ideal accommodation for a romantic mini break, with all the amenities you could need and close to the city’s top attractions.

If you need some persuasion to choose York as your romantic winter getaway, find out what is on in the area, from ice skating to something a little more quirky.

Winter Owl Evenings

Head out of York to Helmsley (about an hour’s drive) to the National Centre for Birds of Prey for one of their Winter Owl Evenings. A magical evening with the nocturnal birds is in store, starting with a mulled wine or hot, spiced apple juice. There will be flying demonstrations from tiny owls and large owls, and a two-course meal is included as part of the evening. The events run 7pm to 9.45pm and are taking place every Saturday until Christmas, with some more taking place in February too. Remember warm, sensible clothes and a torch! You can find more information at www.ncbp.co.uk/visit-us/winter-owl-evenings/.

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland is back, returning to York Designer Outlet from 17th November 2018 to 6th January 2019. The Winter Wonderland has many exciting attractions, including the Ice Factor, the largest outdoor ice rink in the North of England. There is also a chance to huddle up under a cosy blanket at one of Papa Hüttes rustic tables; it’s an alpine-themed café overlooking the ice rink, and you can get in touch with your inner child with a go on some of the funfair rides.

Couple ice skating on an ice rink

Christmas at Castle Howard

The festive season at Castle Howard is always special, and this year a day out to one of Britain’s best stately homes is a wonderful way to get into the Christmas spirit with your loved one and to imagine what life would be in a place like Castle Howard, as you walk hand in hand around the decadent rooms. Experience the magnificent decorations; open fires, candlelight, live music and the 25-foot Christmas tree with 3000 baubles. From 17th November to 31st December (closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day), the castle will have fantastic displays under the theme of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’. There will also be a chance to surprise your someone special with a treat from the gift shop, Christmas market or farm shop.

Drinks in the Cosy Thor’s Tipi

Thor’s Tipi is coming back to York, bringing some Viking cheer to Christmas. The pop-up bar will be on Parliament Street from 14th November to 1st January, open 10am to 11pm seven days a week, except Christmas Day, serving up hot chocolates, mulled wine and cider, beer and cider, wine, gin and spirits, perfect tipples for sipping by their open fires. The Shambles Kitchen will also be on-hand for Scandi sausages and the Donut Kitchen so you can indulge in award-winning fresh doughnuts. They don’t take bookings, but walk-ins are welcome.

Woman holding a hot chocolate

Stroll on the City Walls

We always recommend a walk on the City Walls, whatever time of year you are visiting. In spring and summer everything is green and colourful, in autumn the gold and red leaves are very Instagram-worthy, but winter might be the best time to stroll along the city walls, particularly in the morning before everything has woken up and the frost is covering the roofs and ground. If it snows this winter, the best views of a snowy city will be from the city walls, and best of all, it is completely free!

Pub Lunch by a Log Fire

Dining out is always a popular go-to date option, but why not make it more romantic and winter-themed by opting for dining at a cosy pub with a roaring log fire? There are several pubs in the city offering excellent pub food, with menu’s catering to all dietary needs and real ales from local breweries, all within a lovely cosy setting with a log fire burning or candles lighting your meal. Local favourites include The Dormouse, The Gilly Gate, Guy Fawkes Inn and The Royal Oak.

Two wine glasses in front of a log fire

Cruise on the River Ouse

City Cruises York offer cruises which are perfect for relaxing after a day exploring or shopping in the city. There is a sightseeing tour or lunch cruises, and between the 1st and 23rd December, the Bishopthorpe Palace Christmas Cruise is taking place. Escape the busy streets and treat yourself to a hot drink of your choice and mince pie. The one-hour relaxing cruise features Christmas songs and commentary from the captain about York’s attractions and Christmas traditions. Sailing times are 10.30am, 12.00pm, 1.30pm and 3pm and tickets are £11.25 per person. City Cruises also offers The Floodlit Evening Cruise as a romantic activity during the summer months.

Winter Walks

If you want to get out of the city for an afternoon during your romantic mini-break to York, there are some beautiful places nearby that show the Yorkshire countryside at its best. Wander through the ancient trees and keep an eye out for the wild deer at Fountain Abbey, admire the grand building of Beningbrough Hall or enjoy stunning views of the Yorkshire Dales on a circular walk around Grimwith Reservoir. If you do decide to head out to the countryside for a walk, remember to have good shoes or boots, wrap up warm and a flask of something warm to share!

A couple throwing snowballs at each other

Are there any romantic activities you love to do with your partner in winter? We’d love to hear about them! If you are planning a mini-break or weekend away this winter over the Christmas period, get in touch with us today to find out about bookings and the accommodation we have available!


horse racing
July 13, 2016
Ebor Races 17th- 20th August 2016

World class racing meets high society for the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival

read more
makeup artist
March 12, 2015
Harrogate Bridal Show 13th-15th September 2015

The Harrogate Bridal Show returns on 13-15 September at the Harrogate International Centre which is conveniently situated

read more
iceland ice hotel
April 4, 2016
The world’s strangest hotels

Hotels are fascinating places. Around the world, many hotel owners aspire to do things differently in order to surprise

read more