Ten tips for the perfect romantic break in York
“O Tell Me the Truth About Love”
As the birthplace of W.H Auden, one of the greatest 20th century poets, who was best known for writing love poems, it is no surprise that York is one of the most romantic cities in the world.
Behind its ancient walls, lies a city that is steeped in romance. From its quaint cobbled streets that lead to stately homes, castles and towers, to its stunning gothic minster, which towers over the meandering streets, York is the perfect location for a romantic getaway.
Here are our 10 tips for the perfect romantic break in York:
- Head to York Minster and share a kiss under the ‘Heart of Yorkshire’
Majestic and imposing, York Minster is the largest gothic cathedral north of the Alps. Wander around and look up at the Great West window to see the heart-shape worked into the tracery, known as the ‘Heart of Yorkshire’.
According to legend, all loved up couples that kiss under the Heart of Yorkshire window, will stay together forever.
- Visit the picture-perfect Museum Gardens
Set in the stunning surroundings of the medieval ruins of St Mary’s Abbey, York Museum Gardens is the perfect place for a romantic stroll.
Walk hand-in-hand and enjoy the peace and tranquillity that the gardens have to offer.
Take a glimpse inside Yorkshire’s oldest working observatory, wander around the gardens and take in the colours of the vast botanical collection.
Also set within the gardens, the stunning 14th century Hospitium, which was built as part of St Mary’s Abbey, is now a charming and popular venue for weddings – perfect for a bit of inspiration.
- Enjoy a romantic moonlit cruise on the River Ouse
Is there a more romantic way to explore York, than by river? As one of York’s longest established visitor attractions, YorkBoat has been delivering cruises on the River Ouse, which runs through the centre of York, for more than 30 years. Trips include Daytime City Cruises and an ambient Floodlit Evening Cruise.
- Gaze into each other’s eyes in York’s historic pubs
Hop off your river cruise at Kings Staith and enjoy a drink on the promenade outside the Kings Arms, which is located next to the river. Then amble into town for dinner. For a quirky hide-away, try Trembling Madness, a pub on Stonegate that looks like The Three Broomsticks in Harry Potter.
- Walk the ancient city walls and read messages of love through the ages
Walk the ancient city walls from Lendal Bridge and end up at the stunning Clifford’s Tower, which is almost all that remains of York Castle, built by William the Conqueror. Then visit the nearby Castle Museum, which is home to one of the biggest collections of Valentine’s cards in the UK. A thousand or more messages of love are in the archives – including the earliest dated and printed card in existence.
- Stroll arm-in-arm along the most picturesque street in Britain
No romantic break in York would be complete without a stroll down the famous Shambles, a medieval street that has been voted the most picturesque street in Britain. What was once a butchers market, is today a street filled with quaint shops and old-fashioned charm.
- Head to Betty’s for afternoon tea
Visit the famous Betty’s Café Tearooms, in St Helen’s Square, and gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes over afternoon tea – silver teapots, delicate china and cake stands included. Then there are the cakes… For a more contemporary take on afternoon tea try our Café 74 at The Lawrance on Micklegate.
- Celebrate the undisputed romance of the railways
In York there is not only the beautiful Victorian Railway Station (could there be a more slushy setting for farewells and reunions?), but also the National Railway Museum and, out of town, the romantic North Yorkshire Moors steam railway.
- The food of love
Nothing says “I love you” like a box of chocolates. York has a long history of chocolate making. The evocative names of Rowntree’s and Terry’s of York are synonymous with the city. At York’s Chocolate Story, you can discover the stories behind the greatest names in chocolate, unwrap the secrets of chocolate making, and even learn the art of the chocolatier for yourself.
- Read the newspapers in Gray’s Court
This enormous 900-year-old house, just behind the Minster, also serves tea and coffee all day. On a Sunday morning, you can pick up one of their complimentary newspapers and sink into a huge sofa, undisturbed. On snowy winter days, it’s like Narnia. Perfect for snuggling up and whiling away the hours together.
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