|The Shambles - One of York's most well-known lanes.|
Thinking of visiting England? York's definitely worth checking out if you'll be nearby. I wont give you a history lesson on the place, other sites can offer one far better than I, but I will say a little about what I was up to during October's second-to-last weekend.
The best thing about York is that you really can spend an entire day just ambling along its streets, admiring the ancient architecture, browsing shops built with just as much character as masonry, and that's just what I spent a good while doing. Sounds dull until you see just how charismatic these streets and buildings are. take Stonegate's maze-like Mulberry Hall for one.
Take a look at the photo there, can you see Final Fantasy 7's Buster Sword? That was a pleasant little surprise for me, since I'm an avid patron of the series. Kingdom Hearts' Keyblade was there too, but... er, it looked a little out of place, around all those authentic life-takers, if you ask me.
Stonegate, and every other street worth a visit, can be found beyond the city's Inner Walls. Just outside them rests Rowntree Park, which was, conveniently, right beside the guesthouse I was staying in. Strolling through that before wandering the twisting town was an inspirational godsend! Jest see for yourself.
Banks Music was the first shop I'd visit each day after passing through the park. Three floors of the highest quality instruments, and any study material you'd need on them, is what it has to boast. I don't claim to be an expect pianist, but I sure didn't mind pretending otherwise in there! I'm amazed I didn't clear the shop...
York's hardly short on eateries either; every street boasts numerous restaurants, pubs, bistros, cafes, sandwich shops, and even fast-food joints if you prefer what you're familiar with. Two I tend to visit each year are Plunket's, and Bari. I'm a big fan of Italian food, so that second one's always a welcoming sight, and taste.
Now, after enjoying a meal on holiday, you'll naturally be tempted to enjoy a resort's nightlife. Well, York's is a little more ambient and twilit than most, which was why I attended one of the nightly ghost walks dotted throughout town. York's history is steeped in shadiness and fright, for all its curious decor, and every single night, there'll be many an entertainer to make sure you know it. Trevor Rooney's tour was the one I experienced, which was pretty damn atmospheric! (He's a nice guy too - a friend of his, who worked on the restoration of York Minster, passed away recently. He dedicated a moment to show us his last sculpted work, which I found very touching) These tours will show you many of York's more secretive nooks and crannies, and highlight the darker back stories of even its most innocent areas. If strolling through York during daylight grants a sense of timely whimsy, its nocturnal perks are something else altogether. In this, the city's like a pantomime performer; donning elaborate dress one scene, and a top hap and cloak the next.
|Within York Minster|
Nice to get out, eh?
Photos © David Stewart 2011