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Country England
Things To Do York Minster, City Walls, The Shambles, Jorvik Centre, Railway Museum, Castle Museum



When the Romans came to the area in the 1st century AD, they constructed a military fort on the banks of the Ouse. The town of Eboracum formed around the fort, and stone walls were constructed to defend both fort and town. The Roman walls formed the basis of the walls seen today. Eight centuries after the Romans left (Eboracum had become a modest Anglo-Saxon settlement), Viking pirates sieized the town, renaming it Jorvik. Viking rule lasted just over 100 years. The Saxons regained control of the town, only to see it re-taken by the Normans under William the Conqueror. In the years that followed York grew and grew, and throughout the medieval period York thrived as the major city in northern England.

Start your tour with the impressive York Minster, built in the years 1220 to 1480. No pictures can do justice to the wonderful Gothic structure. Next, take a stroll round the city walls, visiting the famous gates (or 'bars') en-route. Then wander through the Shambles, a narrow shopping street with a charming medieval character.

Lastly, no trip to York is complete without a visit to the Jorvik centre, where Viking York is brought thrillingly to life.

Why in 100 Best?

An city bursting with history, with lots and lots to do.

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Listing contributed by Jules

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Best Cities - York - Information, Pictures, Videos - 4 votes