After a month of exams and being trapped in a continuous migratory pattern between Hyde Park and Edward Boyle, there was much talk about ‘getting out’ and escaping Leeds for a day. That’s how last Sunday, eight pounds and a twenty minute train ride later I found myself, along with my housemates, arriving into York.
The original plan had been to find a country-wstyle pub, complete with roaring fire, in which to get a drink, but the sun was shining and the temptation to wander the tangled mass of cobbled streets and medieval buildings that greeted us upon arrival was far greater. With vague talk of finding the minster, we wandered through the city exploring the plethora of antique bookshops and vintage stores.
After a couple of recommendations from the locals, we stopped by ‘The Golden Fleece’, where I was served a local ale by a barman who sagely advised me to watch out for Lady Peckett, the resident ghost who has a penchant for moving furniture and surprising unwitting guests on their way to the toilets. The pub is certainly not hiding its reputation as the most haunted pub in York, no mean feat considering pretty much every establishment lays claim to a couple of resident spirits. The promise of ghostly sightings only adds to York’s historical presence, as the remnants of the past shape the city’s beautiful architecture.
I would certainly recommend The Golden Fleece as a place to get a drink, but we had been told that ‘Ye Olde Starre Inn’ was the best place for a Sunday Roast. As the oldest pub in York, it is situated in the area known as ‘The Shambles’, York’s oldest and best preserved medieval street. Ye Olde Starre Inn did not disappoint on the Sunday roast; they even put together a veggie roast for the non-meat eaters in our group. It is also situated very close to York Minster, where we went after our meal to soak up the last of the winter sun and absorb the beautiful architecture.
Before we left, we had to head back down The Shambles. This was undoubtedly my favourite part of the City and is a must for any visit; the narrow cobbled streets and ancient low hanging buildings will transport you back into York’s rich medieval history. Nestled between the antique shops and cosy pubs, you will find ‘The Early Grey Tea Rooms’, which invites you to sit amidst oak beams and tapestries and enjoy hot buttered tea cakes, which of course we did.
The historic city may feel like a little country village, as York ignores the demand for the grey tower blocks and masses of concrete that define other cities. We arrived with no expectations and found ourselves spoilt for choice, trying to soak up as much as we could before returning to Leeds. You could spend a day wandering through the streets visiting the shops, soaking up the beauty of York Minster or just sit and enjoy a long lazy lunch in front of a roaring fire. However you choose to spend your day, visiting York is a must for your time at Leeds and a perfect way to escape the stresses of work.