York England

York England was founded by the Roman Empire only 70 years after the death of Christ. Not long after, the city they named Eboracum was made the capital of their Brittania Inferior Province. The city remains a walled city, almost completely enclosed by its original Roman walls. It's clear that the history of York UK reaches even further back to the Mesolithic Period between 7000 and 8000 before the Christian Era.

In 866, Viking raiders arrived and captured the city, which they called Jorvik. They ruled York England for almost 90 years, turning the city into a major river port along their trading routes that reached deep into northern Europe. This only scrapes the history of the city, which subsequently played important political and social roles in the British Isles after the Norman conquest of England, especially during the Stuart and Tudor times.

Many York England hotels reflect this long and rich history. The elegant Royal York Hotel with the simple address of Station Parade is a beautiful Victorian property built in the 1870s and surrounded by formal English gardens. It is located right next to the city center train station, itself a historic landmark, and offers views of the magnificent York Minster, the second largest (after Cologne Germany) of Europe's Gothic cathedrals. Like many of the historic York England hotels within the city walls and just outside of it, the Royal York is within walking distance of all the major attractions.

York England hotels even closer to the major attractions will be inside the city walls. The Guy Fawkes Inn, named for the Catholic conspirator who masterminded the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 is located in the shadow of York Minster. It is located at 25 High Petergate on the spot wear Guy Fawkes was born in 1570. He was baptized in the church across the street. There are only thirteen unique rooms in this historic inn, which boasts a gourmet restaurant serving traditional pub meals and a bar offering a wide selection of real ales from the region.

In addition to the Minster, York UK has many other historic attractions. The Jorvik Viking Centre is located at basement level in the Coppergate archaeological excavations discovered in the 1970s. Here is an excellent recreation of the Viking settlement. Next to the Viking Centre is imposing Clifford's Tower from the medieval Castle of York, originally built by William the Conqueror. The National Railway Museum is the largest such institution in the world, and boasts an extraordinary collection of rolling stock, locomotives, and other railroad equipment.

Even shopping in York England will give you a taste of history. There are many specialty shops, galleries, and boutiques along the meandering Medieval street called the Shambles. This is the narrowest street in the city, with overhanging half-timber framed buildings that date to the 15th and 16th centuries. The street itself is about as wide as a vehicle, but it's possible on the upper floors to reach out your window and shake hands with your neighbor across the way. This was originally a butcher's street with meat markets and slaughterhouses. Large windows on the ground floors were to display meat, and the runnels (narrow trenches running down the center of the street) were for the offal and waste. Many of the shops still have the butchers' hooks hanging outside. A number of narrow snickelways (side streets) lead of the Shambles.

For the ultimate historic York UK walk, take a stroll along the ancient city walls. This is totally free, and takes about an hour. You can do it from eight in the morning until sunset every day. The shortest section has the best views of the medieval city. This section, from Bootham Bar to Monk Bar around the Minster, can be done in only about fifteen minutes. The "bars" are the gates in the walls; there are four of them. There are many sites, especially historic pubs, reputed to be haunted. You can book guided spooky walks through the city as you can in London. If you have time to get out of the city, take a drive of about 40 miles to the northwest to visit beautiful North York Moors National Park.

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