Our hotel decision was whether to stay in the heart of the historic walled center of town at the Hilton or about a mile away at the Marriott. Both were lovely hotels, but we chose the Marriott for the spaciousness of the room we chose and the incredibly beautiful view of the York Racecourse directly out of our window.
Besides, we love to walk for both enjoyment and health reasons and this gave us the necessity of at least a two mile walk to the center of town and back as there is very little parking available there.
Fortunately, the street the Marriott was on was the street that took us to the main entrance to the walled historic district of York.
Once past the entrance you can wander for hours and hours in the meandering narrow streets and see modern shops, restaurants and pubs housed in historic buildings. There are also open air markets and parks. We had a delicious lunch at the “Slug and Lettuce” restaurant that overlooked the river.
One of the best tourist attractions and a “must do” in York is the Jorvik Viking Centre.
It is an archeological excavation and recreation of the Viking city that was once there.
Another “must do” is a visit to York Minster.
We had an additional very special and unique experience as a result of our visit to York for a family reunion. We went to a Christmas fair at “Castle Howard” www.castlehoward.co.uk. Castle Howard is about 30 miles northeast of York and is still privately owned by the heir of the family who built it over three centuries ago. We had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife. They have two beautiful young children and live in a wing of the castle while the remainder is a museum open to the public. There are also extensive grounds where you can take beautiful walks. We highly recommend taking a day to visit this magical place.