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York Guide

York is a totally gorgeous city where culture, theatre and art are very welcome, so if you’re left with a little time to spare on your weekend, there’s always something going on. Really make the most of York when you visit and don’t waste a minute! Here’s a quick guide to some of our favourite haunts.

Getting in


Getting to York by road is probably the easiest option. Take the M1 to junction 32, the M18 to junction 2, the A1 to junction 44 and then the A64 to reach York’s outer ring – sounds complicated but you’ll be there in no time! Parking and driving in the city is not simple or recommended, so it’s best to pitch up at a park and ride and take it from there.


If you can find a national coach service route to York, this form of transport is a really great option which allows everybody the time to relax, enjoy the ride and catch up on sleep or enjoy a little bit of downtime before the weekend kicks off or after it’s over.


If you decide to take the train, you’re in good hands, as York is officially one of the nicest, prettiest and most useful stations in the UK! Services frequently run from here to towns and cities all around the country.

Entertainment Venues

Feel like chilling out in front of some quality entertainment one evening on your hen weekend in York, there are plenty of places to try.

Reel Cinema

If you’re keen to see one of the latest film releases whilst you’re away, the Reel Cinema is perfect. Not quite the same as sitting down in one of the major chains, this is a more unique experience and the York branch is housed in an unusual, 1930s building which is sure to delight any lovers of literature.

Theatre Royal

This incredible venue shows performances in the round and interestingly, it used to be a hospital! Loads of fantastic shows from plays to music take place here and the building is seriously stunning. If you’re a fan of pantomime too, this is the place to be.

Grand Opera House

Everything from Roy Orbison to Hugh Dennis takes place here in the Grand opera House. It’s situated between the Jorvik Viking Centre and the York Dungeon. Catch loads of the UK’s best touring shows here.

The York Barbican

This venue is big, quirky and modern and plays host to quite possibly some of the biggest acts out there that you’ll recognise the most. Stewart Lee, Newton Faulkner, Miles Kane, Gabrielle and Brendon Cole of Strictly Come Dancing fame have all walked the boards as well as music, dance and panto.

Top of the Shops

We wouldn’t be shocked or surprised if you and your friends decided to do a little shopping on your weekend. The stylish streets are lined with tempting stores but why visit the same ones you can at home? Here’s our guide to the best independent shops in the city. 

The York Sausage Shop

This meat Mecca has been run by the same family for years and sells all manner of traditional and gourmet meaty treats. They sell famous York sausage which is made with none other than the local beer, as well as yummy pies and dry cured bacon. Well worth a visit on your last day, so that you can take something home for tea!

Burgins Perfumery

Stemming from life as a pharmacy opening in 1880, this pretty shop is the kind of place which feels like a step back to a bygone era. Shop like a prim 1950s lady on an excursion to York and pick up all of your favourite perfumes, as well as more obscure and difficult to find scents.

Priestley’s Vintage

This shop is a real must for lovers of vintage fashion, as the entire place is absolutely stuffed to the rafters with beautiful old handbags, coats, dresses and shoes. Set aside plenty of time to rifle through and maybe even pick up a unique outfit for your night out!


This department store has been owned by just one family for over 100 years and aside from being absolutely gorgeous, it houses big beauty brands like Benefit, Bobbi Brown and Clarins that everybody will love. There’s even a hair salon, teahouse, restaurant and sewing department on site too! So darn cute. 

Because the best things in life are free…

York can be a little pricey at times and the costs associated with a hen weekend can really add up, so we’ve compiled a great selection of stuff to do in the city completely free of charge!

City Walls

These are the most complete set of medieval city walls in the whole of the UK and so you’d be mad to leave without checking them out. Walk around the entire perimeter and get some beautiful views of York.

 York Art Gallery

Fancy a little culture break after a night of vodka shots a blow up willies? Thought so. The genteel York Art Gallery will provide you with the perfect antidote. See the Dutch masters, iconic pottery pieces and William Etty, a controversial painter from York who created some of the world’s first nudes – cheeky!

York Minster

This beautiful church is pretty hard to miss when you’re visiting the city but be sure to have a good look around the outside and inside too if you have the time. There are always events on here, so you’ll never be stuck for something to do.  

FCO travel advice

Travel Safety & Information

For information on staying safe and healthy while travelling abroad as well as local laws and latest government advice on destinations visit the FCO Travel Aware website.

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