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How to Spend 3 Days in York

How to Spend 3 Days in York

With a history spanning 2,000 years, York has much to delight visitors, from Roman walls and one of England’s grandest Gothic cathedrals to the pull of Yorkshire’s wild and rugged national parks and coastline. If you’re planning on spending three days in the city, here are our tips for getting the most from your stay.

Day 1: Get to Know York

On your first day, view York’s headline acts on foot with a guide: perhaps walking along its ancient walls or roaming its cobbled lanes and grandiose York Minster—one of England’s greatest Gothic cathedrals. Alternatively, take a bicycle or hop-on-hop-off-bus tour to cover the must-sees in less time. In the afternoon, chart York’s place as a chocolate-making center at York’s Chocolate Story, or reel at the horrors of medieval life at the York Dungeon. If you want to pack in lots of sights during today or throughout your stay, buy a 1-, 2-, or 3-day York Pass, which includes entry to 30 attractions and activities, including a hop-on-hop-off tour. Finish your day aboard an afternoon-tea or sunset river cruise through the city.

Day 2: Discover Yorkshire’s National Parks

On your second day, journey deep into the wilds of the North York Moors National Park and visit the seaside town of Whitby on a convenient day trip, which might include a steam-train ride through the moorland. Alternatively, venture into the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s stone villages and emerald valleys, stopping to sample its famous Wensleydale cheese en route. History buffs might prefer a tour that includes the ruined 12th-century Fountains Abbey, while bookworms might choose one that stops at Haworth’s Brontë Parsonage—the former home of the literary Brontë sisters and where Emily Brontë pennedWuthering Heights.

Day 3: Ease Down or Expand Your Sightseeing Net

Use day three to wind down, discover more of Yorkshire, or pursue any special interests.

If you’re a beer lover, perhaps set off to sample various Yorkshire ales on a sociable bus tour of the region’s breweries. If you’re eager for a final foray into local history, visit the medieval market town of Helmsley and atmospheric ruins of nearby Rievaulx Abbey. As dusk falls, take a ghost tour on a vintage bus to learn why York holds the title of England’s most haunted place.

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13 Tours and Activities | All York Tours

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Ghost Bus Tour of York

Ghost Bus Tour of York

star-4.5
Delve into the dark recesses of York’s history on this evening ghost bus tour. With your spooky local guide, visit notorious local haunts of restless spirits, and pass eerie sites such as York Minster, Clifford’s Tower, and the grave of Dick Turpin, infamous highwayman and murderer. Throughout the tour, hear anecdotes and fascinating facts about York’s grisly past, and make key stops for a closer look at the city’s most haunted buildings. 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$23.81
From
$23.81
Taking safety measures

Steam Trains, Whitby, and the North York Moors Full-Day Tour from York

Steam Trains, Whitby, and the North York Moors Full-Day Tour from York

star-5
Venture into the wild and windswept lands of the North York Moors on this full-day tour from York. Drive through the countryside to reach North York Moors National Park and enjoy a walk amongst nature. Learn the legacy of Dracula and Captain James Cook in the seaside resort of Whitby. Next, spot filming locations from British TV series 'Heartbeat' and the Harry Potter movies in Goathland, where you board the famous North Yorkshire Moors steam railway for a spectacular ride home.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$64.81
From
$64.81

Moors, Whitby & The Yorkshire Steam Railway Day Trip from York

Moors, Whitby & The Yorkshire Steam Railway Day Trip from York

star-5
Discover the rugged beauty of rural north England on this 8-hour North York Moors and Whitby day trip from York. Explore Hutton-le-Hole and Goathland, famed filming locations for the Harry Potter movies. Delve into the North York Moors National Park for panoramic views over the rolling countryside. Soak up Whitby’s seaside atmosphere at your leisure, perhaps visiting Whitby Abbey, the port or the Captain Cook Museum. Return via the Hole of Horcum and enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to 16 people.
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  • 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$64.81
From
$64.81
Taking safety measures

Yorkshire Dales Day Trip from York

Yorkshire Dales Day Trip from York

star-5
Explore Wensleydale, Littondale and Nidderdale, and discover the delights of the English countryside on this Yorkshire Dales day trip from York. Visit sites of interest including Askrigg and the market town of Hawes before delving deep into the heart of the mighty Yorkshire Dales National Park to enjoy panoramic views over Kilnsey Crag. Travel through Buckden to the picturesque village of Kettlewell, and explore sites made famous in popular British films and television programs. Then, visit the world’s oldest candy shop before returning in comfort to York.
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  • 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$64.81
From
$64.81
Taking safety measures

York's Chocolate Story Entrance Ticket and Guided Tour

York's Chocolate Story Entrance Ticket and Guided Tour

star-4.5
Perfect for the palates of chocolate aficionados, this experience allows you to discover the history of chocolate in the historic heart of York. Guarantee your entry to York’s Chocolate Story and explore three floors dedicated o the sweet treat: alongside your guide, take an interactive journey through York’s chocolate history and watch a chocolate-making demonstration. This family-friendly, small-group tour is limited to 15 people to maintain an intimate atmosphere.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$18.45
From
$18.45
Taking safety measures

York Walls Private Walking Tour

York Walls Private Walking Tour

star-5
Uncover the medieval marvels of historic York on a bespoke walking tour with a private guide. Learn about York’s rich history as you walk around the centuries-old walls, pose for photos with a backdrop of the city or visit the wall museums (not included). Your private tour is yours to customize as you please, so you could also pay a visit to York Castle, stroll down the atmospheric The Shambles or take a peek inside the magnificent York Minster.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$72.75
Price varies by group size
From
$72.75
Price varies by group size

Private Viking Walk of York

Private Viking Walk of York

star-5
Learn about York's history and legends on a 2-hour Viking walking tour with a private guide, Sigwulf. You'll walk through town to see historical landmarks and listen to stories from the Viking days. Departure time is flexible to suit your preferences.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.75
Price varies by group size
From
$72.75
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

York Afternoon Tea Cruise

York Afternoon Tea Cruise

star-4.5
Combine two activities in one—a leisurely river cruise, plus traditional afternoon tea—on this sightseeing tour. Board the Captain James Cook in central York, and wend your way down the River Ouse. As you go, admire the city’s scenic riverbanks while also indulging in finger sandwiches, scones and pastries, plus tea and coffee (upgrade to add a prosecco accompaniment to your afternoon tea). You’ll also see the opulent Bishopthorpe Palace, home to the Archbishop of York.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$37.70
From
$37.70
Taking safety measures

York Walking Tour including York Minster

York Walking Tour including York Minster

star-5
Delve into England’s colorful history and admire architecture dating back to the Middle Ages on this morning or afternoon York walking tour. Follow a guide through the streets of York and discover landmarks including Bedern Hall, Clifford’s Tower, Fairfax House, King’s Manor, the Multangular Tower, St. Mary’s Abbey, Stonegate, and St. William’s College. Hear how Emperor Constantine, Guy Fawkes, and Richard III shaped modern York, and learn of the English Reformation as you explore York Minster.
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  • 2 hours
From
$26.27
From
$26.27

Ouse River 1-Hour Early Evening Cruise from York

Ouse River 1-Hour Early Evening Cruise from York

star-4.5
See the historic city of York from a different perspective during an Ouse River cruise. Setting off in the early evening, sail past ancient landmarks and quaint riverside villages, all the while learning about the area’s Roman and Viking heritage. Keep warm in the heated saloon, where alcoholic drinks, warm beverages, and snacks can be purchased at your own expense.
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  • 1 hour
  • Taking safety measures
From
$15.21
From
$15.21
Taking safety measures

City Sightseeing York Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing York Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

star-4.5
Journey back in time on a hop-on hop-off bus tour of York, England’s quintessential medieval town. Your flexible 24-hour ticket enables you build a custom itinerary of York’s main attractions such as The Stonebow, Clifford’s Tower, Museum Gardens and more. With unobstructed views from the open-top viewing deck and 20 possible stops around town, you have the best of the city at your fingertips.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$21.16
From
$21.16
Taking safety measures

Day Trip to Bronte’s Parsonage from York

Day Trip to Bronte’s Parsonage from York

star-5
Delve into Yorkshire’s industrial and literary history with this day-long tour from York. You’ll step into a world that existed at the time of the Bronte sisters on a visit to Bolton Abbey and the village of Haworth where the sisters penned their novels. Visit the Salts Mill of UNESCO-listed Saltaire and a model village, which is believed to be the world’s first, then discover the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Door-to-door minibus transport and onboard commentary from a guide complete the experience.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$67.46
From
$67.46
Taking safety measures

Guided Bike Tour in York

Guided Bike Tour in York

star-5
With beautiful architecture and medieval history, York is widely considered among England’s must-see cities—but pounding the sidewalks on foot takes time and effort. On this tour, hop into the saddle and spin through the city streets by bicycle, and hit top attractions like York Minster with ease. Follow safe routes inside and outside the ancient city walls, with your guide bringing York’s colorful Roman and Viking history to life.
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  • 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$33.38
From
$33.38