Things to do in York

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

It’s an unconventional take, perhaps, but our guide to York covers the city itself, the nearby town of Skipton and the port city of Hull. These three great destinations form something like an Orion’s Belt across the north of England and are each more than worthy of a visit.

We all know York – or think we do. Yes, it is one of the UK’s most beautiful heritage cities, with its ancient city walls and medieval shopping streets. Its history is well-covered by the many museums and attractions on offer; the Gothic halls of York Minster; the Yorkshire Museum, which takes visitors as far as back as the Jurassic era (keep your eyes peeled for the ‘museum ghost’); and the Castle Museum where you can walk down Kirkgate, a meticulously recreated Victorian street.

York is also a vibrant and inspiring city with a wealth of contemporary culture. As the UK’s only UNESCO City of Media Arts, you’ll find events like the Festival of Ideas, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, and Mediale jockeying for position in the cultural calendar. Pay a visit to the first floor of York Art Gallery to visit the beautiful gallery spaces of the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA).  Close by you’ll also find the Art Of Protest Gallery and the Lotte Inch Gallery, offering a mixed media collection of work from local and global artists. And theatre lovers will find modern twists on the classics and inspiring new writing at York Theatre Royal. We promise you it’s much more ‘real’, interesting and forward-looking than you might have been expecting.

Skipton is an oasis of culture, community and heritage in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. It acts as a centre point for the rich artistic community in the Craven area to gather. Stone cottages line the canal basin, giving the area stunning views of the surrounding hills as well as picturesque and accessible walking opportunities. Hull, meanwhile, is a city formerly known for the pattie butty and putting statues of royals on toilet blocks – but which is steadily being reimagined as a unique cultural destination. Read on to discover more.

Discover our top picks

Exhibitions Until 27 November 2022, FREE

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2022 at Humber Street Gallery and Ferens Gallery, Hull

See the most exciting emerging talent this autumn in Bloomberg Contemporaries 2022 at Humber Street Gallery and Ferens Gallery in Hull.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £59

Making silver stacker rings at The Old Granary

One of many workshops hosted by local jeweller Helen Drye, here you’ll learn the technical skills required to make a chic stacker ring.

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios

Head to Skipton’s Craven Arts Studios to create a unique mounted animal head for your home with local textile artist Jaki Bogg.

York District Guides


Things to do in Skipton

Among the hills of the Yorkshire Dales, Skipton combines culture, heritage and culinary excellence. It’s the perfect mix of pastoral beauty and an arts scene that rivals neighbouring cities.

Hull Maritime Museum

Things to do in Hull

Few places in the UK have undergone such a marked seachange in reputation as Hull – the port city in East Yorkshire, built where the River Humber meets the Humber estuary. Explore our top places to visit, eat, drink and stay in Hull – and discover a place where an extraordinary maritime history meets modern hospitality.