York in bloom

My mum and I recently took a long-awaited trip to York. Being the creatures of habit we are, we normally visit this magnificent city every year for Christmas shopping, festive hot chocolates and a glass or two of mulled wine. However, covid put paid to our annual winter pilgrimage in 2020, so last week we found ourselves seeing York from a whole new perspective, in glorious summer sunshine.

Given that it was a bit early in the year even for us to start our Christmas shopping, we didn’t make any plans before we went and, in spite of our family trait of planning everything to the nth degree, it worked really well. We did proper touristy things for a change like taking an open top bus tour – seeing and learning about parts of the city that we’d never normally go to, walking around the York Minster, ambling along the infamous narrow streets, and risking life and limb walking along the 13th century walls that surround York.

We ate lots of lovely food, had leisurely coffee and cake stops, and basked in the sunshine in pretty gardens which would normally be lying starkly dormant in winter.

We had a go at taking selfies in front of some of the landmarks. It didn’t end well, proving my point that if you’re going to take a picture of something worth looking at, is there really any need to block most of it out whilst looking in the wrong direction? (I’m referring to me, not my mum. Although I don’t think she looked in the right direction either. Modern technology is so difficult).

Anyway, here’s a whistle stop tour of our lovely relaxing break. And for any overseas readers thinking of taking a trip to the UK some day, I would encourage you to think about visiting York as well as/instead of (gasp) London. It’s got bucket loads of history, some spectacular architecture, and the chips are out of this world.

We were told by our bus tour guide that the walk along the walls gave one of the best views of York Minster. What do you think?

Just kidding. Our guide was right, it was a stunning view sans the heads…

Talking of the York Minster, instead of admiring it from afar as we normally do, we stumped up £12 each to walk around inside it. The current structure took 252 years to build but is built on top of other religious buildings dating much further back. I’m afraid that’s about as much as I can tell you as I was keen to avoid getting accosted by an over-eager volunteer who seemed more than happy to impart his impressively vast knowledge as we walked past. Nevertheless, it’s absolutely breathtaking and well worth a visit whether you’re religious or not. Heck, even Andrew Lloyd Webber rocked up (albeit in a bit of a dazed and confused state)…

More great selfies showcasing points of interest, and the Lord. FYI he looks just like himself in real life.

Mum hanging out with the critters at one of a few bug hotels we saw, pretty flowers, and a before and after shot of the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey at the Yorkshire Museum. Who wore them best?

A little Chinese restaurant tucked away in a wonky listed building that Mum and Dad visited a few years ago. It was like being in a fairground funhouse but, by God, the crunchy beef in sweet chilli sauce hit the spot. Fresh lemon juice which was tangy and refreshing but at £2.50 a pop, the cynical side of me couldn’t help mentioning that for a couple of lemons, a spoonful of sugar and a lot of water, the polite young man who sold it could see suckers like us coming a mile off.

And chips. Oh those chips…