This is the second time I’ve done a day trip to York from Liverpool. It’s a fairly easy train ride and there are direct trains from Liverpool that take about an hour and fifty minutes. This time as we had a rental car, we drove to York. This allowed us to also stop in Leeds on the way back to have dinner with my cousins.
The drive on a Saturday morning took about two hours. We parked at Askham Bar Park & Ride. There are several park and ride lots set up on the outskirts of York which all provide regular bus service into the center of town. There’s no actual charge for parking, but you pay for the bus service (£3.60 per person round trip). We did not have to wait for a bus at all as it was sitting there and left after a few minutes. It’s a double-decker bus so there are nice views from the top deck.
Last time I was in York, I visited the Minster which is basically a huge cathedral with a viewing deck on the top level where you can see for miles into the Yorkshire countryside.
I also walked around the city walls and across the River Ouse.
Both times I was there, it was a beautiful day, which certainly makes it more pleasant, but also more crowded. My wife and I fought the crowds even more as it was Easter weekend. I showed her the historic buildings and churches. We also visited several antique stores and outdoor markets.
There is a big Harry Potter store which always seems to have a line out the door. There are also many “tea rooms,” cafes with tea service and baked goods that are always popular with tourists and locals. The most famous is probably Betty’s Tea Room, but I don’t think you have to visit that one to get the experience if there’s a long wait there. The most famous street is called The Shambles. It’s a very narrow street with Tudor shops and houses, but is of course, usually crowded with tourists.
York also has several interesting museums, including the National Railway Museum. It’s certainly an interesting and historic city to visit for families. Of course there’s also a castle for kids to explore and burn off some energy. It’s also a good midpoint if you are driving (or taking the train) from London to Edinburgh.
When we had enough of the crowds, we walked back to the bus stop and caught the park and ride bus back to our car. It was an easy way to get in and out of the medieval city without trying to drive the narrow streets or find parking close to the main tourist area. If you are taking the train, the station is an easy walk to the main tourist sites.
On our way back to Liverpool, we stopped in Leeds (about 30 minutes on the way toward Liverpool) to see my cousins and eventually got back to Liverpool around 9pm that night. Most of the drive was on a motorway and easy to navigate.
Up Next: Aloft Hotel Liverpool Review
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