I’ve lived in the stunning city of York for almost 12 years now and during my time here, I’ve somehow managed to live in seven different houses, in six different areas of York!
York is such an incredible city and it’s no wonder it was voted as Britain’s ‘best place to live’; with its gorgeous archaic buildings, a plethora of delicious eateries plus so much to see and do, it really has been an absolute pleasure to live here for 12 years.
Today’s post is going to be an absolute mammoth one, all about why York is the best city to live in!
It seems like wherever you look in York, there’s always something truly beautiful to feast your eyes upon. Whether it’s the River Ouse, with its abundance of boats, bridges and birds, or the quaint little streets lined with cutesy little shops; York really does have a charming quality that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
York is incredibly well-known for its many museums and when they look as amazing as they do, it’s not hard to see why so many tourists flock to the city every year. With so many choices to indulge in York’s rich history, from the National Railway Museum, to the Viking Centre, York Art Gallery, Yorkshire Museum, York Castle Museum, plus many others, you’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice when you visit York.
I’ve written an abundance of blog posts about my adoration for the many places to eat in York, including Cosy Club, Cut and Chase, Humpit Hummus, Lucia, Betty’s plus LOADS more. York’s food scene is amazing and you’d really struggle to find somewhere that you didn’t enjoy to eat.
Did you know that York is home to over 365 pubs? That’s one for every single day of the year so if you’re after a place to unwind and indulge in a cocktail or two after a long day exploring, you certainly won’t struggle to find somewhere lovely and cosy to wet your whistle. I think it would be an awesome mission to try and have a beer in every single pub in York but I’m afraid that I might develop a slight drinking problem if I did that, so I’ll just leave you lovely lot to decide which pub is the best!
York is absolutely steeped in history, from the breathtaking Minster to the St. Abbey’s ruins in the Museum Gardens to the Harry Potter-esque Shambles, there really is just so much history to enjoy in York. Everywhere you look, there’s ancient buildings to be admired and grand churches just teeming with history and stories to recall.
The Museum Gardens are actually my favourite place in the whole of York; they have so much history in them and they’re an absolutely beautiful place to enjoy regardless of the season. I’ve been spending so much time there this summer; reading my book, people watching or enjoying a leisurely stroll through them on my way to work. Another place to enjoy the open spaces in York is Rowntree Park which is great for both adults and children. The playgrounds are perfect for kids to enjoy during the warmer months and couples can enjoy a romantic stroll along the lake and around the gardens.
When Matt and I visited York’s Chocolate Story a couple of weeks ago, I learnt more about chocolate than I’d ever known before; did you know that York was one of the original places that chocolate came into fruition in England? Not only that, but if the wind is blowing the right way, you can often catch a delicious waft of the sweet stuff throughout the centre. Over the years, York has been the home to a number of chocolate factories that produces some of the most beloved chocolates and confectionery that we all know and love including Nestlé and Rowntrees.
While I’m not a huge fan of shopping myself, I can appreciate that York is home to a huge variety of shops and malls. From Monks Cross to Clifton Moor and the York Designer Outlet, we really do have so many options for all your shopping needs. The centre of York is also home to a wide range of shops for you to enjoy and you’re sure to find all your favourite high street stores as well as a smattering of designer labels.
If you follow me on Twitter then you may have seen that I complain an awful lot about the bus systems in and around York but compared to many other large cities, I can appreciate that it’s not too bad. Furthermore, York train station is also absolutely massive and with two hour journeys to both London and Edinburgh, you really are in the most incredible city to be able to visit other incredible cities! The train station is also just a three minute walk from mine and Matt’s house so it’s unbelievably central and convenient to get you to where you need to be.
I’m not saying that York is completely crime free – far from it – but I can honestly say that whenever I walk around the city on my own, I never feel scared or vulnerable. The city centre is generally always clean and well-kept and everyone in the community does their best to ensure York is a safe and enjoyable place to live.
The music scene
Regardless of the weather, time of day or where you frequent in York, you can be assured that you’ll come across a busker of some kind. There are so many people who take to the streets of York to perform their music, circus tricks or musical instruments and it’s always a true joy to see. It’s also been known that many people will join in with a rendition of Mr Brightside with a busker after a night of drinking (I totally haven’t done this on more than one occasion…).
The Christmas spirit
York is a beautiful place at any time of the year but the city really seems to have a magical feel to it during Christmas. An abundance of food and drinks stalls as well as many Christmas markets make their way into the city for locals and tourists alike to enjoy throughout the festive season. Thor’s Tipi also comes to town during the winter for people to enjoy a generous helping of mulled wine or cider and the smells that make their way through the centre from the many food stalls is absolutely wonderful.
The York Minster
It really wouldn’t be a post about why York is the best city to live in without an honourable mention of the famous Minster. It’s the largest cathedral of its kind in Europe, one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals and has been the heart of York since the 7th century. It’s absolutely teeming with history and it’s a true joy for everyone to see. I used to take it for granted when I was younger as it was ‘just a big church’ but now I’m older, I appreciate and adore the spectacular structure so much more. The interior of the cathedral is just as breathtaking as the exterior and when the enormous bells chime on a Sunday, they can be heard throughout the entire city. Matt even loves the city of York and the Minster so much that he got it tattooed on his arm (see the above picture!).
York is known to host a plethora of events throughout the calendar year. From the many meets at York Races to the York 10K, hot air balloon rides and the York Maze, there’s so much incredible activity that occurs throughout the year that you’re sure to always have something fun to do here no matter when you visit.
I couldn’t not mention the people of York in this post, after all, they’re the ones who welcomed me so lovingly into their home. If it wasn’t for the city of York, I also wouldn’t have met Matt and fell in love so for that reason alone, that’s why York is the best city to live in for me. I’ve also met some truly wonderful friends in York and everywhere you go, you’re sure to meet a friendly tourist who’s keen to learn more about our gorgeous city.
I’m so unbelievably lucky to live in York and I’m so glad that I get to share its beauty through my blog posts as it’s something that really does mean an awful lot to me.
Have you ever been to York? What’s your favourite thing about the best city to live in? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @imjustagirl_16.