I may be slightly biased considering I’ve lived here for over 12 years now, but York really is one of the most Instagrammable places in the UK. From the abundance of shops and beautiful architecture to the archaic history that it’s known for; York has some incredible spots that make for the perfect Instagram backdrop.
In my quest of learning to be braver in front of the camera, I’ve scoured the city for the most Instagrammable places I could find. York really is such a gorgeous city and if you ever find yourself here, whether it’s just for a couple of hours, or for the whole weekend, you’re sure to find some incredible things to see and do!
Here are my top recommendations of the most Instagrammable places in York!
The Museum Gardens are potentially my favourite place in the whole of York.
Regardless of the time of year, the Museum Gardens always look in pristine condition and there’s ample places for you to get a good pic for the ‘gram. From St. Mary’s Abbey that provides an idyllic historic backdrop, to the plethora of trees, plants and flowers that are scattered all over the gardens, as well as the Yorkshire Museum, the Museum Gardens are an incredible place for taking pictures.
The Museum Gardens are definitely one of my favourite locations to take great pictures, and even though they’re often teeming with tourists and commuters, you can still find excellent picture-taking opportunities.
A truly iconic statue in the city of York, the Minster is arguably one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe, if not the world. The towering masterpiece has been around since the 7th century so it’s definitely one of the oldest and most spectacular places in the city.
Both the interior and exterior of the Minster provide ample photo opportunities, and while you may struggle to get a good position in front of it due to the masses of tourists, once you get that perfect picture, you won’t regret it!
A train station may seem like an unusual location to describe as ‘Instagrammable’ but York train station is far from ordinary.
The beautiful building is home to some stunning pieces of architectural work, as well as modern film interest! The bridge that connects the platforms at York train station is actually the one that Harry and Hagrid walk over in the first Harry Potter film!
There are many adorable nooks and crannies for you to grab an Instagrammable picture in the train station, not to mention many ancient steam trains that pass through fairly regularly.
Along the river
The River Ouse is an idyllic place to snap some Insta’ shots. During the summer months, the riverside is absolutely bustling with tourists and locals enjoying the boat races, devouring ice creams or reading their books.
There are many benches situated along the river as well as a number of bridges connecting different sides of the city that provide stunning views of the river. You’ll also see many rowers, canoers as well as a number of different wildlife while taking your pictures along the river.
The York City Walls are a great place for spotting some of the city’s most iconic sights, including the York Minster, the Railway Station and the river.
Dating back to the Roman times, the City Walls are one of the most historic and iconic places in York and many visitors pay them a visit each year. They’re considered to be one of the most Instagrammable places in York, no matter what time of year you visit.
Cosy Club is actually my favourite place to eat in the whole of York and for that reason alone, I think it deserves a place on this list. The outside seating area that resides on Fossgate is a beautiful place to people watch while sipping a delicious fruity cocktail during the summer months. When the temperatures become cooler however, Cosy Club opens itself up to the most gorgeous, cosy retreat.
The food here is perfectly picturesque (and insanely tasty) and absolutely makes Cosy Club sit highly on the most Instagrammable places in York list! The decor is suave, sophisticated and so beautiful. The dining area or the breathtaking staircase make for the perfect places to take lots of Instagram pictures.
Regarded as the inspiration behind Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter movies, (J.K. Rowling clearly got a lot of her inspiration from York…) the Shambles is one of the most famous streets in the whole of Britain. It definitely deserves a place on the most Instagrammable places in York list!
The quaint little shops and winding streets offers the most lovely photo opportunities. You’ll be hard pressed to find the Shambles empty at any given time though; it’s always absolutely teeming with visitors! If you really want to get the perfect shot without anyone in it, then I’d highly recommend heading there early in the morning before the shops even open.
Spark is a relatively new addition to the city of York but it’s certainly one that’s been welcomed with open arms (at least by me).
Offering a vast selection of different cuisines, as well as gorgeous seating areas and unique shipping containers disguised as shops and food stalls, Spark is a great place to grab some pictures.
Clifford’s Tower (also known as York Castle) has been at the heart of York for many centuries now. It’s endured a fair few battles and what remains of the fortified complex that once consisted of prisons, castles and law courts, is now a ruinous castle.
You can climb to the top of the tower for a small fee, where you’ll see panoramic views of the vale of York. It’s best to go up on a clear day otherwise you may really struggle to see too far in the distance.
If you visit the castle around Christmas time, you’re also likely to see it lit up regularly for the festive period.
St. Leonard’s Place
This street sits just off Gillygate and is one of the main roads into the city centre. The Theatre Royal resides on St. Leonard’s Place, as well as a stunning row of luxury houses and apartments that were once used as council buildings.
The houses along St. Leonard’s Palace are another one of my favourite places in the town centre as the gorgeous white backdrop makes for an idyllic Instagram picture.
While it’s generally perceived to be more of a child’s haven rather than a suitable Instagram location, Rowntree’s Park does in fact have many cute places to grab the perfect shot.
During the summer, the park is positively heaving with families and children indulging in picnics and ice creams, and in the winter you’ll often find couples snuggled together, taking a romantic stroll around the park.
The little bridges that go over the river and lake in the park make great backdrops for Instagram opportunities, regardless of the time of year.
A large portion of the Knavesmire is now used as part of York Races, but it’s also home to dog-walking sites and many public events.
It’s a huge area of greenery that can provide a quiet haven away from the bustling city centre if you’d prefer a much quieter location to shoot your Instagram pictures.
I think many of my fellow York people would disagree with me somewhat in including Micklegate in this list of the most Instagrammable places in York.
Micklegate is a long stretch of a street that’s home to many shops, bars and businesses. It’s not necessarily the most glamourous street in York but if you have a keen eye, then there are a number of places to stop along the way to get a great picture (see the one just above!).
I’m so grateful and so proud to call York my home, and I’m even more thrilled that it really is an eclectic hub of Instagrammable spots!
Have you ever been to York? Where would you consider the most Instagrammable places in York to be? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @imjustagirl_16.