Lovely Things to Do in York for Couples
Thinking of whisking your partner off on a romantic getaway? There’s no better place for it
If ever a city was built for romance, it would be York. Full of quaint cobbled streets, charming buildings, and the eye-catching Gothic cathedral, it’s impossible to visit the city without feeling even the slightest semblance of love. York was the birthplace of the great W. H. Auden, who made a career writing whimsical love poems. Coincidence? We think not. Speaking of great people, here at Plum Guide, we have all the information you need to enjoy the trip of a lifetime in this unforgettable part of the country. We have all the inside knowledge on York, and you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of amazing things to do in York for couples. Read on for some of the most romantic activities to do with your other half.
Stroll around the York City Walls
Kick off your visit with a pleasant wander around York’s city walls, dating back to the 13th century - you're not the first couple to have done this, then. Covering 3.4 kilometres, these beautifully preserved medieval walls are in fact the most complete in England - you can start the walk from any point in the city, but we recommend the entrance from Barker Tower on the River Ouse. This is one of the four remaining bars, or fortified gateways, once used as defensive towers and access points for traders - from here, you’ll have wonderful views of the river and the Ouse Bridge. The walk around the walls takes roughly two hours, offering up different angles of the city and its beautiful buildings, all with the River Ouse meandering through. Keep your eyes peeled for other quirky details in the stonework such as arrow slits, musket loops, sculptures, and masons’ marks.
Explore the York Museum Gardens
While the Yorkshire Museum is definitely worth a visit, it’s the Museum Gardens which really take our fancy. This idyllic haven is bursting with interesting plant species, wildlife, and historical features, making for one of the most romantic settings imaginable. Located within the gardens is the Edible Wood, a garden designed around permaculture and forest gardening, as well as the exploration of our relationship with food and crop production. We recommend picking up some treats at York’s Shambles Market before heading to the gardens for a picnic. Set against the pretty backdrop of the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey, it’s a lovely place to spend a few hours relaxing with your favourite person.
Enjoy pottery painting at Bish Bash Pot
A visit to Bish Bash Pot is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in York for couples, even if neither of you are particularly artsy. This pottery painting studio and cafe is the perfect way to spend a rainy day (there are a few of those up north). There’s a host of lovely pottery to choose from, so channel your inner artist to paint a mug, plate, vase, or even a chip and dip bowl for those lazy nights in. How you choose to decorate is up to you - have fun and go crazy with the paints, stencils and glitter. The studio also offers pottery wheel classes on a drop-in basis, so it’s perfect if you’re only in town for a short time - they’ll even post your creations back home to you once they’ve been fired in the kiln.
Hop aboard a cruise on the Ouse
It may not quite be a gondola ride in Venice, but a river cruise down the River Ouse comes pretty close. In fact, we’d argue that it’s even better - you can hire your own boat for some uninterrupted quality time. There are numerous river cruises in York to choose from where you can enjoy a two course meal, afternoon tea, a romantic dinner, or on-board commentary from local skippers. If you’re looking to impress your date, why not hire your very own motor boat and show off your boating skills? The boats are all well-equipped with comfortable seating, so you can moor somewhere and simply enjoy the views (of both the city and your other half).
Catch a show at the York Theatre Royal
Culture vultures won’t want to miss a night at the York Theatre Royal. For over 270 years, the theatre has been producing a wide variety of performances, and is considered one of the finest theatres in the country. Set within a historic building, the theatre is full of architectural delights from the medieval, Georgian, and Victorian periods - there’s even a Roman well hidden underneath the stage. Whether you’re a fan of drama, comedy, magic shows or musicals, sit back on the luxuriously comfortable seats and enjoy a night of entertainment.
Spend time at Pairings Wine Bar
What would a list of things to do in York for couples be without a restaurant date? There are countless intimate dining experiences in York, but Pairings is definitely one of our favourites. This award-winning wine bar is right next to the iconic Clifford’s Tower, and offers a fantastic place for a fancy yet relaxed evening. There are multiple tasting experiences to choose from, whether it’s wine, gin, or more general food and drink - why not give them all a go? Nibble on cheese, olives and meats as the in-house sommeliers talk you through their expertly created pairings. Not overly keen on wine? The bar also has a great selection of cocktails, gin, whisky, and beer, so there's no need to panic. You'll always find a drink (phew). End the experience on a high note with a touch of decadent dessert from the pudding bar.