Where to Stay in York: In Our Expert Opinion
Heading to the vibrant city of York? We’ve picked out some of the best areas to stay in
With Roman roots and a Viking past, York is a lively city with a wealth of history and culture. This beautifully-preserved walled city is full of historic buildings, picturesque cobbled streets, and unique attractions, so you'll do very well to see it in one visit. It’s a fantastic place for a getaway, with the city and its surrounding areas offering something for everyone, so bring the whole family for a trip to remember. Here at Plum Guide, we pride ourselves on going above and beyond for our guests in all aspects of travel, so you can trust our advice to be the best of the best - every single time. Using our expert knowledge, we’ve put together this handy guide on where to stay in York, so read on.
York City Centre
The city centre is first on this list for a reason - its the heart of the action. You’re in and amongst it all here, with so many of the best things to do right on your doorstep. And speaking of things to do, that list is endless. Take a walk around the ancient walls, see the city from a different angle on a boat cruise, or admire the fascinating architecture of York Minster. If you’re a history geek, there are over 20 museums to discover, covering topics ranging from immersive Viking history to creepy dungeons (don't get lost down there). York is also a fantastic place to shop, with numerous independent stores and boutiques selling everything from artisan chocolates to arts and crafts. Similarly, there is an excellent choice of places to eat and drink, including the Michelin starred Roots and the iconic Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms. On top of all this, the city also has an exciting calendar of events, with gigs, comedy shows, festivals, exhibitions, and seasonal events, so there’s never a bad time to visit.
If you’re pondering where to stay in York and are hoping to find somewhere a little quieter, but still with good access to the city centre, then you need Bootham. This area is on the main route leading north out of the city centre, so you can easily drive or walk into the heart of the city. If you feel like a break from the hubbub, take a stroll down to the vast Clifton Park, right on the banks of the River Ouse. This is a beautiful open space to relax, play ball games, or even have a picnic in (assuming the weather is being kind). Bootham is also home to a great variety of independent shops, and you’ll find everything from books and cheese, to stores specialising in rugs and music - when we say there's something for everyone, we mean it.
As the name rightly suggests, South Bank is just south of the River Ouse (who'd have thought?). Here you’ll get the benefits of a quiet residential area, ideal for families, while only being roughly 18 minutes from the city centre on foot. If you’re in York for the horse racing, you needn't look any further than South Bank, with York Racecourse right around the corner. The venue hosts race days between May and October, alongside other entertaining events including headline music concerts, antique and vintage fairs, model railway shows, car boot sales, and family events (is that enough action for you?). For cyclists, South Bank is a great starting point for the York to Selby cycle path, so pack your helmet and embark on the 15 mile journey (one way). This route takes you past a scale model of the solar system as you make your way to Selby, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.
Middlethorpe and Bishopthorpe
Just an eight minute drive out of York you'll find the charming village of Middlethorpe - a hamlet with interesting heritage. It’s a great location for families or couples who are looking to stay in a peaceful spot away from the buzz of the city, and also boasts a number of things to do itself. After a day of exploring York, unwind with one of the treatments at Middlethorpe Hall and Spa, or relax in the beautifully landscaped gardens. Middlethorpe Hall's history reaches back as far as 1699, so also be sure to admire the building and ponder the Middlethorpe of yesteryear.
Jump in the car for a grand ride of three minutes and you'll discover Bishopthorpe, the next village over. This is another great choice if you’re looking for somewhere quiet to stay, so is frankly perfect for those of you with youngsters in tow (you're welcome). Treat yourself to some retail therapy after surviving the hustle and bustle of the city, and hop into the Brunswick Organic Nursery. Here, you can pick up some organic fruit and veg, arts and crafts, and seasonal products to gift to all your friends back home (or to kit out your own home - we don't judge).
Heslington and Fulford
Heslington is a suburban village to the south-east of York city centre - it only takes six minutes to drive into town, so it’s a great location that goes slightly under the radar. There are a number of lush green spaces to unwind in - have a picnic in Walmgate Stray, or walk around the landscaped courtyard gardens of the 16th-century Heslington Hall. Drive south-east for just another four minutes and you’ll make your way out of Heslington, arriving in the historic village of Fulford. Tee off at the Fulford Golf Club, and enjoy a round on the same turf that some legendary golfers have tried out - Bernhard Langer, Tom Weiskopf, and Ian Woosnam, just to name a few. It’s one of the most scenic courses in Yorkshire, covering green parkland to gorse and heather, so be sure to admire your surroundings as you go - just make sure you don’t hit any of the wild deer.
Sporty types searching for where to stay in York will love the village of Huntington, a five minute drive away from York city centre. As well as Huntington Sports and Social Club, you’ll find Huntington Stadium, a multi-purpose arena and home to the rugby league teams of York City Knights and York Wasps. Elsewhere there is the Heworth Golf Club, as well as New Earswick’s large sports club, that sits just a short drive away. Huntington has great transport links into the city, making it the ideal location if you don’t plan on taking your own car.