York was a spur-of-the-moment trip with one of my best friends Charlotte Robertson. Let’s just say it was a much needed girl’s trip. This wasn’t a heavily planned, big sight-seeing trip; and sometimes those can be the best. We set off on a beautiful day, getting the train to Newark first (without realizing we had to change trains by crossing the entirety of Newark), and then after admiring the castle, boarded the train to York. This resulted in another blunder on our part, as we accidentally boarded the quiet coach, not realizing, and continued laughing, gabbing, and cracking cans of cider open until an older passenger made our folly abundantly clear. Oops!
We stayed at the Safeatay Hostel, close to the River Ouse and the main part of town. I would describe it as spacious with a lot of character .We didn’t linger, as we dropped off our stuff and ventured out; through the famous York Shambles crowded with farmers markets that inspired Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, to Clifford’s Tower overlooking the city, and to gaze upon York Minster in its grand glory. Even though I’ve lived in England for over 2 years, I still get caught off guard by its beauty; and York was no exception.
The only other person staying in our 6 bed mixed dorm was an Australian paramedic traveling Europe alone, a bit of a vise versa to the normal gap-year pilgrimage so common in the UK these days; so of course Charlotte and I invited him along with us. We went to an iconic bar called Evil Eyes (rumored to be Johnny Depp’s favorite bar, but as I am with most uninspired celeb gossip, remain skeptical) and had cocktails amongst the northern students while making fun of the way our new friend, Jacob Wegener, said things (he said hostel like pastel). We bar crawled around the pretty riverside city, and called it an early night.
To make it a true gal’s weekend, we woke up and moseyed around some shops, took some not-so-candid pictures, and stopped to get tea (coffee…) and scones at Betty’s; a very ‘posh’ tea house. We then made our way back to Nottingham, refreshed and happy.
Borrowed Clothes: For this trip I had with me a grey t-shirt I picked up when I used to spend half my time at my friends flat, Gordon House, which was miles away from my own. I think I owe a large chunk of my coveted T-shirt collection to them…
- York can be done in a weekend- or even a day. The actual sightseeing takes less than a day.
- Let this story be an example that an adventure doesn’t have to be a lengthy travel away- it can just be somewhere you’ve never been before, and you can still have a great experience.
- Don’t change trains in Newark. They have two stations on separate sides of the city.