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Day trips from Leeds - Places to visit and excursions around Leeds

Published by Erasmusu Content — one month ago

Blog: Leeds City Guide
Tags: Erasmus blog Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

York - Historic city

If you are tired of the hustle and bustle of the big city, why not take a trip to York, a historic town located only 20 minutes away by train. It is jam-packed with attractions and it is easy to get around by foot.

How to get to York

If you want to use public transport to get there, the most convenient and cost-friendly ways to get there are by train or coach:

Travelling by train, you can get the train from Leeds Train Station to York Station, with prices starting from just £3 when you book in advance and with a journey time as little as 22 minutes!

Alternatively, you can get a coach from Leeds Bus Station to York Bus Station for around £9 with National Express, which will take around an hour.

Leeds and York are connected by the A64 so you can drive there in about 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the traffic. However, car parking in the city centre is sparse and expensive.

Things to see in York

York Minster

York Minster is the largest cathedral in Britain and the second largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. It has a stunning architecture and you are able to visit the inside, which is even more beautiful, to see the stained glass windows and other features.

To enter the cathedral, it costs £9 for students, however there is also a ticket which includes access to climb the Central Tower for £14. This allows you spectacular panoramic views of the city of York. (To be eligible for the student price, you have to be studying outside of York).

Here is a student’s experience of visiting the York Minster.

The Shambles

The Shambles is a narrow medieval street in York which is full of different shops and a bustle of locals and tourists. It is said to be one of the best medieval streets in the world and many of its buildings can be dated back to the late 14th/15th century.

The Shambles was actually the inspiration for the magical street Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and it is very cool to walk down, with its timber-framed shop fronts and parts which are so narrowed you can touch both sides of the street just by reaching out your arms! 

It was formerly a busy meat market, with slaughterhouses located behind the butchers' shop fronts, however, now you can find artisan shops, bookshops, a very cool Harry Potter gift shop and chocolate shops, to name a few…

Another very famous feature of The Shambles is the Shambles Market.

York City Walls

The York City Walls are ancient walls around the perimeter of the city which date back to the 13th and 14th centuries. They go on for 2.5 miles and offer an elevated and peaceful walk all around York where you can admire famous attractions such as the York Minster from above. 

Click here to read a student’s blog for more information on visiting York City Walls.

York’s Chocolate Story

Where: King’s Square, York, YO17LD, at the top of the Shambles

York’s Chocolate Story is a guided tour where they take you through the process and history of chocolate, where you can learn how a cocoa bean turns into chocolate, learn about the history of some of York’s most famous chocolate brands and its history.

Chocolate is an important part of York’s history as a city, and it is home to many well known chocolate brands, such as KitKat, Areo, Milky Bar and Yorkie.

If you are a student, you can visit the Chocolate Story for £11.95 by showing your student card. Definitely worth it, because you get to design your own chocolate lolly and enjoy it later on.

Here, you can read a fellow Erasmus student’s experience of her visit to the York Chocolate Story.

Where to eat in York

York Roast Co 

Where: York Low Petergate (YO17HS) or York Stonegate (YO18AS)

As we already know, the British do love their Sunday Roasts and of course their Yorkshire Puddings. York Roast Co has revolutionised the Yorkshire Pudding and serves different variations of it in their restaurant. 

For example, they have a Yorky Pud Wrap which is a giant Yorkshire pudding wrap, with your choice of meat, roast veg, stuffing, gravy and sauce… or their Yorkshire pudding meal, which is a giant Yorkshire pudding with a roast dinner in the middle of it! They also have vegetarian options, which work out slightly cheaper, as well as an array of extras such as crackling and roast potatoes. 

You are able to eat in or take-away, however, the restaurant can get very busy at peak times and you may have to queue.

Shambles Market

Off of the main Shambles Streets, you can find the Shambles Market where you can find more than 85 business stalls and a food court. There are lots of delicious eateries, such as Pizzolo which offers Sicilian pizza, lasagna and focaccia or KREP which offers sweet and savoury French Crepes!

There are dedicated benches where you can sit and enjoy your street-food, either taking the opportunity to zone out a bit using their free wifi, or alternatively watch the hustle and bustle of this quaint medieval town.

Read some fellow students' experiences in York here (York, the place of my dreams) and here (My Experience in York) to see what they got up to! 

Manchester - Alternative Northern City

Manchester is a vibrant, modern city, which is home to lots of culture, art, music and industry. It is known for it’s cool vintage shops, indie eateries and big nights out. 

Here’s a blog which details lots of things to see and do in Manchester. If you prefer to hear more about the historical and cultural side of Manchester, read this student’s blog of what she did in Manchester in a day.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park - An Area of Natural Beauty in Leeds

The UK has 15 National Parks, one of which is the Yorkshire Dales. They are beautiful areas of countryside and nature which are protected by the Government. It is the perfect way to get outside, breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the beauty of nature… it will be hard for you to believe that this area is only a stone’s throw away from the industrial city of Leeds.

There are a wealth of things to do: you can visit limestone features such as the Malham Cove or go caving or rock-climbing, visit waterfalls, go star-gazing or try some Wensleydale Cheese at the Wensleydale Creamery. 

You are able to do both short and long hikes, or just cycle round and enjoy the spectacular scenery. There are lots of castles, local pubs and farm parks - it really is the perfect escape from the city. 

Return to Leeds City Guide  |   Continue to "Visiting Leeds in 3 days - What to see in Leeds in 3 days?"

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