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21 things to do in York this Winter

Staying in York? Here are our picks of the best things to do while visiting this historical city.

Written by High Life North
Published 30.10.2021

York Minster

Step inside this stunning cathedral and be transported back to the 7th century. Admire its atmospheric interiors and majestic medieval stained-glass windows, sublime architecture and sparkling artefacts.

HLN TOP TIP:  Wear some sensible shoes and climb all 275 steps to enjoy the unbelievable view from the highest point in York.

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City Walls

Walk along these Roman fortifications that once protected the city and get lost in the history that lies within them.

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York’s Chocolate Story

Calling all chocoholics, this spot is perfect for you! Unwrap 3,000 years of chocolate history and York’s role in it with this guided tour.

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Betty’s Café Tea Rooms

No visit to York is complete without a trip to this famous Café Tea Rooms. With beautiful interiors inspired by the Queen Mary ocean liner, it’s been making a splash since 1936 and serves a hella good afternoon tea.

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Take a stroll down one of York’s most famous streets and you’ll be blown away by its quaintness and the dainty shops and cute cafés that line its sides. A firm favourite with Harry Potter fans – and perfect for the ‘gram.

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Early Evening Cruise

Cruise down the River Ouse, where you’ll be treated to stunning sunset views. Plus, the boat has a fully stocked bar and entertainment.

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JORVIK Viking Centre

Take a trip back in time and delve into York’s Scandi past, giving you a snapshot of what Viking life would’ve been like back in 866 – yes, York really is that ancient!

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The York Dungeon

A thrilling, immersive journey that delves into the murkier parts of the city’s past through terrifying actors, special effects and truly horrifying sets – this is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

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The Bloody Tour of York

Join Mad Alice as you wander down the medieval streets, hearing the gruesome history the city has to offer.

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Castle Howard

Visit this magnificent stately home with ornate interiors and landscaped gardens and you’re sure to be impressed – not least because it’s the famous setting for Netflix’s hit period drama series, Bridgerton.

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York Castle Museum

From the world-renowned Victorian street Kirkgate, to meeting the infamous prisoners in the spooky cells, immerse yourself in over 400 years of York’s past.

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York Christmas Market

Thursday 18th November – Thursday 23rd December

What better way to get into the festive spirit than here? Stretching down Parliament Street and into St Sampson’s Square, the market has a range of stalls from local businesses selling gifts and food from inside cute wooden chalets.

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Thor’s Tipi

17th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022

 This cosy Nordic pop-up tent at the end of Parliament Street (with the Christmas Market) sells street food, hot seasonal drinks and cool cocktails.

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York Stage Ltd presents Elf The Musical

Thursday 25th November – Friday 3rd December

 Get ready to start your festive season off with a Buddy-shaped bang as ELF: The Musical arrives at the Grand Opera House York this winter.

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Love Actually In Concert

Wednesday 8th December

 A full, live orchestra will perform Craig Armstrong’s famous movie’s playlist at these shows, with the classic Christmas film projected onto a giant screen.

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Big Christmas Concert with Alistair Griffin

Friday 3rd & Friday 10th December

Inside the beautiful medieval Michael Le Belfrey Church, you’ll be taken on a musical journey from acoustic versions of traditional carols through to Wizard, Slade and The Pogues.

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Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland

19th November 2021 – 9th January 2022

From a huge, festive, outdoor ice rink, overlooked by an atmospheric Alpine style café, to a vintage funfair, the grounds of the York Designer Outlet has been transformed.

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The Snowman at York Minster

Saturday 11th December

The iconic Christmas film is projected onto a large screen in the beautiful setting of York Minster, with a live orchestra accompaniment which brings this Christmas classic to life.

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The Magical Music of Harry Potter: Live in Concert with the Weasleys

Monday 13th December

Original actors, magic, star soloists, a choir and the London Symphonic & Philharmonic Film Orchestra will bring the best of magical music of Harry Potter to life.

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A Christmas Carol

Friday 17th – Sunday 19th December

The Penny Magpie Theatre with York Mansion House brings an exciting version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to this majestic venue of York Theatre Royal.

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Jason Manford: Like Me

Thursday 16th – Friday 17th December

 He’s back! This nationally acclaimed comedian is back with his latest comic offering set to hit the road and you can expect nothing more than comedy gold.

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Alan Carr: Regional Trinket

Saturday 18th – Sunday 19th December

From the exhilarating high of his star-studded wedding day to the low of lockdown stuck on a farm, Alan’s back on the road with a brand-new stand-up show.

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