2016 Travels – York

Way back in September 2016, I had the great idea of having a day trip out on one of my holidays from work. This was the first of what has so far proved to be many of them. I had been to York some 20 years previously on a day trip with my parents, and I remember that I enjoyed it, so I decided to go back there.

I booked a return train ticket to York, and travelled to Burton on Trent station on Tuesday 27th September to catch the 9:27am service which went straight to York. The journey took a couple of hours, during which nothing much happened.

My first port of call on the trip was the National Railway Museum, located just a short walk away from the railway station. At the time, I wasn’t really hugely interested in the railways, but that changed after I had had a walk around the museum for a couple of hours. I had a walk around, looking at some of the locomotives on display, and some of the hundreds of artefacts, signs and posters. I had been there for around an hour, when I realised that I should really be taking some photos. Here’s a selection of them:

From the Railway Museum, I walked past the railway station and over the bridge over the River Ouse to my next point of interest, York Minster.

The iconic Minster, or The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, to give its proper name, was completed in 1472 after several centuries of building. They had the builders in again when I visited, as part of it was swathed in scaffolding as part of a renovation project which was completed in 2018. In 1984, a lightning strike in the summer caused a huge fire which destroyed part of the building, but it was rebuilt in 1988. I didn’t go inside the Minster this time (I did on my first visit in 1996), but I took some photos of the outside.

From the Minster, I walked to Clifford’s Tower, the keep of York Castle. I took the longer way around, just to savour the atmosphere of York, and not at all because I got lost. I finally found it, which wasn’t difficult, seeing as it’s a big tower on top of a hill.

The tower is one of the last surviving parts of York Castle. Some of the other parts are now York’s Crown Court and the Castle Museum, which used to be the female prison.

I climbed up the stairs to the tower entrance. It cost £4.50 to get in and have a look around, so I quickly took a couple of photos from the top of the stairs, then went back down. From there, I made my way onto the ancient city walls.

York city walls were originally built in 71 AD, with further parts built in the 12th – 14th century. They were originally built as defences against enemies. Today, they are a tourist attraction and a handy way of getting around the city on foot. I had a stroll around part of the walls until I got to the railway station.

York railway station is not the first station built to serve the city. The first, pictured in the last photo above, was a terminus station built in 1841 within the city walls (they knocked a hole through the walls to lay the railway track). This proved to be a problem for trains having to reverse out of the station to continue north of York, and so the present station was built on the other side of the walls and opened in 1877. At the time it opened, York station was the largest in the world, and is often regarded as one of the finest railway stations in the country.

I had a bit of time before my train home, so I had a stroll in the Memorial Gardens, located just a few yards away from the station entrance. I made my way into the station and caught a direct train back to Burton on Trent.

About 18 months later, I went back to York. You can read all about that here. In 2021, I have plans to go back yet again, but who knows when that will happen. All I can tell you is that when it does, I’ll be writing about it on here. Thanks very much for reading.

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