I recently spent Christmas and New Year in historic York, England. It’s known as the capital of the North, and was effectively capital city of England leading up to the 1300’s when the Chancery and Exchequer were based here under Edward I.
The historic city of York has some fantastic historic and religious architecture making it perfect for an Instagram walk. As I felt like I was going back in time, I decided to do my Instawalk of York in Black and White. All photography was done on my iPhone – I hope that you enjoy it.
Picadilly to Marygate Instagram Walk – Historic York in Black and White
Here’s a map to show you the route I took walking from one side of historic York to the other. From Picadilly to Marygate took me just over an hour, mainly due to stopping for photos and taking notes!
Church of All Saints
My first stop was looking down High Ousegate towards the Church of All Saints and the old Barclays Bank building. You really do feel like you are stuck in a time warp!
I then walked down Coney Street past the famous historic York Clock and towards Saint Helen’s Square. The famous York clock is found on the side of St Martin le Grand Church, a Grade II listed parish church in the Church of England.
Saint Helen’s Square and Davygate
From St Helen’s Square, I took a great shot of St Helen’s Church on the corner of Davygate and Stonegate. St Helen Stonegate Church is a medieval Church of England still in operation and it is free to enter. Opposite St Helen’s is the famous Betty’s cafe – well worth stopping off for a cuppa and cake!
Historic York Minster
York Minster, formerly known as The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter, is the largest gothic Church structure in the UK. There has been a Cathedral on this site through Roman and Norman times. Around 1220, the expansion of the Minster continued with the rebuilding of the two Transepts in the contemporary Early English style. Archbishop Walter Gray took great interest in the South Transept and helped to finance the building as did the Treasurer of the Minster in the North Transept. York Minster was officially completed in 1472.
It remains a practicing place of worship for Church of England Christians and is open on a daily basis. Entrance is free for York residents, visitors need to pay on the door an admission fee of £10, or you can get a combined ticket for the Minster and Tower for £15. Discounts are available for senior citizens and students.
The View of the City Walls from Lendal Bridge
Built between 1861AD – 1863AD, Lendal Bridge is the oldest of three modern bridges built in the city. Standing on Lendal bridge gives a great view of the city walls in one direction, and the Minster in another.
St Mary’s Abbey, Museum Gardens
I walked through Museum Gardens to discover Saint Mary’s Abbey, ruins of an Abbey that was destroyed during the dissolution of the monasteries. St Mary’s Abbey mirrored the Cathedral for some 350 years, tying together two key parts of history. It was begun by William the Conqueror to reinforce his hold on the North after 1066. It was ended by Henry VIII as a consequence of his Reformation of the Church. It the time that the monastery was fully functioning, it brought wealth and prosperity but also, alongside, it was a source of conflict.
St Olaves on Marygate
Before reaching the river, there was one more Parish Church to be found – St Olave’s of Marygate. This Church was originally situated with St Mary’s Abbey walls, which were ruined in the dissolution of the monasteries. It’s dedicated to St Olaf, patron Saint of Norway and it’s denomination is Church of England. The Church was extensively repaired and partially rebuilt in 15th Century.
The rain really started to pour as my walk finished, so I headed down the river back to our old place where I was staying.
Where to Stay in York
If you’re looking for somewhere nice to stay in York, I highly recommend Hotel Du Vin on the Mount, just outside Micklegate. It’s a rustic Bistro downstairs with traditional French/English style cuisine. A hearty English breakfast is included.
The Grand Hotel in York is also delightful, and located right next to the historic walls and near the station. It has spa facilities onsite.
Where to Eat and Drink in York
I highly recommend the Walmgate Ale House for a full meal – their roast dinners are phenomenal. If you like tapas, head to Ambiente on Goodramgate.
For tea and cake, head to the famous Betty’s tea room, or the Earl Grey Tea Shop on the Shambles. Also, don’t miss out on the Monk Bar chocolatier!
If you’re up for a few bevvies in the evening, head to Stonegate. I highly recommend Evil Eye York and also the House of Trembling Madness. Evil Eye has a Latin American style feel with a large selection of specialist Vodka’s and cocktails. House of Trembling Madness has good ale and give a medieval feel in a loft style bar.
You might also like to read about the Marvellous Churches of Rome.