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Things to do in York

Cruise the Ouse and Foss at dusk

Arranged around the Ouse and Foss rivers, the city's iconic architecture shines from the water. Setting off from Kings Staith Landing, York Boat's (tel: +44 1904 628 324; www.yorkboat.co.uk) dusk cruises show the Minster bathed in golden light. For a little romance, couples should embark on a floodlit evening cruise.

Make your own chocolate

For something a bit different, take a tour through the history of chocolate in the city. York's Chocolate Story (tel: +44 845 498 9411; www.yorkchocolatestory.com) guides visitors through the lore of the city's prestigious chocolate-making families, whilst on-site chocolatiers will show you how to make your own to take home.

Scare yourself silly in the world’s most haunted city

According the Ghost Research Foundation International, York is the most haunted city in the world, and the city's enduring medieval battlements and Gothic cathedral certainly feel spooky at night. If you're feeling brave, take the renowned Original Ghost Walk of York (tel: +44 1904 764222; www.theoriginalghostwalkofyork.co.uk) and uncover its ghouls.

Start your own archaeological dig

Dig (tel: +44 1904 615505; www.digyork.com), comes from the same stable as Jorvik Viking Centre and offers participants the chance to grab a trowel and take part in excavations. Ideal for children, real and simulated artefacts from Roman to Victorian times are buried, ready for visitors and budding archaeologists to uncover.

Try a pub-crawl with a difference

York has some great watering holes, and you can tour its oldest taverns with Footprints (tel: +44 2075 588706; www.footprints-tours.com). Guides will explain the history of beer, how it built the Egyptian pyramids and why Popes have blessed it. You may need a stiff drink after - some of the pubs are haunted.

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Featured Hotels


The Churchill Hotel

All of the rooms in this hotel are individually decorated and its historic charm is guaranteed to beguile. Housed in a Georgian mansion built around 1827, the Churchill offers a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere. The restaurant is very good, sourcing its ingredients locally and in accordance with the seasons.

The Grange Hotel

A Grade-II-listed Regency townhouse, The Grange exudes good taste - the attached Ivy Brasserie (which received two AA rosettes in 2006) is worth a mention too. Elegant and luxurious, the hotel also offers modern comfort and convenience, including Wi-Fi access.

Middlethorpe Hall

This country house, built in 1699, offers the optimum in lavishness: set in 20 acres of gardens and parkland, it is decorated with antiques consistent with the period of the house, yet also manages to be modern with its own health and fitness spa.

Romley House

This family-run guest house provides a friendly and efficient service at bargain prices. Rooms are homely, decorated in white and floral patterns. Romley House is also renowned for its pictorial and ceramic clown collection - a typical touch of such child-friendly accommodation. Staying here is a way of receiving some classic Yorkshire hospitality.

York International Youth Hostel

This youth hostel's good service and clean and comfortable rooms guarantee good value for money. Although located just outside the city centre, the 10- to 15-minute walk is a delightfully scenic one along the river. The hostel's bedrooms range from single rooms to dorms accommodating up to eight people.

The Bar Convent

Situated in the oldest existing convent in England (established in 1686), The Bar Convent offers accommodation with a difference, in elegant surroundings and with a unique and informal ambience. This Grade I listed Georgian building was renovated in the summer of 2006.