York Attractions to visit with the York Pass

York in England ranks as one of the best cities to visit in England and it’s brimming with sightseeing options. It’s a great destination for a short break as it’s easy to reach by rail on the main East Coast Line. Our visit to York in February 2010 was hosted by Visit York and we were given complimentary two day York Passes.

York city in miniature, a sculpture outside York Minster

With York attraction entrance fees such as £9 for York Minster and £14.30 (with discounts if you book in advance online) for York Dungeon it’s worth looking a York Pass.The current cost of the York Pass ranges from £28 for one day to £68 for six days, with reductions for kids aged 5 – 15. Be aware that not all the attractions are open during the low season, some are closed on certain days and that the York Pass is valid for calendar days as opposed to 24 hours periods.

Below are some of the York attractions we visited using the York Pass.

Merchant Adventurer’s Hall

Merchant Adventurer’s Hall was one of my favourite York attractions. It’s the best preserved medieval guild hall in the UK built between 1357 – 1361. The wooden ceiling beams are really impressive.

York Brewery Tour

Now I’m an unusual Scot in that I never drink alcohol so it may seem strange for me to go on a brewery tour. However it was interesting to find out about the brewing process and it meant that my husband was able to sample two different beers. I just posed for a photo before handing my half of Centurion’s Ghost Ale over to him.

Me with a half of Centurion’s Ghost Ale at the York Brewery

York Quilt Museum

I was quite intrigued by the idea of a museum devoted to quilts. The main exhibition of Welsh and Scottish Wholecloths looked like bed quilts my Granny had. There were some more pictorial quilts similar to those I was able to photograph in the entrance foyer (photography was forbidden elsewhere) and a display of Iranian embroidered ‘T’ shaped tunics, traditionally worn by shepherds. The exhibitions change every few months.

The entrance of York Quilt Museum

York Boat Daytime Cruises

During our visit to York in February there were four sailings of 45 minutes duration per day. I found it relaxing to sit on the boat and see the riverside York attractions from a different angle. The captain gave a live commentary throughout the cruise.

York Minster

York Minster is probably the best known York attraction, dating from the 7th century and is the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. I loved the stained glass windows. The Tower Tour isn’t included in the York Pass, it costs an additional £5.

Clifford’s Tower

The first fortification on this site was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. The Tower was named after Roger de Clifford who was hanged there in 1322. There are panoramic views over York from the walk around the top of the walls of the Tower.

Clifford’s Tower York

York Dungeon

You are not allowed to take photos or videos on the York Dungeon which is a pity. There are actors in some sections of the dungeon who involve you in some fun, gruesome antics. I was tried in a court for being drunk and dancing in the streets (that must’ve been the effects of the ale the previous day at the York Brewery Tour). The judge sentenced me to death by torture. My husband was subjected to the thumbscrew in the torture chamber.

There are over fifty York attractions (not all are in York city) included in the York Pass. My Europe travel tip is to plan an itinerary and go to several attractions per day to make the most of the York Pass. There are some free York attractions such as the Art Gallery and it’s fun to walk along the city walls.