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Why York (England) holds a special place in my heart

York. A historic walled city in North Yorkshire, England. Founded by the Romans and once capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and later of the kingdoms of Northumbria and Jorvik. Growing up in Norway, we learned a lot about the vikings and their conquests. We learned a lot about Jorvik and I’m sure there are some Norwegians out there who still claim York – sorry, Jorvik – as their own.

My British stepfather and my Polish mother came to Norway as immigrants and even though they both claim they feel more connected to their native country and its culture, I can tell that they’ve become more and more Norwegian as time goes by….which is probably one of the reasons why they ended up buying a holiday apartment in York, when they first started searching for an apartment in England.

My parents know – and I know – that there are plenty of reasons to love York, besides the Viking history and Nordic street names (Swinegate, for example, meaning Svinegata and refers to a place were pigs were kept). Here’s a few reasons I can think of:


The city of York is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a city of Media Arts. The city has invested in its cultural institutions, initiating plenty of iconic activities such as the York Mystery Plays and the Illuminating York Festival.


Coming from someone who have moved around and traveled a lot, I can assure you you’ll feel safe in York – and I would highly recommend it as a destination for solo travelers!


Tourist Attractions 

Visit the beautiful Cathedral York Minster, the medieval Clifford’s Tower, one of the many museums (Castle museum or the Jorvik Viking centre) or take a Yorkboat tour along the beautiful river Ouse.

Harry Potter

This city definitely has a Harry Potter-esque vibe to it. Wouldn’t it be nice to stroll along these little streets with your shopping bags, or maybe sit down somewhere with a good book – maybe Harry Potter – and sip a cup of tea and just enjoy this fairy tale-like atmosphere.



York is blessed with beautiful parks. During the warm summer months you’ll see people everywhere, having a nice little picnic, going for a run or a bicycle ride, or….making out with their loved one, in the grass.. There’s also a bunch of geese everywhere for some reason – and they are not only in the parks! (And lots of white doves too, like these guys).


Ethical Shopping

There are a lot of secondhand shops in York. And when I say a lot, I mean tons. Everywhere. Many different charity organizations have their own shops, which gives you the option to choose which cause you want to donate to. I usually visit all of them and buy a little something here and there, to support as many organizations as possible. The clothes are usually sold ridiculously cheap anyway.


York has a great university and is a very student-friendly city with lots of bars. But then again, wherever you go in England there will be lots of bars/pubs. I’ve been to a few different ones in York, and it’s safe to say there’s something for every taste and every price range.


Celebrating Christmas in York is magical. They have an amazing Christmas market where you can buy local Yorkshire produce for your Christmas feast – or some lovely decorations or warm outerwear. When it snows in York – on all those little houses in the city center – it looks just like taken out of a fairy tale. Mesmerizing. More information about this year’s Christmas festival here .

These are all “old” photos and I didn’t have any photos from winter in York, so you’ll just have to take my word for it and enjoy these photos from June 2015 instead.



My mother and I, enjoying the countryside not far from York










27 comments on “Why York (England) holds a special place in my heart

  1. I visited UK many times, since now I was in London and Brighton. York looks like magical city and I must visit York next time. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post with us.

  2. York looks so picturesque and serene, my kind of place. Lovely, lovely pictures.

  3. York seems a nice place, an unique

  4. York looks like a very nice place even for tourist, and enjoy the local life. I could imagine how solemn to celebrate Christmas here!


  5. Love the pics. Love traveling and seeing different places. 🙂

  6. I have heard and read a lot about York. It’s good to read and know more about this place. It is really great to have seen these pictures. You have done a great job capturing them.

  7. I like the sound of the safe city as you claim York is, since all the tragic events that happened in Europe. Also, as a huge fan of Harry Potter I really wouldn’t mind reading one of my favorite books there.

    • I never felt unsafe there, and I doubt any of the things you hear about in the news will happen in a city like York. Obviously, you can never be too sure, but I highly doubt it 🙂

  8. Great photos! I moved to York from America last year and love it and been to all the places in your post. This is a great little city and very historical as well as charming! I agree it’s a safe place to for solo travel and there is so much to do!

  9. I’m always wanting to visit England for so long now, I have to do something about it and make my goal come true! 🙂

  10. York sounds great. I’ve never been there. It sounds like it’s worth a visit. A friend of mine is a huge Harry Potter fan. So I’m sure she’d love the vibe in york. The parks look great.

  11. The park’s images are falling me in love of the city. As you are assuring safety being a woman about the city then I am sure it is a quite safer city.

  12. I am yet to visit York. A couple of friends live there so one d at…

  13. York looks so calm and serene, my kind of place. Will visit it very soon

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