After our first exploration of York, including York's Chocolate Story, the Shambles Market and York Minster, we had grand plans for our second day in this historic English town, but the weather wasn't quite so co-operative so we didn't do a huge amount. Nonetheless we still had an excellent time and did catch a few more of York's main attractions.
After breakfast we first set out to walk more of the walls than we'd done the day prior. The city walls are brilliant and I loved the great viewpoint we had from them, though were were really surprised that so much of the walls was completely open, without any barriers. It seems very dangerous with children jumping about, or even with heavy gusts of wind like we experienced them.
But then again, I assume nothing serious has ever happened or they would've put safety measures in place straight after. The wall walk was definitely one of the highlights of the trip though, not only was it a fun way to see the city, but the green hills surrounding the walls were covered in daffodils, which was a lovely sign of spring.
We followed the walls all the way to Clifford Tower, also known as York Castle, and flashed our shiny York Passes to get entry into the tower for free. It isn't very big, but it is very interesting, and it provides some fantastic views over the city, which even the wall walk couldn't (as it's higher up). If you've not been to York before, this is certainly a visit I recommend if for the view alone.
At this stage the weather was getting colder and windier, but it was still dry enough for us to chance a wander into town for York's Chocolate Festival and the Vintage Market in the Shambles. Unfortunately both were a bit disappointing as they were small and didn't hold our interest, so instead we decided to go check out York's famous Bettys Tea Room.
However, with a queue going around the block and the first drops of rain falling down this wasn't something we were willing to queue for for an hour or so, so instead we ventured over the river for a YorkBoat tour. My photos aren't great (as we were sitting comfortable inside while the rain was slightly obscuring the view) but it was an interesting enough 45 minutes and at least we were dry inside while the weather cleared up!
After the boat tour we definitely needed some lunch, so we popped into a cute tearoom that wasn't as busy as Bettys for a delicious grilled cheese and tea with scones (both the sandwiches and the scones were absolutely massive and I couldn't finish it all) before heading back to the hotel for a few hours to sit out the worst of the bad weather (when we left the tearooms we were hit by a massive hailstorm, which started completely abruptly and covered the streets in a sheet of slick ice in the blink of an eye).
In the evening we joined the Ghost Hunt of York departing from the Shambles (which York Passes give a discount on), which was fun though not remotely scary (this was probably a good thing, as I'm a big scaredy-cat). It involved getting a little too close to some of our fellow ghost hunters at times but for the most part it was a fun and interesting wander through the historic streets at night, guided by someone who could've walked straight out of a Dickens novel (Jacob Marley, is that you?!) and telling us about some of the tragic things that have happened in York that let to sightings of ghosts where they took place.
We finished our second day of York with another visit to the Windmill Inn and Pub near our hotel (it was quickly becoming our local), before turning in for an early night so we'd be refreshed the next day for our day trip to nearby Castle Howard. Stay tuned for my blog on our trip to this beautiful location of the Brideshead Revisited film and mini-series next week.
Many thanks to Visit York for the York Passes, which on the second day of our visit allowed us free entry into Clifford Tower and onto the YorkBoat. All opinions are my own.