I also refer you to my fellow York-lover, with the article A391529, link here.
What is York?
York is a great city in England. It's in Yorkshire.
How do I get to York?
Unfortunately, it's not accessable by any Motorways, but A roads serve it well. Specifically, the A19. The RAC recommends a 200-mile trek from London, taking about 4 hours. It's only 80 miles from Manchester. There's no way to reference the route, so here's the RAC site, link 1: (LINK1). Also, there's a wonderful map of York available at Streetmap.co.uk, which remarkably refuses to link. Sorry.
What should I do in York?
There's TONS to do in York. First should be the Minster. Oh, the Minster. I could write an entry on the Minster. It's the most beautiful cathedral I have ever seen. Go to a service, ask to be seated near the door so you can leave early, and leave when you get bored. Wonderful. Also, be sure to go below the church. You see sooooooooooooooooo much more. This is terribly interesting. I missed it on my first visit and regretted it!
Oh, and see the shops of The Shambles. Great little streets to shop for stuff. It's really nice... (Shop them too.)
And near there, there's the tiny long-named street Whip-ma-whop-ma-gate. It's got a history. That's where husbands would whip their wives until they were sober. It used to be called Whit-nour-what-nour-gate.
Then there's touristy stuff like the Jorvik (Yor'-vik) Viking Centre, which is less meaty than it could be, but the ride through the Viking "village" is spectacular, for more than one reason, such as the smell recreation. (Smell a viking village. Imagine it. Don't imagine it: go to York!) Get there early! Lines form. Long lines. I had to wait a half an hour. There's a little coffee stand outside, so you can get a cup there. And there's the extremely touristy York Dungeon, which I would recommend if you're in York for a while, but not just for a little tour. The York Dungeon contains somewhat scary demonstrations of York in the 1600s. I would use extreme caution for little kids, and prepare them to be aware that no one will actually get hurt, and no one did get hurt.
Everything is within walking distance in York. From the Royal York Hotel (to be discussed later), you can make it to the city walls in five minutes, the Minster in 15, and the Shambles in a similar 15. Be liberal with your estimates on walking distance, because the city can get crowded. Don't bother taking a taxi. (Although I do love the design of British taxis...)
What should I do at night in York?
Hmm... how about a ghost walk? There are plenty to choose from. I've only done one, so I can't really say which one to do. I'm getting input from York residents. In the meantime, do the Original Ghost Walk, which starts at a pub on the River Ouse. Often people are very drunk there; I saw one strip and jump in to the river next to a NO SWIMMING sign. Then his friends took his clothes and threw them into the river. If you want to avoid this, go to Clifford's Tower 15 minutes after it's supposed to start. Give the tour guide 3 quid for adults and 2 quid for children, unless it's changed. There's no good food in that pub, so I suggest the Indian restaurant just past the pub on the left. And no, I don't remember the name, but I never ate at a bad Indian restaurant in the U.K.
Where should I stay in York?
Good question. Expedia lists 11, only one of which I've stayed at. Of course, I've only stayed at one hotel in York, and that's the Royal York Hotel. It's really nice. One VERY important thing: If you are handicapped, or possible might not be able to climb stairs easily, REQUEST A ROOM ON ONE OF THE FIRST THREE FLOORS! I cannot stress that enough. I stayed on the fifth floor, and had to climb stairs. I'm sure there are many other good hotels in York. For this I refer you to Expedia Hotels.