10 things you might not know about… York
Steeped in history and blessed with cobbled city good looks, York is one of most charming and picturesque cities in the UK – but it’s also one of the most...

Steeped in history and blessed with cobbled city good looks, York is one of most charming and picturesque cities in the UK – but it’s also one of the most interesting. We round up some fun trivia…

It’s known for its “snickelways”

The city’s “snickelways” – otherwise known as narrow, winding pedestrian paths and hidden alleys – offer a charming way to explore the city away from the main streets.

It’s the birthplace of Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes – infamous for his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 – was born in Stonegate in 1570.

It’s home to the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe

The city’s iconic York Minster stands tall as the largest of its type in Northern Europe. It’s said that it took over 250 years to build, with work starting in the 1200s until 1470.

It has its very own cat trail

York’s Lucky Cat Trail takes feline fans on a free scavenger hunt through its winding streets to find a number of cat statues – which are scattered randomly throughout the city. Each one has its own unique story to tell.

It’s home to the shortest street in England

You’ll find the tiny street – called Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate – between Fossgate and The Shambles.

It has a rich chocolate heritage

The city played a significant role in the history of chocolate production – and was once home to some of the UK’s most famous confectionery brands, including Terry’s and Rowntree’s. The Rowntree factory – which opened in the 1800s – was the training ground for the founder of Cadbury, who then went on to train the founder of Bournville.

It’s considered one of the most haunted cities in the UK

York Dungeon, The Treasurer’s House, Ye Old Starr Inne and the Golden Fleece pub are among its reputed haunted locations.

It has a multi-layered history

Beneath the modern city lies a complex network of medieval and Roman structures. The York Minster Undercroft, for example, reveals archaeological layers spanning centuries.

It’s home to the longest medieval city walls in England

Walking along them provides both a historical and scenic experience, offering views of the city’s rooftops and buildings. It’s said that all buildings inside the city walls are not permitted to be taller than York Minster, so as not to block pedestrians’ views of the iconic landmark.

It inspired the iconic Harry Potter series

It’s widely believed that author, JK Rowling, used The Shambles as inspiration when creating the image of Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter novels and movie adaptations.

Posted 14th February 2024

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