Things to do in York

You would be hard pressed to find someone that didn’t love the city of York and all it has to offer. Whether you are the type of person who lives for the evening revelry, a true tourist set on covering serious ground with a mission to see the sites or are merely someone who likes to chill out with a drink and watch the world go by, then this city has it all.

We would like to highlight a few of our favourite hotspots for your consideration, just to give you a flavour of what to do in this 
great city. We will also add different events for each month so that you are aware of all the upcoming festivities.

York Castle Prison  York Castle Prison


Experience a brutal and crooked prison and meet our most notorious prisoner: the legendary highwayman, Dick Turpin. York Castle Prison focuses on the lives of eight former inmates, including Turpin.

York Castle Prison is part of The Castle Museum and there is no extra charge for visiting it.

When: Daily 9.30am – 5pm

Where: York Castle Museum

Admission: Adults £8.50

terrys York Chocolate Story


Discover the history of chocolate at York’s newest visitor attraction, find out what makes York chocolate so special and enjoy a range of delicious chocolate treats along the way at York’s Chocolate Story.

When: Daily 10am-6pm

Where: King’s Square York, YO1 7LD

Admission: Adults from £8.50

jake bugg Jake Bugg


The Nottingham born indie rising star Jake Bugg will be playing the York Barbican as part of his largest UK tour to date. Why not grab a ticket and spend the weekend at The Fort.

When: Friday 29th March

Where: York Barbican

Cost: £15.00

Elvis Costello Elvis Costello


Following the success of his recent Revolver tour, Elvis Costello and The Imposters will grace the York Barbican next June, bringing with them the gigantic vaudevillian contraption known as ‘The Spectacular Singing Songbook’.

When:17th June

Where: York Barbican

Cost: £42.50

Bar Lane Studios – Open Mike Night

As one of York’s recent additions to cultural spaces within the city centre, it should be no surprise that it is eager to nurture fresh talent. So, if you want to simply admire those who take the chance to showcase their abilities in the numerous open mike nights or even fancy a go yourself, then head over to Bar Lane Studios.

When: Ongoing

Where: Bar Lane Studios

Admission: £1 to watch, £2 to participate

Free Walking Tours

If you are new to York and are keen to get a feel for where you are, then why not take advantage of the free tours that leave from Exhibition Square most days.

Unfortunately you won’t be sat aboard one of the fetching red buses that meander around the city, but instead using your feet. This does mean you’ll be able to see more of what makes this city great, such as the medieval walkways.

When: Daily at 10.45am

Where: Exhibition Square (outside art gallery), York, YO1 7EW

Admission: Free

More info

Kennedy’s 20% discount

A reminder that the trendy eatery and premier nightspot (one of The Fort’s recommended places) is offers 20% off all food to those that stay at The Fort. So, if you want to ensure that you are well-fed whilst keeping a watch on the budget, head to Kennedy’s Bar & Restaurant.

The Fort Recommends:

York Minster – How can we mention things to do in York and not mention the largest gothic cathedral in Europe? Standing 
the test of time, the beautiful monster has witnessed the great plague, two world wars and was even ravaged by a fire
 in the 1980s! Towering above the city and just a stone’s throw from The Fort, why not take an hour or so to have a look around?

Price: £9 (£8 for students) Opening times: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm

York Art Gallery – We love creative talent and the art galleries in York are particularly beautiful. Overlooking Exhibition Square
 in the centre of the city, York Art Gallery boasts numerous collections including work by the Yorkshire artist William Etty. Refurbished in 2005, why not take a stroll through the grade II listed building and embrace a little culture?

Price: Free    Opening times: Mon-Sun 10am-5pm

Bar Lane Studios – The latest addition to the art community has seen the launch of a fantastic space at the top of Micklegate that allows artists to display their work to the public through the use of its newly refurbished gallery. Opening with a collection by the former guitarist of the Stone Roses, John Squire, it recently showcased artwork by the masterful magician, Derren Brown.

Price: Free    Opening times: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm

The Barbican – York’s premier music venue has recently undergone a £2million refit. Attracting many high profile stars The Barbican provides you with the perfect chance to enjoy an evening of entertainment.

Price: Various, depending on act (average £20)

Gillygate – The Fort is nestled nicely just off one of York’s most recognisable streets, Stonegate, but just a hop skip and a jump away from the medieval shoppers’ paradise is Gillygate. Winding its way towards York St John University, the road is home to an array of quirky boutiques and shops that will delight. One that you may find particularly interesting is Snowhome – it’s where we sourced some of our snazzy accessories!

Kennedy’s – If you are planning to head to York for a night of fun and frolics, then don’t forget to check out one of the city’s top bars. It boasts three floors, including a rooftop terrace! In the daytime it transforms itself into a chic eatery where you can select
 a range of food from a delicious menu, all on a budget.

The Fort also provides a comments board, so why not leave us your must see places in the city? You can also leave your recommendations on our various social media sites (you could even leave a reply below with a mention of what you think people shouldn’t miss on their trip to the city of York).

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