Doing The Tourist Thing in York
The chap is a born and raised Yorkshire man, hailing from just outside York. I’m originally from the Midlands, and have only lived in Yorkshire for a decade. Nonetheless, I’ve spent a lot of my time working in York (which is truly a beautiful city by the way), but there are still a lot of tourist attractions that neither of us have actually visited. Cliffords Tower is one such place.
A (good) few weeks back, we were at a loose end on a Sunday and decided to spend a day in York. Originally, the plan had been to take a trip along the river on one of the river cruises, potter around shops and have something nice to eat. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t get the memo and whilst sipping our morning coffee under the shelter of a huge parasol outside of Fenwicks, we decided to do something different and go to Cliffords Tower.
I’ve walked past this tower, built by William the Conqueror in the 11th Century, so many times. I’ve looked at it, and admired it without ever going in. So, we climbed the massively steep staircase to the top, and entered into what is a giant stone tower that was built with one thing in mind, fortifying and protecting the city of York.
Unlike some historical buildings, this wasn’t built with any comfort in mind, but purely as a stronghold. The history of the building is a violent one throughout, but it was really interesting to read about it all. Even though it was raining, we climbed the stairs (which are all new additions and very safe and easy to negotiate) to the roof deck to look out over the city.
Inhabiting a prominent hill top position in the city, it’s the perfect place to look out over the mix of ancient and modern that is York. I’m sure in better weather it must be quite lovely to sit up there and just relax. We didn’t have the luxury of nice weather, so we didn’t hang around up there too long.
Cliffords tower doesn’t really take a long time to visit, but learning about its history makes it well worth it. Having had our fix of history and culture, we took a wander along the river and back up into town. Perusing a few shops en route, it was after lunch time and both of us were feeling peckish. I checked out a couple of my favourite cafes, but people seemed to be queueing out of the doors, so we went to Las Iguanas instead.
We took advantage of their 2-4-1 cocktails offer, while we waited for our Fajitas and as always, we had a really enjoyable meal in there. Afterwards, the shops were still open, so we took a wander around the streets looking at the antique jewellery shops (where the chap found a most inappropriate monkey charm that I was very grateful he didn’t buy for my bracelet), and some of my favourite shops like Toast and The White Company. I say they are my favourites, I rarely buy from them, I just like to peruse.
Plush cafe happened to be open. Plush is an independent coffee shop in York, which, like so many places, is massively instagrammable. That’s not the reason I visit, since I don’t use Insta nearly as much as I used to, but it’s often where i find out about places. Anyway, Plush Cafe has a number of themed rooms, and I’d really been keen to try out the bohemian room. With low level tables, vibrant colours and floor cushion seating it was really lovely. My only moan is perhaps the lighting was a bit bright and if it had been more dimmed lighting it might have been more atmospheric.
Even so, we enjoyed some delicious drinks in there. It was really relaxing, and I’d definitely like to go back again, maybe to the garden room with little Miss. I think she’d enjoy the swings.
Before long, it was time to head home, but we’d had such a fun day doing tourist things. It goes to show, close to home trips can be really exciting because sometimes you take for granted the things on your doorstep, instead of exploring like a tourist.