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24 September 2014

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You are in: North Yorkshire > Places > Free Stuff > York - guide to cheap days out

Bar walls

York's bar walls

York - guide to cheap days out

According to the old Yorkshire saying "you don't get 'owt for nowt". But, bearing in mind the rising cost of a day out, we thought we'd let you into a few of our secrets for a great cheap day out.

York is one of most popular tourist destinations in the country - why not enjoy what it has to offer.

St Mary's Abbey, York

The Museum Gardens

The Museum Gardens, in the heart of the city centre, is a great place for a picnic. You could spend a couple of hours walking around the City's historic Bar Walls; it might sound daft but you see the City from a completely different perspective. You come across views of the skyline or some of York's famous buildings which you might not have noticed before.

There's loads to do along the banks of the River Ouse. From Ouse Bridge, in the City Centre you could enjoy a stroll out past St George's Car Park and along New Walk down to the Millennium Bridge, cross the bridge and walk back into town on the other side of the river. On your way back, why not stop off at Rowntree Park. There's an adventure playground for younger children, a skate park and baseball courts for those who are a little older.

York Wheel

Visit the National Railway Museum

York is also home to one of the most popular, free, tourist attractions in the country - the National Railway Museum. There are scores of historic steam locomotives to look at, from a replica of George Stephenson's Rocket to the Japanese Bullet Trains and Eurostar.  There is plenty for children to do, including an activity centre. Recent additions include the Story of the Flying Scotsman. This world famous steam locomotive is in the process of being completely overhauled, visitors can watch this work taking place from the viewing area above the NRM's workshop.

Admission to York Art Gallery, on Exhibition Square, is also completely free and with the permanent exhibits and visiting exhibitions, it's worth a wander round.

York Art Gallery

York Art Gallery

Every day the Association of Voluntary Guides give free two hour walking tours of York. These tours start in Exhibition Square, between April and October. There is one starting at 10.15 and another at 2.15 and in June, July and August there's an evening tour starting at 6.45. The tours are free, informative and informal, there's no need to book, just turn up!

If you live in York and have a 'YORKCard' you can also get into many of the City's museums free - these include the Yorkshire Museum and the Castle Museum. The Castle Museum is one of Britain's leading museums of everyday life. It shows how people used to live by displaying thousands of household objects and by recreating rooms, shops, streets - and even prison cells. It is best known for its recreated Victorian street, Kirkgate, which combines real shop fittings and stock with modern sound and light effects, to evoke an atmosphere of Victorian Britain.

Lendal Bridge over the river Ouse in York

Walk along the river

The Yorkshire Museum - is home to some of Britain's finest archaeological treasures, and the history of England until 1550 can be traced through its galleries. Many of the archaeological objects on display were discovered in the region and reflect York's changing identity under different invaders; Eboracum (Roman York), Eoforwic (Anglo Saxon York) and Jorvik (Viking York). Visitors can travel through these different periods, and see items from ordinary people's everyday life as well as treasures owned by the very rich. Highlights include the Middleham Jewel and Ring, the Ormside Bowl and the York Helmet.

The Homestead Park in Clifton is owned and run by the Joseph Rowntree Village Trust. In 1904 Seebohm Rowntree announced he would open the fields behind his house for the children attending York Elementary Schools for a month in the summer. There would be donkey rides, games and sand heaps provided. In 1936 he gave the land to the trust on the condition it remained opened to the public, and so it does. The park is beautifully planted and landscaped and there is a play area for children up to the age of 12 and there is provision for children in wheelchairs. It's a lovely place to visit with a picnic on a hot summer day.

last updated: 19/06/2008 at 15:06
created: 19/06/2008

Have Your Say

We've shared our secrets for cheap days out in York, now it's your turn. Tell us where you go, if we agree we'll include it in this section!

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Steve Lee
The riverside walks in York are priceless and the best kept secret is the Merchant Adventurer's Hall gardens which is looking fantastic at the moment.(In July)Try walking around York's backstreets for a change,especially St.Andrewgate,Aldwark,Bedernon the riversaide along the new Walk area and across the river in the Bishophill area.. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

sue
York Cemetery....fabulous place for a quiet meander..especially good at blackberry season! Bring a bucket!

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