Sunday, 2 November 2014


Yesterday I went on my first "big" adventure on my own. After a fairly busy week, I decided I needed to have a day to myself, outside of my usual setting. That day was spent in the beautiful city of York.

I decided to make it an early start and set out for Piccadilly Station around 7:30am. I took a new route, and surprisingly managed not to get lost, all while cutting 10 minutes or so from the usual time it takes for me to get there. After grabbing a coffee and a snack, I boarded the train for York. The trip itself was probably all I really needed...quiet, with beautiful sights to take in during the hour and twenty minute trek. I had a good chuckle at a group of guys who got on at one of the stops along the way, who discussed their friend's girlfriend and whether or not she could do better than him. They all agreed she could. However, my personal favourite quote was from one guy who confidently blurted out "there's no 'I' in ultimate frisbee! ...oh wait..."

Anyway, I arrived in York around 9:45am and made my way to War Memorial Gardens. There were only about five or so people there, so it was nice to just sit, take a breath, snap a few photos and venture on. In doing so, I also created a bit of a gap between the rest of the tourists that had been on the same train as me.

This is the entrance to the park.
Next, I made my way through the 'historic wall' that surrounds the city, and ventured to the Visitor Information Centre. When looking at what to do, prior to my travels, I was directed to a sight that suggested purchasing a "York Pass" which was a bit pricey, but ultimately would allow me to see all the big sights and save myself a few dollars (or pounds, I suppose!). For an future York destined travellers, unless you're spending multiple days there, I'm not so sure this was actually a good purchase. While I did save on the amount of stops I made, I probably wouldn't have visited all of the things I did just to 'break-even.' I didn't spend enough time at most places to actually make it worth my while. Just a thought, if you were interested!

Part of the wall that surrounds the city.
A view of the River Ouse.
From there, I walked to the Museum Gardens, where I enjoyed some time in nature. Do I ever miss living within walking distance of a forest, with big, beautiful trees to sit under and just contemplate life. At this same spot, was St. Mary's Abbey, or the remnants of, I should say! It is unbelievable to me to see the detail put into these buildings! I just simply can't imagine the work that goes into something like that! This is also the site of the Yorkshire Museum, where I spent maybe half an hour. There's only so much natural history/roman empire one girl can take in one country...

Just outside the entrance of the Museum Gardens.

The Yorkshire Museum in the background.

Remnants of the Abbey

A few of the neat buildings enroute to the next spot:

My next stop, was the one spot I was most excited to see. Thankfully, this one did not disappoint - York Minister! This was a pricey venture, as the York Pass didn't cover the full cost of entry. There are several options here, including the extra £5 I paid to climb to the top of the Central Tower. The list of people who are excluded from this was enough of an exercise (pregnant, claustrophobic, prone to vertigo, high blood pressure, and the list goes on), and that was before setting foot on any of the 275 steps to the top. It was well worth it though - let me tell you! I have a few pictures below of the views, but trust me they don't even remotely capture just how incredible the sights were! I would also like to have it on record that I climbed all 275 steps without losing my breathe, which is a pretty big switch from my usual 15 minute required recovery after marching up to the fourth floor of the BAC! How is that possible?! But seriously, if you can only do one thing when you're in York, this is it! Go to the Minister! While here I also sat in on the end of the church service that started while I was on the roof. Still not a believer, but what an experience!

York Minister

Views of the Minister, from the first "viewing platform" 

Views from the top!
The Treasurer's House is the beige-y stone building surrounded by trees,
partially blocked by the shadow of the Minister. 

Inside the Minister.

Down below! The Crypt. 

Inside the Minister.

Inside the Chapter House.

During the service.
Alternative shots of the exterior.

I made a quick trip to the Treasurer's House, where I got creeped out by some of the paintings and quickly became impatient with little kids running around on their ghost hunt. Still don't like kids either...

The view from the garden at the Treasurer's House.
Inside one of the rooms. By far the most unnerving feeling I've had in a long time!
Probably didn't help that there was the creepiest painting of twin girls to my left!
I made the mistake of taking the "quick" route to my next two stops, which led me into massive swarms of people shopping and walking aimlessly. This is when I became aware that I was running out of energy, and that perhaps I had overestimated what I could accomplish in one day. Nevertheless, I made my way to the "Castle Area" of York, and made a quick trip to Clifford's Tower, which also was accompanied with beautiful views...and stairs.

A view of Clifford's Tower from the Castle Museum

View of the city from the Tower.
York Minister from the Tower.
The final stop before heading back to the train station, was the Castle Museum, which was the other spot I was really excited to see. A friend of mine visited York a few days before me and told me she spent over 2-hours in there. Me, nearing the end of my patience with small children and oblivious parents (don't worry - I do actually recognize that not all parents and children are this way! Still doesn't make me want them though! And yes, you can remind me of this if ever I have kids of my own!), I spent a whopping 35 minutes there tops! My favourite part of this museum was the nostalgic museum smell that it had. You know the one... Anyway, this was yet another one of those, not worth justifying my York Card purchase attractions, although I may have actually enjoyed it more, had I not have gone at the end of my day. Oh, and by the 'end of my day' I mean it was like 2:00pm!

After departing the museum, I decided to walk along the wall back to the train station. This is when I decided that I'm not really a fan of stairs, particularly when I'm tired! All in all, I probably climbed up and down about 350 stairs throughout my day! However, it was nice to walk, and take in a different view of the city. It was also nice to see how many people were out using it to spend family time.

View of the wall
The train station
I made it back home just before 5:00pm, and was pretty zonked. It was a great day, though, and just what I needed!

-the Orange Canadian


  1. This makes me want to go to York! And by my lonesome too!

  2. It's funny. Before I am allowed to publish my comment, I need to enter some numbers to "prove that [I am] not a robot." Hahaha. I will be asked to do that again now! Excited!

  3. Junefe, you should go - there's so much to do! Plus the added bonus of travelling on your own means that you get to decide what you want to do! Nothing beats travelling on your own!

    I'm also glad to know you're not a robot!

  4. Things I learned:
    You still are not a fan of God or Children. LOL
    Pics look Amazing Emily, I wouldn't mind mimicking this entire day if I ever get a chance to visit :)