Things to do in York over Christmas

Things to do in York over Christmas
river ouse from lendal bridge york

Oh wow. I dropped the C-bomb. Woops. Luckily, whilst I’m writing this in October, I’m going to hold off on publishing it until next month as let’s just get past pumpkins and fireworks before we start discussing Santa.

York is ‘home home’ to me (as opposed to Leeds which is just ‘home’), so I thought I’d write a post on the lovely things to do over the Christmas period in this glorious city. Aside from walk around the cobbled streets Instagramming the shit out of everything (what can I say, York is bloody beautiful), there are some really lovely places to go and feel festive.

Seeing Santa at Murton Park
This is the ultimate Santa experience and I will not listen to anyone who says they have been to a better one as nothing can compare to being taken around an elf village and then going on a steam train where you meet Santa and get a present. Naturally, this is one for those with kids, but it is honestly the most magical childhood memory I have. Some Santa experiences are a bit shit (as realistically, the actual Santa will not be wasting his time in a plastic hut in a shopping centre), but this one is honestly the best one around.

Sit in a cosy coffee shop
York has plenty of independent cafes, my favourites being Brew and Brownie, Lucky Days and The Perky Peacock Coffee Shop, so there is no excuse not to go and support a local business. Christmas shopping can be really fun but when it gets to the point where you’re grumpy and want to punch slow walkers in the back of the head, it’s probably because you need a boost to your blood sugar.

Go to the Christmas markets
York doesn’t go quite as big on German markets as other cities do, but getting down there early and preferably on a weekday is the best way to browse the stalls which line Parliament street. There are specific events on a lot of the time but pretty much throughout December there will be something going on and they’re full of your usual festive offerings like gingerbread and those wooden candle windmill things.

Pop into gift fairs
These seem to pop up every weekend leading up to Christmas too, just in random historic buildings around the city centre. Again, it’s about supporting the independents and yes, cards might be cheaper in card factory, but often gift fairs have a charitable donation – and you don’t get that feel good factor when you spend 39p on a card for your significant other do you?

Embrace the beautiful scenery
Despite being categorically allergic to the outdoors, even I love walking through the Museum Gardens in York as it’s such a beautiful place to be. The squirrels are incredibly friendly/likely to steal your food and the gardens are well maintained all year round. It’s not often that you’ll find somewhere so pretty within a city centre and it’s the absolute dream to get that perfect insta shot. If you’re feeling particularly brave (and if it’s not icy!), you can also walk the city walls and see York that way.

Sack off Christmas shopping for drinking
Another city centre must. York has some really nice bars now so there’s no need to go to Yates any more! There’s Turtle Bay, Lucias, Banyan and there is soon to be The Botanist opening, all within about a 3 minute walk of each other – who needs to buy presents anyway? That’s what next day delivery on Amazon is for.

That’s my guide to Christmas in York, what would you add? Let me know in the comments!

1 comment

  1. A great guide! I'm hoping to visit York before Christmas and wiml definitely check out the cafes and the market!
    Deimante x