We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Timing for Day Trip to York from London

Illinois
Level Contributor
17,153 posts
16 reviews
Save Topic
Timing for Day Trip to York from London

I am planning a day trip to York from London in late Aug or early Sept and am trying to figure out the timing so I can buy tickets in advance for cheaper fares. The cheapest trains right now arrive in York about 9:30 and then I would probably leave around 20:00.

Here is what I am thinking right now:

Arrive train station, walk to York Minster

York Minster (guided tour? I think this lasts about 1.5 hours) and probably climb the tower. How long to allow for this? Maybe 3 hours? I don't know if the guided tour includes the undercroft, crypt, and treasury. I guess that would make it about 1300.

Lunch (any recommendations for somewhere quick for lunch near the Minster?)

Considering this audioguide of the walls:

http://www.york-walls.co.uk/guide.php

It seems to include Clifford's Tower and the Castle Museum, although I'm not sure if their time of 3-4 hours includes going into all the things it goes past or not.. I guess that would take me until 5PM at least? Should I only do part of it?

Return to Minster for Evensong if they are having it the day I come.(Are there certain days that they have it? From the website (at least in June and July which is what is up there now), it doesn't seem to be every day. Probably 6:15 or so when this ends?

Dinner (Bettys?) - If going to Betty's, is there a guesstimate on wait time based on how long the queue is? Any other suggestions for dinner? I would have liked to go there for tea, but it doesn't seem to fit in.

I'd like to wander through the town, but right now the only place I see to do that is after dinner, unless I'm overestimating my times.

Any suggestions for how to change this, what to add or take out? I'd love to stay overnight, but I'm not sure I can fit it in and my hotel in London is already booked, so I'd be paying for 2 rooms that night. I can't see any way to fit in the Railway Museum, and I think the Jorvik Centre may not really be my thing.

Thanks for any help.

Barnard Castle...
Level Contributor
241 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Timing for Day Trip to York from London

Your itinerary sounds good to me. A couple of thoughts:

- Bettys is overrated IMHO and maybe if you're trying to cram in as much as you can something quicker might be better. There are lots of decent eateries in York as you might imagine.

- Just wandering the walls in easy, relaxed time is nice

- Take 10 minutes to see the Shambles, right next to the cathedral

- The museum is worth several hours if you have the time and the inclination

- AFAIK you're correct, evensong is not every day

- Bring an umbrella or waterproofs - the weather should be good at that time of year but you never can tell!

Yorkshire Dales...
Destination Expert
for North Yorkshire, Suffolk
Level Contributor
3,639 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Timing for Day Trip to York from London

A few thoughts -

Check your train timetable - there's quite a difference in journey times as some of them stop more than others. The fastest take less than 2 hours.

York centre is compact so you'll see plenty just as you walk around. You can be off the train and into the heart of things in minutes.

Personally I love Bettys - it's so much more than the food, it's a Yorkshire institution!

If you wanted more sight seeing time you could always buy food (Bettys do take out produce, sweet and savoury) and picnic on the train back to London.

Cafe Concerto would be good for a quick lunch stop.

www.cafeconcerto.biz

Avoid the end of August!!!! Bank Holiday weekend (27th to 29th but 26th will be very busy too) and the place will be HEAVING!

Everything will get so much quieter once the school children return to school at the beginning of September (dates vary from school to school but generally around the 5th). Can you do your trip this late??

Edited: 05 July 2011, 09:19
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
31,241 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Timing for Day Trip to York from London

You cannot go wrong with a feed in a York pub.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,334 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Timing for Day Trip to York from London

Reading the website about the autoguided walk, noticed that it gives the duration of the walk as three hours with advised stopping times of between 3 and 10 minutes at each of the 26 stopping points. That is not enough time to actually visit places like Cliffords Tower and the Castle Museum which by itself could easily take 3 hours. You might consider doing the part between points 12 and 27 upon arrival at York and approach the Minster via Goodramgate and College Yard (which, incidentally should take you pass one or two places to which you might consider returning for lunch).

Can't give personal experience of Bettys and only know of its reputation as a place at which to take tea (as in the beverage sometimes served with cakes and pastries) although believe that it has expanded to light meals as well. AFAIK, it is not a place for dinner - but I suppose that depends on what you had in mind as constituting 'dinner'. As for lunch, I'm with Nurioopta - go to a pub!

If you do decide to abandon the idea of circumnavigating the city walls (I would!) then you have time to wander around the city itself. As others have said, it is compact and you should be able to reach the Castle Museum in about 10 minutes from the Minster (but that would be without really taking in anything along the way).

As for the Shambles - first, not the road next to the Minster, but about 2-3 minutes away. It is quite a short street and how long you spend in it will depend upon the relative attraction to you of each building within it.

I hope that helps.

Yorkshire Dales...
Destination Expert
for North Yorkshire, Suffolk
Level Contributor
3,639 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Timing for Day Trip to York from London

To correct the above post - Bettys does a range of full meals and always has done- not all light ones either!

Haddock and chips, chicken, sausages, lamb, pasta etc. Perfect place for dinner - it's open until 9pm.

They also do an excellent 'full English' brunch.

Edited: 05 July 2011, 14:37
Illinois
Level Contributor
17,153 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Timing for Day Trip to York from London

Thanks for all the advice. It looks like I could come 30 Aug or 5 Sept, both of which should have evensong according to the email I got today from the Minster. I would lean towards 30 Aug, all other things being equal, because I generally like to put long day trips at the start of my trip. Would it make a huge difference to come then?

Is the guided tour really worth doing at the Minster? I did St Paul's and Westminster Abbey with the audio guide, but the Minster doesn't seem to have one so I was thinking about the guided tour.

I can't decide how high to rate the Castle Museum. Maybe it will depend on the weather - if it's nice spend more time walking the walls (which I assume is outside) and if the weather's bad then spend more time in the museum.

I'm not sure how much there will be to do after Evensong as the museums, visitor centre, etc, all close around 1700 (which means that I would have to have the audioguide back before evensong or lose my 5GBP deposit. Otherwise I could do that after evensong as I think it should still be light until maybe 1900 or 1930 at that time of year. Too bad I can't just download it to my ipod. I can wander around the town then I guess though. Will shops still be open then?

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
33,151 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Timing for Day Trip to York from London

My suggestion is that you walk the wall itself to get to various places - the wall passes near the station and goes behind the Minster.

Redlands, California
Level Contributor
5,606 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Timing for Day Trip to York from London

When I was there 3 years ago the Minster did have an audio guide for the crypt and it was very good. I'm not sure about the main part of the building.

The Richard III museum is a hoot if you know your history!

Barnard Castle...
Level Contributor
241 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Timing for Day Trip to York from London

>> Thanks for all the advice. It looks like I could come 30 Aug or 5 Sept, both of which should have evensong according to the email I got today from the Minster. I would lean towards 30 Aug, all other things being equal, because I generally like to put long day trips at the start of my trip. Would it make a huge difference to come then? >>

29 Aug is a public holiday, so 30th is likely to be a lot busier than the 5th Sept.

>> I can't decide how high to rate the Castle Museum. Maybe it will depend on the weather - if it's nice spend more time walking the walls (which I assume is outside) and if the weather's bad then spend more time in the museum.

Yes, that's what I'd do.

Yorkshire Dales...
Destination Expert
for North Yorkshire, Suffolk
Level Contributor
3,639 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Timing for Day Trip to York from London

Yes, as I already said at my response to your question above (reply 2) it will be so much better if you can wait until Sept for your trip. It will make a BIG difference.

Edited: 05 July 2011, 19:34
Get answers to your questions about York