Looking for a cheap weekend in York, but also want to have the time of your life? You might not think it’s possible to have fun without emptying your pockets - but we beg to differ! You really don’t need to spend a fortune to have a great time.
York has plenty of inexpensive attractions, come rain or shine - just waiting to be discovered. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you make the most of your stay and enjoy a cheap weekend in York you’ll never forget.
York has much to offer, even if you’re on a budget! Let’s take a look how you can spend the day (and night in York)!
A morning visit to the National Railway Museum
Leeman Road, YO26 4XJ.
This place is a haven for train enthusiasts, history buffs and those who enjoy exploring interesting places. It’s free to enter and you will find an impressive collection of rolling train stock, railway exhibits and locomotives. Don’t forget to take along lunchtime snacks - there’s a number of picnic areas dotted around for you to enjoy.
An afternoon stroll around the city
On Saturday afternoon set off on a journey of exploration and discovery as you wander around the city. It won’t cost you a thing to take in the sights and sounds of York as you stroll along the cobbled streets.
There are nooks and crannies, secret passageways and majestic squares. If you’re lucky, you might happen upon one of the many talented buskers or street entertainers.
Pause to take in the imposing York Minster cathedral, which dates back to 627AD. The building has undergone many updates over the years, but remains a spectacular example of gothic architecture.
Take it easy as you amble around the Shambles, resplendent with its 14th century timber buildings. You could even join one of the free guided walking tours provided by the Association of Voluntary Guides to the City of York. Let an expert guide you around the city and listen as they share their extensive knowledge on the many wonders of York, including St Mary’s Abbey and St Williams College.
Check the website for dates/times.
Enjoy early evening axe throwing at The Hilt
57 Goodramgate, Y01 7LS. Saturday: 11:30 to 20:15
As evening draws in its time to try your hand at an exhilarating activity - embark on the age-old viking pastime of axe throwing at unique venue The Hilt. Located very close to York Minster, The Hilt caters for groups of between 2 and 12 (larger groups can be accommodated on request).
Experienced coaches will teach you the thrilling art of axe throwing, and before you know it you will be hitting the target like a true Viking (or Viqueen)! The session starts with a safety briefing, and you will then master your new skill with a practise session.
Finally, it’s competition time! Take on your fellow warriors to see who will steal the crown.
Finish off the evening with music and a tipple at a local bar or pub
Finish off the night with music and a tipple at one of the many bars or pubs dotted around the city. Keep your eyes open for promotions such as two-for-one drink offers (they do a great happy hour at Fancy Hanks!). Many establishments also host bands and singers to attract custom, so for the price of a drink or two you will be able to enjoy the free entertainment on offer.
Take it easy on Sunday as you continue to enjoy the attractions of York. There’s more to see and do before you head home:
Take in the views from the city walls
Start your day with a refreshing walk along the longest walls in England - the 13th century medieval city walls of York (or bar walls as they are sometimes known). It’s a 2 mile hike for those who are keen to walk the whole way around, but if that’s too far simply hop on and off as you please. Take in the views as you enjoy a leisurely stroll - and best of all it won’t cost you a penny.
Relax in the park
Venture to one of the many parks or green spaces that are free to roam. Find a quiet spot at Dean’s Park (situated just behind York Minster), or the Museum gardens with its fascinating ruins.
If you’re looking for more in the way of activity, pop along to Homestead Park, which offers free outdoor gym apparatus, or try Rowntree Park with it’s playground and resident ducks. If you really want to make the most of the great outdoors why not hire a bike and follow one of the many routes?
Grab a bite to eat
Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of York’s many eateries. You won’t get as many deals on Sunday, but if you shop around you should be able to find an affordable place to eat. Pub grub (such as the food on offer at Wetherspoons) is generally inexpensive.
If you fancy dining at a restaurant you will pay more, but keep your eyes open for a set menu deal to drive down the price - such as the two course £14.95 deal offered by 1331, a pleasant bar and restaurant off Grape Lane.
Alternatively, venture to the Shambles market, peruse the stalls and treat yourself to appetising fare from one of the many street food stalls, such as Stam & Maria Greek Street Food York. As the name suggests you can buy and enjoy authentic Greek street food, such as traditional Greek gyros wraps, souvlaki, and Greek sausages.
What will my wonderful weekend in York cost?
If you’re after a cheap weekend in York you won’t be disappointed. Let’s get a quick overview of the costs involved based on the itenary we’ve outlined above.
National rail museum visit Free
Picnic lunch £6
Stroll around the city Free
Guided walking tour of York Free
Axe throwing at The Hilt £20
Pub drinks £10
Pub entertainment Free
City walls walk Free
Relax in the park Free
Half day bike hire £13
Leisurely two-course lunch & drink £19
You don’t need to have deep pockets to visit York. Come and see for yourself what this fantastic city has to offer.