Even when the skies are gloomy and grey, there’s still lots of things to do in York on a rainy day. Head indoors and explore all this historic city has to offer - sample tasty fare, immerse yourself in culture, shop til’ you drop or enjoy a unique experience. There’s so much on offer, so let’s find out what you can expect on a York rainy day.
1. The Hilt
57 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7FX
Let’s start with something to get your pulse racing - axe throwing at unique venue The Hilt. Bring out the viking within as you practise both single and two-handed throwing. Expert coaches will teach you all the right moves, and before you know it you will be hitting the wooden target as well as Erik The Red. Once you’ve worked up a fierce appetite enjoy the Feast of Valhalla - Nordic meatballs in all their glory.
2. Jorvik Viking Centre
19 Coppergate, York, Y01 9WT
Once you’ve learned to throw an axe like a viking how about getting better acquainted with the Scandanavian warriors and how they used to live. At the Jorvik Viking Centre you can explore a typical 10th century viking city complete with animatronic characters.
3. York Dungeon
12 Clifford St, York Y01 9RD
Step into York Dungeon and discover the dark history of the city. There’s plenty of fearsome characters to meet, from warrior vikings to witches and highwaymen.
Witness a bloody execution and the antics of the gruesome torturer. With amazing special-effects and skilled actors, this is not an experience for the faint-hearted.
4. National Railway Museum
NRM York, Leeman Road, York, Y026 4XJ
Chug into the National Railway Museum and check out the impressive locomotives on display, including Mallard, the fastest steam loco in the world. Head to the Station Hall and you can take a look inside carriages, find out about the role of the station workers and marvel at the collection of royal trains. There’s even a miniature railway should you fancy a ride! All aboard!
5. York’s Chocolate Story
King’s Square, York, Y01 7LD
Chocolate lovers step this way - visit York’s Chocolate Story and learn all there is to know about making yummy chocolate. With a guided tour and interactive exhibits, this place will certainly make your mouth water. Luckily, there’s an onsite cafe with a menu featuring delectable chocolates. There’s also a shop, so you can take a few goodies home too.
6. Yorkshire Museum
Museum Gardens, York YO1 7FR
History comes to life at the Yorkshire Museum. Learn about the Vikings and Romans and discover the Medieval city through the many interesting collections and exhibits on show.
7. York Art Gallery
Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW
With beautifully crafted ceramics and fascinating artefacts, there’s plenty to see at the York Art Gallery. The paintings are plentiful too, from works of art by Italian Masters to contemporary pieces from celebrated 20th century artists.
8. McArthurGlen's York Designer Outlet
St Nicholas Avenue, Fulford, York, Y019 4TA
Shopping bags at the ready - you’re going to need them if you plan on visiting the McArthurGlen’s York Designer Outlet. There are brands galore including Polo Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss, plus plenty of places to grab a drink or bite to eat. There’s even a play area, so the kids can let off steam too.
9. The Cat’s Whiskers Cat Cafe
46 Goodramgate, York Y01 7LF
Right in the centre of York, The Cat’s Whiskers Cat Cafe is situated in a grade II listed building. Put your feet up in comfy surroundings, settle down with a bunch of feline friends and order a coffee, and don’t forget a slice of cake to go with that. You’ll feel like the cat who got the cream!
10. The Red Goat Climbing Wall
6 Redeness Street, York Y031 7UU
If you like the idea of getting active you could pay a visit to The Red Goat Climbing Wall for a spot of bouldering. You don’t need lots of equipment - just rubber shoes and chalk (which you can hire onsite). You will need an induction, then you can boulder until your heart’s content.
11. Brew York
Enterprise Complex Walmgate, Enterprise Complex, York Y01 9TT
If you’re in the mood to drink and be merry, why not visit Brew York in the heart of the city. With a tap room and beer hall featuring 40 different lagers, ciders and beers, there’s no chance of going thirsty! You can also grab a bite to eat while you’re there, treat yourself to a burger or sample a tasty treat from the specials board.
St Saviour’s Church, St Saviourgate, York, Y01 8NN
Set up by the people who brought you the JORVIK Viking Centre, DIG provides a fascinating insight into the world of archaeology. There are four excavation pits to explore, and lots of artefacts to uncover. As the name of this attraction suggests - you will have to DIG, DIG, DIG to get a glimpse into the past.
13. York Minster
York Minster Yard, Deangate, York Y01 7HH
Synonymous with the city, York Minster looms large in the heart of York. With its gothic architecture and stunning stained glass windows, the majestic cathedral never fails to enthrall.
So Many Things To Do in York On a Rainy Day… So Little Time!
With so much going on in York you will be spoilt for choice. Whether a sunny day or a rainy day, York has attractions around every corner. Scare yourself witless in York Dungeon, sip a beer or two at Brew York, sample chocolate at York’s Chocolate Story or throw an axe at The Hilt.
Once you’ve sampled the delights of York by day, don’t forget to check out the York nightlife too. There’s an abundance of bars and restaurants, along with a variety of unique experiences too, all designed to ensure you York experience is one you won’t forget in a hurry.