10 Reasons to Visit York in December

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York is only around a 1 hour train journey from Newcastle Upon Tyne and one of the best train trips from Newcastle with kids. With a railcard, it can cost less than £6 return from Newcastle to visit for the day.

York is a city I love visiting in December - it's perfect for a day trip and one of the best family days out in North Yorkshire.

10 Reasons to Visit York in December

There are lots of different ways to visit York in December. Probably the most convenient and budget-friendly is to book a National Holidays break. Weekend trips are available from as little as £59 including dinner, bed, breakfast and travel. Check out their latest trips to York here.

10 Reasons to Visit York in December

If you fancy more than a day trip, Sykes Cottages have almost 750 cottages in the area and they're available to book with just a £20 deposit. Or why not treat yourself and book a cottage near York with a hot tub? 

If you're looking to spend one or two nights in the city centre, I can personally recommend the York Central Travelodge if you're on a budget. It's a hotel in the heart of the city and within walking distance of the train station and main attractions - click here to check prices and book. 

10 Reasons to Visit York in December - premier inn

Or if you prefer Premier Inns, there are five Premier Inns within York and rooms are available from just £35. Check prices & book here. 

Finally, if you're looking for somewhere a little more luxurious, the Hotel du Vin York comes highly recommended by many. Check prices and book here. 

York's cobbled narrow streets, array of independent boutiques and architecture certainly add to that festive feeling. I usually visit every couple of years and a trip is certainly on the cards this December. You probably don't need any convincing, but here are 10 reasons to visit York in December....

10 Reasons to Visit York in December

1 - St Nicholas Fair 

10 Reasons to Visit York in December - st nicholas fayre

St Nicholas Fair runs from 14th November - 22nd December 2019. Meander through the festive chalets and market stalls under twinkling lights and purchase Christmas gifts or festive food from stallholders. Here's what to expect......

Don’t miss York’s popular festive market, its back with more Christmassy fun than ever before...
Take a leisurely stroll along St Nicholas Fair and soak up the festive atmosphere, as you discover fine Yorkshire produce from crafters and makers showcased at the Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village.

If you’re looking for more traditional Christmas gifts, don’t forget to wander amongst the many alpine chalets on Parliament Street.
Head down to Kings Square and experience all the fun of the fair. Don't miss the opportunity to slide down a good old fashioned Helter Skelter.
Sample festive food and drink at the St Sampson’s Square rustic Yorkshire Barn with delicious treats including hot chestnuts and glasses of warming mulled wine.

2 - Festive treats from Bettys

10 Reasons to Visit York in December - festive treats from betty's

World-famous Bettys will be selling lots of festive treats from their York stores in December. Expect homemade Christmas puddings, Christmas cakes, Christmas truffles, Gingerbread, Hot Chocolate and more.

3 - Christmas shopping at York's Designer Outlet

10 Reasons to Visit York in December - york's designer outlet

It's easy to hop on a bus from the city centre and visit York Designer Outlet for some Christmas bargains. Expect everything from Adidas to Cadbury's, Claire's, Levi's and Joules.

There's also Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland to enjoy but more about that later.....

4 - Hot Chocolate from Cocoa House

10 Reasons to Visit York in December - hot chocolate from cocoa house

Where better to enjoy a hot chocolate than York's Cocoa House? Their recipe dates back to 1644 and is made in the traditional way so expect your drink to be warm, thick and luxurious. There are various options to choose from too.

5 - Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland

Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland (at York's Designer Outlet) is home to the North's biggest outdoor ice rink. Spanning 975 metres with a 30 ft Christmas Tree in it's centre, it's certainly a sight to behold.

As well as skating there's a winter fun fair, Santa's funfair and a heated alpine chalet serving hot drinks and snacks. Here's what to expect:

Glide gracefully on the North of England’s largest outdoor ice rink, with a 30ft high sparkling Christmas tree as its centrepiece.
This magical setting makes for the perfect family fun day out, both on and off the ice.
Step inside the cosy alpine-themed, apres-skate café overlooking the ice rink, where you can warm up after your session on the ice or simply sit back and watch the skaters glide past.
Sip mulled wine, indulge in the best hot chocolate in town and feast on hot dogs, toasties and sweet treats.
Enjoy thrilling vintage funfair rides including the dodgems and follow the path through the snowy enchanted woodland to find Santa’s cosy log cabin to collect a special gift.
Tackle those Christmas wish lists at York Designer Outlet where you’ll discover all your favourite brands for up to 60% less, all under one roof plus with FREE parking, Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland really does have something for everyone.

6 - York's Ice Trail 

10 Reasons to Visit York in December - york's ice trail

Rather than Christmas, this year the ice trail takes place in February. Something to look forward to though.....

Saturday 01 and Sunday 02 February 2020

The York Ice Trail returns in 2020 for two days of ice sculptures and fun, family-friendly activities. Last year there were 50 sculptures to find!
7 - Winter BBQ and Warm Cider at Thor's Tipi 

10 Reasons to Visit York in December - winter bbq at thor's tipi

A trip to York in December simply has to include a visit to Thor's Tipi - a pop-up Nordic bar with warming fires, cosy furs and a winter garden. Enjoy beers, mulled wine and warm cider and order some food from the winter BBQ to refuel.

8 - The Shambles

The Shambles is one of the best-preserved medieval streets in Europe and home to cheerful cafes, small boutiques and artisan crafts. Often described as one of the most picturesque streets in the UK, I bet it looks even more beautiful with a sprinkling of snow.

9 - Drink Mulled Wine at The Punch Bowl 

10 Reasons to Visit York in December - mulled wine at the punch bowl pub

The Punch Bowl is one of my favourite pubs in York. Head to Stonegate to visit this 17th Century Pub which is full of history and character.

It's even said to be haunted! A festive menu is available throughout December and rumour has it that their mulled wine is up there with the best.

10 - York Minster

10 Reasons to Visit York in December - York Minster

If you'd like to remember the true meaning of Christmas, head to York Minster which I think is one of the world's most magnificent Cathedrals.

You can take a tour, attend a service or enjoy a special Christmas performance.

Let me know if you love visiting York at this time of year. For more Christmassy days out ideas, why not join our 'We Love Christmas' Facebook group here? 

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10 Reasons to Visit York in December



  1. There are some fab ideas and things to do, thanks for sharing. It's the husbands birthday on Christmas Eve and a trip to York would be a lovely birthday treat xx

  2. I do love York! I went to the markets once but think I'll go back this year for a festive weekend.

    1. It's so cheap and easy to get to from Newcastle so you'd be mad not to x

  3. Love York, it's too long since I was last there and I am very tempted to make a winter return now.


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