10 Reasons to Visit York in December

York is only around a 1 hour train journey from Newcastle Upon Tyne and it's 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. 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:

1 - St Nicholas Fair 

St Nicholas Fair runs from 16th November - 22nd Decmeber 2017. Meander through the festive chalets and market stalls under twinkling lights and purchase Christmas gifts or festive food from stallholders. This year will see a special Yorkshire Yuletide Village pop up which will focus on Yorkshire-made gifts and crafts. Find the markets in York City Centre, particularly Parliament Square, St Sampsons Square, the Shambles and Coppergate.

2 - Festive treats from Bettys

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

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

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.

6 - York's Ice Trail 

Visit York between 9th & 10th December and you'll be able to take part in the UK's largest outdoor ice trail. There are over 40 festive figures to find around the city and there'll be the chance to win some fantastic prizes. You can warm up with hot chocolate, mulled wine and street food en-route.

7 - Winter BBQ and Warm Cider 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 

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

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.

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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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