Quite a lot, as it turns out. Which made me wonder what else I'm missing out in my own country. The furthest north I've travelled is Nottingham- and that was for a hen night! Yet, one of the places other traveller's mention to me time and again is York.
York is a walled city with a rich heritage. It has provided the backdrop to many political throughout the last two millennia. The city was founded by the Romans, and grew to be a major trading hub for wool in the middle ages. York also became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province, which it retains to this day.
The city offers a wealth of attractions, the most prominent being that of York Minster. The Minster is not only the most important historic building in the county, it's the largest medieval cathedral in North Europe. As the seat of the Archbishop of York, it is second in importance to only Canterbury.
The first church built here was a small wooden church which was replaced by a small stone church built on the site of a Roman Basilica, you can still see some of this in the foundations. The first Norman Minster was built in the 11th Century and again there is evidence of this in the foundations, and the crypt. The present Minster manages to encompass all the phases of Gothic architecture, including Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular.
Castle Howard is supposedly the grandest stately home in the United Kingdom- and there are a lot to choose from. If you visit, attempt it during the week, giving yourself more time to take in the hedonistic style of the home. The Earl of Carlisle hired a man who was known for being a playwright, not an architect, to design his home, Sir John Vanbrugh. Luckily though, he hired Nicholas Hawksmoor, who actually had an idea of what he was doing- later the pair did wonders with Blenheim Palace. The house is full of treasures, the Great Hall is breathtaking with soaring Corinthian pilasters and pre-Raphaelite stained glass in the chapel.
York is also home to the most visited street in Europe, known as The Shambles. The road is a narrow cobbled lane lined with Tudor buildings. The buildings over hang so much it's miraculous that they don't meet over head. Quaint, picturesque and possibly how a medieval street may have looked. It gets its name from the Saxon "shamel" meaning Slaughterhouse- there were 26 butchers on this one road alone back in 1862.
Have you visited York? What did you see and do?