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The best way to spend 24 hours in York

Welcome to the heart of Yorkshire, home to a beautiful city steeped in rich English history and perfect for spending 24 hours in York.

Renowned for its quaint charm, higgledy-piggledy streets, quirky pubs and wide-ranging culinary delights, it’s no wonder tourists flock here in their droves to drink in the wonders of this deeply historical city.

But with so much to do, it’s easy to be spoilt for choice – or overwhelmed. In this guide, we’ll take you through our perfect day out in York, hosted by Splendid Hospitality Group: exploring some of its iconic landmarks using Make It York’s VIP Pass, indulging in its brilliant foodie delights, and savouring the city’s rich history and culture.

Karl Moran on Unsplash - 24 hours in York
Image: Karl Moran from Unsplash

From undertaking sumptuous chocolate adventures to exploring York’s significant cultural landmarks and vast restaurant and bar scene, rest assured you’ll enjoy an invigorating 24 hours in York.

From indulgent afternoon teas to gourmet dining, underground dungeons and more, York offers a wealth of experiences for every palate – so whether you’re a bit of a history buff, a passionate foodie, or just after a peaceful and relaxing getaway, trust that York (and we) have you covered.

Keep reading to discover our guide to the best way to spend 24 hours in York.

How to spend 24 hours in York

York Minster city centre exterior of cathedral
Image: Wolfgang Claussen from Pixabay

Morning: Explore Chocolate Story and York Minster 

09:00 am, Chocolate Story – Discover the history behind York’s reputation as ‘the chocolate city’ as part of a guided tour. Knowledgeable guides will take you through the 4,000-year-old history of chocolate, and illuminate you on how the delicious treat then made its way to York.

You’ll learn to taste chocolate like a professional with guided samplings and a live demonstration from one of Chocolate Story’s expert chocolatiers, as you learn about its journey from cocoa bean to the indulgent feel-good snack it is today.

11:00 am, York Minster – Using a VIP York Pass from Make It York,  gain access to the fabulous 7th-century York Minster. Widely considered to be one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals, a 24 hours in York trip is not complete without indulging in a little bit of this deeply-rooted history.

At the centre of Christianity in the north of England for 1,400 years, drink in the stories of its beautiful stained glass windows and handcrafted stonework as you explore this sacred bastion of peace in the centre of the city of York.

The Grand Afternoon Tea Champagne

Afternoon: Indulge in a stunning Afternoon Tea at 5* hotel, The Grand, York

1:30 pm, Afternoon Tea inside The Rise Restaurant at The Grand, York – Treat yourself to a calming, quintessentially British afternoon tea experience at the city’s impressive 5* hotel, The Grand, York. Seated in its beautiful restaurant The Rise, dig into a carefully curated selection of finger sandwiches, dainty cakes and freshly-baked scones with clotted cream and local preserves as you overlook this historic city walls.

Paired with your choice of tea, coffee, Hendrick’s gin or Champagne for an extra-special touch, enjoy a contemporary take on a classic featuring the likes of royal pistachio Battenberg cake, cardamom and chocolate craquelin, and black pudding sausage roll served with apple gel. Heaven.

KREP at York Shambles Food Court
Image: KREP at Shambles Food Court

3:30 pm, Explore the city of York As part of your 24 hours in York take a relaxed and leisurely stroll through its charming streets, stopping off at the Shambles food market for a tasty crepe courtesy of street food truck KREP or a custard-drenched crumble at Crumbles Desserts.

From exploring its boutique shops and quaint cafes to the city’s picturesque gardens, there is so much to see and do here – from snapping pictures of its iconic landmarks such as Clifford’s Tower and the city walls to exploring the many wizarding-themed shops that line the popular Shambles street,

Cookery School The Grand York Demonstration

The Grand, York also boasts its own state-of-the-art cookery school, where budding chefs can take part in morning, half, full-day and evening classes covering everything from baking to butchery and BBQing.

7.30 pm, Drinks in the 1906 bar at The Grand, York – Take a load off with a tranquil drink inside this gorgeous, intimate bar at The Grand, York. Sink into deep burgundy leather armchairs and snack on complimentary nibbles as you flick through the extensive drinks menu, which features a sweet and refreshing concoction made using honey from the hotel’s own bees.

Our recommendation is to ask the bartender to make you a dirty martini, the perfect way to kick off your evening and whet your appetite before heading into The Rise for dinner. Alternatively, there is a great wine and Champagne list if you’re really looking to push the boat out.

8:15 pm, Dinner in The Rise restaurant at The Grand, York – As the day winds down, make your way across to The Rise, a beautiful restaurant with floor-to-ceiling glass overlooking the city walls.

Located within the 5* hotel, the AA-Rosette awarded restaurant, terrace and bar specialises in offering up seasonal British favourites with a Yorkshire twist. Diners can also expect to find a strong selection of local ales, wines and cocktails to complement the evening menu, served between 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm daily.

A menu highlight is The Grand, York Beef Wellington, which is designed to be shared between two. Featuring mushroom duxelle, chicken farce, pancetta and puff pastry, it then comes served with black garlic aioli, variegated kale, crispy roasties, béarnaise sauce and a rich beef jus. A perfect way to end 24 hours in York.

Legacy at The Grand Restaurant Interior

If you’re after fine dining in York, The Grand, York is also home to Three AA-Rosette awarded restaurant, Legacy. Head Chef Ahmed Abdalla heads up this innovative restaurant, working alongside Executive Head Chef Kevin Bonello, focusing on a menu featuring locally sourced produce and innovative wine pairings to achieve something truly special.

Amazingly featured in the Michelin Guide after a short time of opening, the restaurant is perfect for celebrations and relaxed dining alike with its service team taking an individual approach to each table.

Splendid Hospitality Group is a renowned, privately-owned hotel group based in the UK, striving to host extraordinary experiences across their impressive list of hotels.

In a recent partnership with Make It York, the VIP Pass allows complimentary access to a range of outstanding attractions in the city, including York Minster, Clifford’s Tower, Merchant Adventurer’s Hall and 19 others.

Featured image – York City Walls, by Pete from Pixabay


Top destinations for fine dining in York

£40 TeT Wakefield Restaurant Voucher

3-9 Cross Square, Wakefield WF1 1PQ
  • Contemporary Thai and Vietnamese cuisine
  • One of Wakefield’s best restaurants
  • SAVE 20%
From  £32.00 Read More Select options
3-9 Cross Square, Wakefield WF1 1PQ

£40 Rise York Restaurant Voucher

Station Rise, York YO1 6GD
  • Located within York’s 5 Star Hotel
  • Expect modern British dishes with a Yorkshire twist
  • SAVE 25%
£40.00 £30.00 Save 25% £40 25% OFF Read More Add to cart
Station Rise, York YO1 6GD

£40 Three’s A Crowd Harrogate Restaurant Voucher

11 West Park, Harrogate HG1 1BL
  • Town centre gastropub which oozes laid back, refined cool
  • Showcasing the best seasonal ingredients
  • SAVE 20%
£40.00 £32.00 Save 20% £40 20% OFF Read More Add to cart
11 West Park, Harrogate HG1 1BL

Spanish Gin and Tonic Experience at Iberica, Leeds

Hepper House, 17a E Parade, Leeds LS1 2BH
  • Taste three different gins and tonics from Spain with their in-house expert, served with delicious savoury nibbles.
  • SAVE 10%
£45.00 £40.50 Save 10% £45 10% OFF Read More Book ticket
Hepper House, 17a E Parade, Leeds LS1 2BH

Gin Creation Classes at Liquor Studio, Leeds

156a Lower Briggate, Leeds LS1 6LY
  • Blend your own 70cl bottle of unique, personalised gin – customised to your individual tastes.
  • SAVE 15%
£89.95 £76.45 Save 15% £89.95 15% OFF Read More Book ticket
156a Lower Briggate, Leeds LS1 6LY

No.1 GuestHouse York Afternoon Tea

1 Clifton, York YO30 6AA
  • Insta-worthy Grade II listed townhouse hotel
  • Close to York’s iconic Minster
  • SAVE 21%
£38.00 £30.00 Save 21% £38 21% OFF Read More Add to cart
1 Clifton, York YO30 6AA

Written by

Georgina Pellant


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