Looking for adventure on your city break to York? Whatever time of year you decide to visit, you’ll find plenty of activities to try. Spring and summer maybe peak tourist season, but it’s a great time to come if you love the great outdoors. Feel the sun on your face as you cruise the Ouse in a self-drive boat, tackle a tricky maze or pedal your way round the city on a cycling tour. But even if you’re here in autumn or winter (or you’re experiencing the joys of a typical British summer), the city has some exciting places to duck into if it rains - from an huge trampoline park to a thrilling indoor motorsports arena. And when your day of action draws to a close, rest assured there’s a comfortable bed waiting for you at one of our dreamy York hotels.
Activities in York
Where to go
Feeling hot in the city? York is full of picture-perfect places that are crying out for your picnic blanket. But if you fancy doing something a bit more exciting than eating your sarnies under a tree, here’s our pick of the best outdoor activities in York.
Tackle a tricky high ropes course at The Web Adventure Park, an indoor and outdoor play centre in York. Called Wired, the challenging course has 22 activities of varying difficulty, all of which are designed to test your nerve. Rising to eight metres at its highest point, you’re fully harnessed in at all times. But although it’s totally safe, it’s still totally thrilling. There’s a Premier Inn hotel near the Web Adventure Park, too.
Open every summer, York Maze is created from over one million living maize plants. It’s the largest maze in the UK and incredibly tricky. Kids will love finding their way round with a compass - and you are allowed to cheat and buy a map if you’re struggling.
City Cruises York offers river tours on the Ouse in a comfortable boat, complete with a running commentary. But if that sounds too sedate, why not take to the water yourself? The same company lets you hire self-drive motor boats by the hour. They’re really easy to drive and can seat up to eight.
Love exhilarating adventures but like keeping warm and dry at the same time? Try one of these top indoor activities in York.
There are lots of ways to put pedal to the metal at York MotorSports Village. Race friends (or just the clock) around the indoor karting arena, or experience what it would be like to take part in an F1 race in the top-of-the-range simulator. There are packages to suit everyone - children from four years up can try the easy-to-drive electric F3 'Junior' karts. Older children aged eight and above can enjoy the F2 petrol karts while adults get to race the super-nippy F1 'Pro' fleet. Just want to watch? There’s also a bar.
Energi Trampoline Park lets you bounce through a warehouse made up of wall-to-wall trampolines. As if that’s not fun enough, you can also launch yourself through the air into foam pits or play dodgeball against your friends. All the springy fun is just minutes away from our Premier Inn York North West hotel, too.
At the Web Adventure you’ll find plenty of things to do indoors. Its huge Creepy Crawlies play area has four separate soft play areas, complete with a sports arena, disco area, ball canons and a huge play frame. It’s also home to a role play village called Bugginton, which has its own shop, cottage, vets practice and a DIY store.
City Cruises York
Energi Trampoline Park
Tours and trails
Whether you want to go it alone or join an organised walking tour, York is a fantastic city to see on foot.
York is Britain’s chocolate capital, with a long history in confectionary which continues to this day - both the Kit Kat and the Chocolate Orange being its most famous exports. Take the York Chocolate Trail by picking up a map at the visitor information centre - it takes you on a walk around the city’s best confectioners.
York was officially named the Most Haunted City in Europe by the International Ghost Research Foundation. Take your pick of one of the city’s many Ghost Walks (held after it gets dark, naturally).
Head upwards for a stroll along the limestone City Walls. They’re free to access - just go to Museum Gardens, behind the cathedral, for the best starting point. It takes about two hours to walk the five kilometre circuit. Not to be missed are the battlements at Micklegate, where traitors like William Wallace met a grisly end.
Whether you’ve brought your own set of wheels or plan to hire a bike while you’re in town, you’ll find York is a bike-friendly city (and all of our Premier Inn hotels in York are bike-friendly too!) It has a network of off-road cycle paths and on-road cycle lanes, so you’ll always feel safe as you pedal your way round the city.
Some of the best cycling trails in York are its traffic-free riverside paths, and the Millennium cyclists’ bridge is at the junction where five of them meet. A great one to try is the Solar System route. Heading south from York with the Millennium Bridge as your starting point takes you to Naburn, via a series of planetary sculptures set in some stunning landscape.
Don’t want to go it alone? York Cycling Tours lets you explore the city with a guide, taking you to some hidden gems you won’t see on any bus or walking tour. Travelling on cycle paths and designated lanes, you’ll go at a leisurely pace - and learn something about the city’s history at the same time.