Throughout its long history the city of York has played a central and strategic role in the culture, history and development of the country as whole. At one point the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Northumbria, the Romans, Vikings, and Normans have all left their indelible mark on the city and the mediaeval period gave the city much of the visual and architectural appeal it has today.
And still the cultural vibe of an important city continues in the many arts, galleries and theatres and in the pubs, cafes, restaurants and shops which depict a vibrant contemporary cityscape. There are many accommodation options for visitors to the city including a great number of superb York accommodations.
When it comes to historical architecture it is York Minster which most dominates the city. An incredible gothic cathedral, one of the largest in Europe, it is a major attraction facing right on to the busy city streets. Then it is the mediaeval structures, beginning with the 3 miles of fortress walls, built on roman foundations, and comprising the four great stone gatehouses. These lead to the winding streets of city centre, known as snickelways and the Shambles, a famous mediaeval shopping street characterised by timber-framed buildings hosting traditional tea rooms and lively modern shops and cafes.
A great city for simply walking around and taking in the ambience there are many ways to get a deeper feel for the rich cultural history of the place. Guided walking tours are popular and the museums detail everything from the archaeology and geology of the landscape, displayed within the Yorkshire Museum to interactive Viking exhibits within the award winning Yorvik Viking Centre. The York Castle Museum contains the condemned cell in which notorious highwayman Dick Turpin was interred and the industrial age is best represented by the National Railway Museum, which contains the world's largest collection of steam trains. A selection of tourist information on the best historical sites and attractions will be available from the York Guest houses.
York is alive with contemporary cultural attractions too, most notably in music and theatre. The Grand Opera House, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, and Theatre royal are all popular venues and for those with a passion for classical music can enjoy some spectacular performances in the wonderful historic setting of St Margaret's Church.
There is a great cinema too, City Screen, which enjoys a beautiful riverside location and features a popular bar and dining area. The river itself provides a superb vantage point of the city via delightful riverboat cruises. There are York guest houses within easy reach of all the city attractions.
Although the city in modern times extends beyond the old city walls it is still easy to get around on foot or by public transport and there are great many activities for all the family in the centre and in outer-lying areas. Kids will love Flamingo Land, with it zoo and theme park and there is ten pin bowling and all manner of other family-oriented activities. For family holidays in the area York guest houses can provide a better option than many of the hotels since they generally have a more varied range of room options, often with large family rooms available.
The York guest houses are better in other ways too, most obviously in value for money compared to the many large hotels and in addition to well appointed and comfortable accommodation they will provide a full home cooked breakfast as the best way to start the day. They will also provide an invaluable service in all the local information with regards to public transport options and the best restaurants and attractions.