Monday 16 April 2007

City of York, England

One of England's best-preserved medieval cities, York is justifiably-famous for its majestic Gothic Minster and its largely-intact city walls. Unfortunately much of York's character has been damaged by the tat and tack catering for the mass of tourists and daytrippers wandering up and down the city's narrow central streets. Witness the twee ye-olde-shoppes that deface the 15th Century timber-framed houses overhanging the cobbled narrow alleyway that is The Shambles. To escape the commercialism, climb the steps next to Bootham Gate and head clockwise around the walls, which offer fine views of the soaring Minister across historic church buildings surrounded by peaceful gardens. Alternatively, explore the 11th Century picturesque ruins of St. Mary's Abbey in the Museum Gardens, which overlook the river and make a great place to savour a pastie from one of York's collection of excellent bakers. 7/10