York’s Hidden Gems: Discover beyond the city walls

From famous sights such as York Minster or the City Walls, York has a lot of history and culture behind it. It also has plenty of smaller hidden gems too!

So you’re welcome! We’ve rounded up our 5 favourite hidden gems for you to enjoy in York!

Fairfax House

Fairfax House, located in Castlegate, is one of the best Georgian townhouses in England. Originally belonging to Anne Fairfax and her father Charles Gregory, it has now been transformed into a public museum showcasing Georgian life, including furniture, historical exhibitions and mock-up rooms designed to showcase what it would’ve looked like back in the 1700s. The house is open to the public every day between 11am and 4pm, apart from Fridays when they do exclusive guided tours at 11am and 2pm.

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Merchant’s Adventurers’ Hall

Located in Fossgate, this architectural building is home to the Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York. Delve into York’s cultural history following tales of the ‘mystery of mercers’ or business pioneers that brought us the wool trade, two city universities and even chocolate! They constantly have seasonal exhibitions, so make sure you catch one of their exclusive events if you visit. They also have the Merchants’ coffee shop, which serves coffee and cakes perfect to enjoy after your visit.

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Breezy Knees Garden

This stunning scene of nature and award-winning gardens are located in Warthill, with 20 acres of colour to explore! Perfect for a long walk on a beautiful day, and plenty of space for picnics! Scattered along the many trails are benches and structures to blend in with the shrubbery, why not see if you can find them all along their May Blossom Walk? The gardens also have a nursery and a cafe serving snacks and refreshments. If you’re looking to visit the outskirts of York and soak in the scenery, then this is the place for you!

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York Cold War Bunker

The York Cold War Bunker, located in Holgate just outside of York city centre, was originally used in the cold war to monitor nuclear debris in the event of a nuclear attack. The bunker was in active service from the 1960s to the 1990s and remains to be one of England’s most modern war bunkers. The site offers guided tours including an introduction to York’s war history, a short film all about the site and a tour of the decontamination room. They also have a gift shop at the end where you can stock up on some York goodies!

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Yorkshire Heart Vineyard

This award-winning vineyard and brewery is located between York and Harrogate, and should not be missed! As well as making for an amazing sight across their acres of grapes, they also offer a range of tours and events perfect for adults. With tours of the vineyard itself, tours of the brewery and wine tastings (of course) at the cellar door, there is plenty to do and see at Yorkshire Heart. They also have a Winehouse cafe, offering a continental lunch complimented by, you guessed it, some of their very own wine!

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