Christmas in York

In 2018 and 2019 we spent Christmas away from home, staying in Haarlem where our daughter was living at the time. We’d enjoyed the experience but last year’s lockdown meant that Christmas 2000 was spent at home in the house watching the telly, reading, and eating and drinking. This year, though, we decided to get away. Despite the resurgence of the lurgy with the Omicron variant, we were all fully vaccinated and boosted and decided we’d get away, booking a rather nice apartment in Fossgate in the centre of York. Like Haarlem, it’s an old city with plenty to see (although only a couple of hours drive from home – M62 willing, of course!) while being careful to minimise the risk of picking up the virus.

Our apartment on Fossgate. The top 2 floors of an old Georgian building above a shop

We arrived late afternoon the day before Christmas Eve returning the day after Boxing Day. After a relatively trouble free drive over the Pennines, we unloaded and then set out to explore the streets of York. It was the last day of the Christmas market and we managed to catch the last few hours before it shut down.

Christmas tree on Parliament Street
The Christmas market

After a mooch around the market and town centre we returned to the apartment and settled in, adding a few Christmassy touches (I was surprised that the owners hadn’t put up a few decorations)

After a few hours relaxing we went out again, but not so far. We’d booked a table in a Polish restaurant, the Blue Barbakan, just a few doors down the street.

Afterwards we had a short stroll around the now quiet streets

The Shambles. It’s usually jammed with tourists!
The MInster

On Christmas Eve I was up fairly early before the rest of the family and popped out to stock up with some supplies for our traditional Christmas Eve buffet. Later when everyone one was up we set out to explore the city in the daylight. Son and daughter did there own thing but we all met up later for a coffee.

Low Petergate

West end of the MInster

St William’s College
One of the many Medieval churches
St Crux Parish Room
The Kiosk – an excellent coffee shop just across from our apartment

We returned to the apartment and spent the late afternoon watching the live stream of the service from the Minster while preparing and then eating our meal. Lots to eat and plenty of leftovers for Boxing Day!

Everyone (with one usual exception!) was up bright and early on Christmas morning. When everyone was up it was time to open our presents. A few hours later it was time to prepare our Christmas dinner. No turkey for us – we’re not fans and – but we’d bought some good quality steaks. We hadn’t been sure of what the cooking facilities would be like so had opted for a relatively easy approach. The steaks would only need frying and we’d bought mainly pre-prepared veg that only needed heating in the oven.

My Christmas dinner main course – with a smoked wild salmon starter preceding and followed by Christmas pud

Afterwards we sat and chatted before going out for a short mooch around the quiet streets to walk off some of the carbs! Most of the evening was spent eating, drinking and watching TV. Not much different than at home but the change in surroundings made it a nice change. And later on I went out for a short walk around the quiet streets.

Tree dressed up with lights in York Castle square
The Merchant Adventurer’s Hall at night
Bootham Bar
The Minster central tower
East end of the Minster

Boxing Day was spent on more sightseeing along the walls and around the streets of the small city.

The Merchant Adventurer’s Hall
Monk Bar
On the walls
Looking towards the Minster from the walls
Foundations of the original Roman Walls
The Merchant Taylor’s Hall

A number of the shops were open for the post Christmas sales.

We returned to the apartment and spent the evening finishing off the food and drink left over from the previous two days while watching Christmas films on TV before turning in for our last night of our short Christmas break. We’d enjoyed it – it was good to get away for a change of scenery. All being well we’ll be doing it again in 2022.

20 thoughts on “Christmas in York

    • Sometimes you just need to get away from the forced jolity and spend some time relaxing and reflecting. I hope you managed to do that and that 2022 is better for you. It will be.

  1. We toyed with the idea of a city break over Xmas and York was on the list (we were supposed to be in Nice!). In the end I was a bit concerned about more lockdowns and restrictions so we stayed home. Looks like York would have been a great place for a short visit. Happy New Year to you and the family!

    • We booked via and could cancel up to a week before the holiday started. We kept a close eye on what was happening felt any restrictions wouldn’t prevent us going, which was the case. We took a few risks while we were away (the meal out) but generally took care.
      York was a good choice as we like mooching around interesting historic towns and the change of environment worked well for us.
      And Happy New Year to all the Surf and Slides!

  2. A great idea to get away for the season. I’ve yet to manage it, but have always fancied a cottage in the Dales with a roaring log fire. Maybe 2022 will be the year. I prefer to think of it as a time for quiet and reflection, and do find much of the jollity false. Happy New Year!

    • There’s 4 adults been sharing our house for the past year. Getting away made a great change.
      I like the idea of a cottage in the Dales, or somewhere else in the country – to be able to read and relax and get out for walks (i’m rather like a “caged lion” ifindoorsfor too long).
      And a Happy New Year to you too, Michael

    • The first time I’ve seen the streets so quiet! They were busythough onthe two afternoons before Christmas, especially when the Christmas market was still on.
      Et Bonne Année aussi!

  3. Happy New Year! I really enjoyed reading about your Christmas break. At first I thought you had been to New York for Christmas 🙂 Misread the title of your post. We had a pretty low-key gathering. The weather was pretty warm here (around 85 degrees) so we mostly lazed around eating and drinking in the shade.

    • Happy New Year to you too Margaret.
      Very different Christmas for those of you down under – midsummer rather than the deep midwinter!
      I think New York will be iff the agenda for a little while yet! We actually planned to visit in 2020, tagging it on to the end of a trip to Canada we had started planning, but then Covid arrived 😡

    • Happy New Year Coral 😀
      Yes, York is a beautiful city.
      There was a little snow on higher ground in Scotland and the Pennines on Boxing Day, but none on lower ground. It actually rarely snows at Christmas over here, especially on our our side of the country (the west side of the Pennines). It’s more frequent over to the east but still quite rare that there’s a white Christmas in York, I think

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