Freshers

When in York

Cultural aficionado Amy Blumsom takes us through York's best hotspots... By day and night.

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You've finally run out of things to watch on Netflix, that groggy mix of hangovers and fresher's flu has finally lifted and you're looking for something to do during the day. Luckily, you've found yourself in a city with plenty to offer.

Whilst York may not be able to compete with the hustle and bustle of Leeds or London, it certainly makes up for this in character.

You'll soon find York's past is an integral part of the city's charm, so even if you're not a massive history buff its worth visiting the major sites at least once.

The Museum Gardens are the perfect place to sit and soak up the essence of York as well as some sun (weather permitting). If you're strapped for cash but looking for something to do, take a picnic rather than going out for lunch. Where better to eat your humble sandwiches than next to the imposing ruins of St. Mary's Abbey?

If archaeological treasures are your bag you could even stop off at the Yorkshire Museum.

You can't live in York for three years without visiting the Minster at least once.

Since York St. John's has dibs on graduating in the Minster, you're going to have to visit it in your own time! It's free with your York Student card, so you might as well have a look around this majestic thousand year old structure.

Try giving York's oldest street a visit next time you're in town. Only a minute walk from the Minster, the Shambles is one of the best preserved medieval streets in the world and is even said to have inspired J.K. Rowling's Diagon Alley. Make the most of these iconic cobbled streets, since the council has already paved over cobbled King's Square for accessibility reasons.

Betty's Tea Rooms is definitely the place to take your parents when they visit (just make sure they're paying first). Quaint atmosphere and quality tea, it's got everything you look for in a tea room. There are two options, either Betty's St. Helen's Square or Betty's Stonegate. St. Helen's Square is the larger of the two, with its decadent decor it's generally considered the more touristy of the two and on a Saturday don't be surprised if there's a queue stretching all the way down the side of the shop.

What better way to experience the city you're going to be living in for the next three years than walking it's ancient walls? York has the most complete set of medieval walls in England.

With four gatehouses of 'bars', it's a great way to get a feel for this historic city. It's also a free way of seeing all that York has to offer.

York is a bustling centre of culture for all you arts lovers. For theatre-goers, the York Barbican, Opera House and Theatre Royal to name the big guns will cater to most of your needs- from ballet and musicals to comedy and film screenings.

There's also such a range of eateries unique to York that there really is no need to frequent establishments such as Pizza Hut or Nandos.

Whilst it may cost a couple of quid more, it's (almost) always worth it. Stonegate Yard can provide a hearty meal and has a magical fairy-light-lit smoker's area- this gem can be found, surprisingly, on Stonegate.

Or, if Italian is what you're looking for, why not wonder down Goodramgate and give Little Italy try? For the more money-conscious, there's always the option of a hearty Wetherspoon's meal at the Postern Gate and cheap drinks.



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Your nights out in York will inevitably begin in one of its many bars. Both Stone Roses and the Nags' Head offer notorious triples-for-singles deals if you're looking for a cost effective way to get drunk.

Just a couple of doors down from Nags is Rumours where you can sample its infamous and potent 'Kryptonite'.

Evil Eye, which is down Stonegate, is one of York's quirkier establishments. Said to be one of Jonny Depp's favourite bars, it has both crazy cocktails and different decor. Be warned though, it is a bit pricier than some of the other bars in York.

If it's still cocktails that you're after, Dusk is a slightly cheaper alternative, particularly if you take advantage of its 2-for-£5 offer. Just off Coney Street, it also serves as a handy pre-Revs (or Willow) pit stop. The creative names of the cocktails can however make it difficult to discern what's actually in your drink however - 'Graham Norton' anyone?

Clubs. When it comes to clubs, there are four major student nights that you need to know about. On Tuesday, Kuda is the place to be. It plays safely generic music but has a quirky VW Camper van for you to sit in on one of the floors.

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