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A short guide to York

Joseph Silke introduces you to the City of York!

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The Times named York the best place to live in the UK in 2018. [Image: Joseph Silke]
Congratulations on earning your place at the University of York! You will soon be arriving in one of the United Kingdom's most beautiful and exciting cities, at the heart of one of its proudest and most iconic regions. Don't just take our word for it: The Times named York the best place to live in the UK in 2018! With its staggering range of pubs, bars, restaurants, museums, shops and more, we know that you are going to fall in love with York just like we have. To prepare you to meet your new home, here is a short introduction of what to expect from the ancient capital of the North before our freshers' supplement is released in Freshers' Week.

Founded by the Romans in 71 AD as the fortress of Eboracum, York is one of Britain's most historic cities. The Anglo-Saxons, who took over after the Romans left in the fifth century, called it Eoforwic. The Viking Danes captured the city in 866 AD and called it Jorvik, from which the modern name derives. This Viking heritage is visible in York street names with the suffix 'gate' from the Norse word 'gata', meaning 'way'. The Normans later constructed castles as well as a new cathedral in the city, now the seat of the Archbishop of York: York Minster. The city became a vital trading and religious centre from the mediaeval period with formidable walls constructed for ample protection. The walls remain standing today and are open to the public.

King's Manor in the centre of the city used to house the abbots of St Mary's Abbey. Henry VIII, Charles I and James I have all stayed there. The building is now used by the university. [Image: Joseph Silke]
York boasts a modern, metropolitan night scene alongside its historic charm. During Freshers' Week you'll be introduced to some of the city's many clubs and bars. York Parties runs student club nights at Revs, Kuda, Salvo, and Fibbers. Drinks deals are offered on these nights and entry to the clubs are reserved for students so bring your York ID. Popular bars include Society, Stone Roses, Lowther, and Nouse favourite: Flares. There is a massive range of bars in York, so you will definitely discover ones you love. There are also many places to get food after a night out. McDonald's in the centre of town, for example, is open twenty-four hours. The N66 runs from midnight until 4am and will take you back to campus from outside Salt & Pepper.

York Parties organises regular student club nights at the major nightclubs in the city. [Image: York Parties]
Legend states that there are more pubs in York than there are days in a year. What is certainly true is that York has a lot of pubs. There are two 'spoons: the Postern Gate on Piccadilly near the castle and the Punch Bowl on Blossom Street next to Micklegate Bar. New Street contains both Dusk and Drawing Board, two other Nouse favourites. Fossgate is a street packed with independent bars including Fossgate Social, Sutlers, and the Hop. Down the road on Walmgate is Brew York, a popular local brewhouse with a yard overlooking the River Foss. Walmgate also hosts Gatehouse Coffee, a unique coffee house inside Walmgate Bar.

Gatehouse Coffee is an independent coffee shop inside Walmgate Bar, the only bar to in York retain its barbican, portcullis and inner doors. [Image: Joseph Silke]
York is littered with attractions from museums to galleries. At the heart of the city is York Minster which all York students can enter for free with their student card. York students can also get a free York Museums Trust card which permits free entry into the Yorkshire Museum, the York Castle Museum, and York Gallery. The Shambles is an iconic mediaeval street in the city which is mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086. Originally a street for butchers and an inspiration for J K Rowling's Diagon Alley, it now houses chocolatiers, Harry Potter shops, and the shrine of Saint Margaret Clitherow, among other things. Chocolate production has long been an important industry in York and on certain days the smell of chocolate fills the air from the factory at the edge of town. Clifford's Tower is primarily what remains of the old castle. Entry to the keep will cost you but rolling down the mound is free of charge and a York tradition.

The Shambles contains mediaeval overhanging timber-framed buildings and is one of York's most visited streets. [Image: Joseph Silke]
York has three cinemas and most popular high street chains have stores in the city. The city has a low crime rate and the county of North Yorkshire consistently ranks among the safest counties in the UK. York has the fasted internet in the country with the world-leading 'UltraFibreOptic' technology. York is also known as the 'City of Festivals' as it hosts vibrant events every month of the year. If all that isn't enough, York is surrounded by picturesque towns, areas of natural beauty, and neighbouring cities like Leeds. York is also a major transport hub and trains to London can take less than two hours and trains to Edinburgh take around two and a half hours.

There is so much more about York that we will tell you about when our freshers' supplement is released during Freshers' Week. Look out for it in either your freshers' bag or at our stall during Freshers' Fair. Other things you will discover for yourself during your time here. Enjoy the rest of your summer and we look forward to welcoming you to your new home in Freshers' Week!

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