Travel Muse

A Must Do for this Weekend: York Resident's Festival

Gracie Daw recommends just a few of the many attractions open for the York Resident's Festival this weekend.

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This weekend, 29 January 2022, is the Resident’s Festival in York. With over 70 attractions, food and retail services are offering things discounted or for free this weekend to all York students and residents with proof of student ID. It makes perfect sense to take the opportunity to see what York has to offer this weekend. Here are just a few of the many attractions participating in the Festival.

1.  Beningbrough Hall

A National Trust site just outside of York, Beningbrough Hall has a fascinating history and beautiful gardens, making it a fun day trip from York. It is reachable by the 29 bus from the railway station followed by a roughly  30 minute walk, or if you are feeling adventurous, by a 10 mile walk (or cycle) down the footpath along the River Ouse. Unfortunately, the Hall and Galleries are currently closed for renovation, but the gardens are open to explore. If you plan to get there by bus, make sure to go on Saturday because the 29 service does not run regularly on Sunday.

2.  Fairfax House

Although not the Vanbrugh accommodation! Fairfax House is a beautiful Georgian Townhouse in the centre of York which will transport you back to the 18th century. Not only does the House have beautiful interiors, but it has a remarkable history as the House was inherited by Anne Fairfax, the sole surviving child of Lord Fairfax, which meant that she was a property-owning individual in her own right, something fairly unusual for women in the Georgian era. Before visiting, make sure to book in advance on their website!

3.  JORVIK Viking Centre

Definitely use next weekend to explore the JORVIK Viking Centre, one of York’s most iconic tourist attractions. It is open for the Resident’s Festival from 29 January to 4 February, provided you book on their website. The centre aims to give visitors an interactive experience, so it is possible to understand what 10th century York looked and felt like.

4. The Merchant Adventurers Hall

The Merchant Adventurers Hall is a beautiful building and has a fascinating history inside too, making it definitely worth a visit this weekend! My favourite part of the building is the sloping floor in the main hall, which after hundreds of years of use, looks as if it might collapse in on itself (it is completely safe though!) After you have explored the building, enjoy a coffee and cake in the historic setting in their café.

5.  Hidden History Walks

For those who want to move around more and enjoy being outside, a walking tour may be more appropriate. One of the many tours available is the Hidden History Walks which take you around York, allowing you to find out stuff about York you may not have known. For foodies, there is also a food tour which takes you around five independent eateries to try their delicacies. Booking is required for these tours.

These are just a few of the attractions open to visit this weekend. Further details of the attractions open for the Resident’s Festival can be found on the Visit York website, along with information about retail and food discounts available. I recommend all students take advantage of the resident’s festival, after all, it is an opportunity to explore York on a student budget.

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