Over the past decade, York has become one of the most popular cities in England for a staycation. It offers beauty, history, education, culture, art and nature – as well as a glamorous shopping district and up and coming restaurant scene.
Oh yes, and a chocolate factory. A huge chocolate factory where you can actually create your chocolate bar – or just nab a freshly packed KitKat.
There’s a lot to see and do in York, so it’s a good idea to plan a few breaks in between sightseeing and chocolate tasting. In case you needed any more convincing, we’ve sourced the three best spas in the city where you can unwind and recharge.
This stunning five-star spa resort is around 40 miles north of the city, surrounded by rolling Yorkshire hills.
Start your day at Rockliffe Hall Spa with a gourmet breakfast and a stroll around the grounds, then head into York for the afternoon.
Set alongside the ancient city walls, the Grand Hotel is a York institution.
Its in-house spa uses high quality products from the likes of Espa, and offers a whole range of treatments and packages to suit women, men, couples and groups.
Just off the motorway, Bannatyne Spa is easy to get to, but difficult to leave.
The day spa offers a huge range of competitively priced treatments, while the hotel next door is comfortable and convenient to the city centre.
You can find just about any type of cuisine to enjoy during your spa break in York, but for the true local experience, you need to order a full Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding. Wander into any pub and order a pint of local ale and a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings.
You don’t come to York for the bars, you come for the pubs. Enjoy a pint at The Last Drop Inn, the York Brewery’s first pub, or at the Dickensian Punch Bowl, just a short walk away from the must-see York Minster.
Image: York Minster in early evening
Huge shopping centres such as Coppergate and the Designer Outlet stock all the latest fashions and a few bargain finds to boot.
York is also one of the best cities in England for antiques shopping. Visit the Red House Antiques Centre for some vintage finds, or look for forgotten books at Janette Ray Booksellers.