Join our York tours from London and begin a journey of stunning scenery and historic cities. This small-group tour starts travels through some of England’s finest countryside and includes two nights in York, with plenty of time for you to explore this historic city.
There are few cities in Britain that can rival the medieval beauty and captivating history of York. From the Romans to the Vikings, and from imposing Cathedrals to haunted houses, this city has so much to offer whether you’re visiting for a few hours or a few days. We hope you join us on our York tours and discover why it is regarded as one of Britain’s great cities…
Founded by the Romans in 72AD, the first settlement of York was known by the name Eboracum; and was effectively the capital of the north. The city was an important fortress for the Romans, and was visited by several Emporers, including Constantine I, who passed away on his visit in 306AD. In the 9th century the Danes arrived and created their town of Jorvik, which became a big river port and a major cog of the extensive Viking trade machine.
Two hundred years later came the Norman Conquest, and initially York rebelled, before William the Conqueror ordered a brutal campaign of destruction to defeat the rebels. In the 15th century a rivalry for the English throne developed between the Houses of York and Lancaster. A 30 year conflict ensued, known as the ‘War of the Roses’, which involved some of the bloodiest ever battles on English soil, and eventually gave rise to the reign of the Tudors.
In more recent times, York became a centre for industry and rail. In 1839, local MP and railway promoter George Hudson secured York as one of the stops for the new East Coast Line between London and Edinburgh, doing so over Yorkshire rival Leeds. This made York a hub of engineering, especially railway, and soon after for confectionary, with famous companies like Rowntree and Terry’s based in the city.
Probably York’s most famous son is Guy Fawkes; the man caught with gunpowder trying to blow up London’s Parliament in 1605. After the Reformation and King Henry VIII’s formation of the Protestant church, a group of Catholics created a plan to blow up Parliament and kill the protestant King James I. Today, the 5th November remains a night of national celebration in England to mark the failure of this plot; an occasion known as ‘Bonfire Night’.
In 1664, York lent its name to a city that had until then been known as New Amsterdam. During the second Anglo-Dutch war, the English took the colony and decided to give the city a different name. The name that was chosen was York, in honour of the person who’s name the city had been captured in; James, the Duke of York (later King James II). His older brother King Charles II had made James the city’s propreiter, and thus New York city was born.
York’s location puts it cloes to two of England’s most beautiful National Parks; the Yorkshire Dales and the Yorkshire Moors. These areas are full of history, wildlife and winding country lanes. Their beauty also makes them extremely photogenic and the unique scenery has featured in TV series like Heartbeat, and films such as Robin Hood and Harry Potter. Anyone who visits Yorkshire, and York, will soon see why it’s known as ‘God’s own county’.
If you would like to explore the fascinating history of York, why not join us on our small-group York tours? Our five-day adventures include the services of our professional Tour Leaders who are experts on the all of the places you’ll visit, full transportation and four-nights accommodation. Tours start and finish in central London.
Take a look at our York tours and start your adventure now!