Issue date: Thursday 9 May
Issued by: Visit York

York woos visitors from London

Promotions for York have appeared across the London Underground today, as part of Visit York’s latest tourism drive to woo new visitors to the city.  Targeting short break takers, this domestic tourism campaign aimed at 25-65 year olds living in London and the South East, will get across the message loud and clear, that the capital and York are just one hour and fifty minutes apart.  Promoting fifty experiences that visitors can only have in York will be right at the heart of this new initiative.

Sponsored by LNER, Only In York will communicate the unique experiences on offer for visitors.  Whether you book a behind the scenes tour at York Minster’s Stoneyard, shop in the oldest shopping street in Europe, Shambles, see how engineers at the National Railway Museum keep their locomotives in tip top condition, or have a flutter at the best racecourse in the North, York has something you won’t find anywhere else. And only minutes away by car is Castle Howard, home to the Howard family for more than 300 years. This summer you can book a tour of the awe-inspiring Howard family Mausoleum.

Paul Whiting, Head of Visit York, said: “The current trend reported by tour operators and online channels shows that people now want a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Only in York is about offering ideas for new and unusual things to do and helping our visitors experience York at a deeper level.” 

“This is just the start of a year round promotion and these bold messages along the London Underground will encourage commuters and visitors to the capital to head north by train and book their Only In York stay.”

“Events such as Europe’s first pop-up Shakespearean theatre, which will return to York for ten weeks in the summer, Eboracum Roman Festival and the Festival of Ideas will also continue to put York on the map for a cultural break.  Our aim is to showcase what sets York apart from other destinations and to increase bookings from the capital and beyond this year.”

Giant posters will be seen by 1.5 million commuters across 25 London Underground stations, as well as at Kings Cross St Pancras station.  Added to this, a national radio campaign with Classic FM will be heard by an estimated one million listeners.  More Only In York experiences range from joining a ghost tour in Europe’s most haunted city, to travelling back in time to the age of the Vikings at JORVIK, to cracking the code in a 1960’s cold war bunker.  And at the city’s next festival, the Eboracum Roman Festival, you can even join a tour to discover Roman cemeteries and where the Romans buried their dead.  Visitors can walk in the footsteps of the Ninth and Sixth Legions and discover how they shaped this city more than 1,900 years ago.

Richard McFaul, Senior Brand Partnerships Manager, said: “York is a key destination on our route, with thousands of visitors travelling with us every month to see our beautiful city. We are therefore proud to partner the Only in York campaign and to help celebrate many of the great unique experiences on offer.”  

Only in York will gather pace this summer as York’s tourism businesses join together to amplify the message across social media and online, using the hashtag #onlyinyork.  A new PR campaign will see travel writers visiting York during the year to write and blog about the city, along with the production of a new video, showcasing Only In York experiences to the world.  ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Images to launch Only In York: See link.

Contains images of Only in York posters on the London Underground as well as images of Romans in York, to promote York’s next festival – The Eboracum Roman Festival – 31 May- 2 June.  Organised by York Museums Trust.  The Yorkshire Museum is home to some of Britain’s most significant Roman treasures, and there’ll be ‘Only In York’ activities and workshops in the museum throughout the festival.

Visit York’s top twenty #OnlyinYork experiences for 2019

Marvel at the largest expanse of stained glass in the UK, York Minster’s Great East Window. #onlyinyork.  Be sure to book on a behind the scenes tour.

Grow a beard and enter the Best Beard Competition during February’s annual JORVIK Viking Festival.  #onlyinyork

Walk the longest medieval town walls in England.  #onlyinyork

Where else can you find the shortest street with the longest name? Whip-ma-whop-ma gate? #onlyinyork

At Treasurer’s House get in the spirit! Visit the cellars haunted by the legendary Roman ghosts in Europe’s most haunted city. And book your tickets for the Roman Festival. #onlyinyork

Sweet toothed?  Visit the place where the world’s most famous names in chocolate began - York’s Chocolate Story.  See if you can spot Shackleton’s cocoa tin, all the way from the Antarctic.  #onlyinyork

Travel back in time at JORVIK and immerse yourself in Viking York.  Meet the Vikings of York and listen to their Norse sagas. #onlyinyork

Crack the code at this 1960’s Cold War Bunker, built underneath a housing estate. #onlyinyork

Get up close to the world’s fastest steam locomotive, Mallard, at the world’s largest Railway Museum.  #onlyinyork

Feeling flush? Book a helicopter transfer from The Grand Hotel & Spa, Yorkshire’s only 5 star Hotel.  #onlyinyork

Taste Visit England’s Best Afternoon Tea, onboard a dining car at The Countess of York at the National Railway Museum. #onlyinyork

Stroll along Shambles, the oldest shopping street in Europe and an inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series. #onlyinyork

Hunt out the tansy beetle in the Museum Gardens, a rare beetle found munching on the tansy leaves. The perfect spot for a picnic too. #onlyinyork

Place your bets at York Racecourse from May to October.  The Group 1 Juddmonte International is ranked number one of all thoroughbred horse races across the globe.   #onlyinyork

To be or not to be? This summer reserve your seats at the first pop-up Shakespearean theatre in Europe – Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre.  Immerse yourself in four classics over the ten week show. #onlyinyork

Visit Castle Howard, this 18th century stately home has been home to the Howard family for over 300 years.  Check out the follies and mausoleum for a tour with a difference.

Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.


Key tourism facts:

6.9 million visitors annually, £564 million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs

For further information please contact:

Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Corporate Communications – Make It York

Direct Line: 01904 554451 Mobile: 07506 048852