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What's New and Cool in York and What are the Classics?

The new, cool things to do in York 

Revealing York Minster at York Minster: Revealing York Minster – the biggest visitor attraction within a cathedral in Europe, and one of York’s newest attractions. The Minster is also home to the futuristic looking Orb – an elliptical treasure-house showcasing for the first time England’s long-lost equivalent of Michelangelo or Vermeer.

Chocolate: When it comes to chocolate there really is no place like York. Britain’s home of chocolate is enjoying a chocolate making renaissance and you can literally eat, breathe, sleep, walk and make it! York’s unique chocolate experiences include York’s CHOCOLATE story - one of York’s newest visitor attractions, chocolate-themed walking trails that following in the footsteps of the city’s chocolate greats, such as Rowntree and Terry’s, and chocolate-making workshops with artisan chocolatiers, including Sophie Jewett at York Cocoa House.

New hi-tech products that take a visit to historic York to a whole new, digital dimension! For example, The Yorkshire Air Museum is the first museum in the world to utilise a new, ground breaking Ultimate Reality technology in the Appeartome app. This offers a Hologram pack which brings several characters from the world of aviation to life on your iPhone. Characters include legendary Yorkshire born aviator Amy Johnson, Yorkshire Inventor of the aeroplane Sir George Cayley and inventor of the Bouncing Bomb Sir Barnes Wallis.

Cycling – the new cool sport thanks to the Tour de France! The 101st Tour de France Grand Départ Stage 2 set off from York on Sunday 6 July and showed why York is such a special place for cycling. York’s world-class cycling facilities include a new Olympic-sized outdoor velodrome – the only one in Yorkshire and the North East of England – and York is linked to several regional, national and international cycle networks that extend from Scotland to Sweden. And contrary to popular opinion that most cyclists nowadays are middle-aged men in Lycra, York’s Scoot Cycling Holidays has more females booking tours and cycling holidays than males …

York Cold War Bunker: You can’t get much cooler than the Cold Bunker! Enter the blast-proof doors of the York Cold War Bunker and investigate the more unusual side of York’s heritage and the secret history of Britain’s Cold War. The Cold War Bunker is the most modern and spine-chilling of English Heritage’s properties

Grand Prix motor racing: The UK’s first-ever ‘simulator’ Grand Prix Championship is taking place at York Motorsports Village (YMSV). The £60k race simulator, as used by real F1 teams for driver training, gives drivers the chance to take the controls and compete in races that mirror the events being undertaken during the 2014 Formula 1 calendar. But if you want it ‘real’, YMSV also offers real wheel-to-wheel racing in its fleet of high spec SODI 270cc karts on its Monaco themed tarmac indoor track – surely the UK's most exciting indoor race themed leisure facility?

Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF): 6–9 November 2014
An established and dynamic player on the UK film festival circuit, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is a celebration of independent film from across the world, and an outlet for championing and supporting short filmmaking. Spanning all genres including drama, documentary, animation, comedy, music video, thriller, experimental and artists’ film, the festival showcases its films across 15 distinct and historic locations in the city of York. Moving between medieval halls, ancient city walls, boutique cinemas, quirky stores, lively café bars, art spaces and museums, the festival invites visitors to create their own unique viewing experience.

The York Classics

York Minster: the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, 2000 years in the making and one of the most important early Christian sites in the UK.

The Shambles: one of the best-preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe.

National Railway Museum: the largest railway museum in the world where visitors can book rail trips on the iconic Flying Scotsman and view the only Japanese Bullet train outside Japan.

JORVIK Viking Centre: the only attraction of its kind based on a real archaeological dig (York was the
trading hub of the Viking world). Jorvik is one of Britain’s top visitor attractions and celebrates its
30th anniversary in 2014 with a new exhibition.

Ghosts: York is Europe’s most haunted city and has seven different evening ghost walks, including The Original Ghost Walk of York, which has run for more than 30 years and is believed to be the world’s first exclusive ghost walk. The Treasurer’s House is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records for having the ‘Ghosts of Greatest Longevity’.

York Races: the Romans started horse racing in York in 208AD. York’s most famous races take place during the annual Ebor Festival which includes the richest flat handicap in Europe. York Races run from May to October.

The city walls: at 3.4km they are the longest and best preserved medieval town walls in England.

Food and drink: York has its own city centre brewery, 365 pubs, the biggest festival of food and drink in Great Britain (takes place for 10 days in September), and award winning independent restaurants and cafes that cater for all tastes, including the world famous Betty’s Café and Tea Rooms and The Blue Bicycle Restaurant – which was once a brothel and capitalises on its ‘blue’ history – but all in the best possible taste, of course!
York Factfile

The following information will provide useful reference points for your readers and we kindly request you to include our website address and details about the York Pass in your article factfile:
For more information and to book your stay visit –

The York Pass – Once purchased the York Pass offers you a choice of free entry into over thirty York attractions and tours as well as restaurant and shopping offers. You can buy a 1, 2 or 3 day pass making it a superb addition to your leisure break. To buy a Pass Tel York Visitor Information Centre, tel: 01904 550099, email: or visit:

When was the last time you had a first time? Discover York for the first time in 2014 – visit and book your accommodation with Visit York for an exclusive 20% discount off a 3 day York Pass.

 York was crowned the best gastro destination in the UK and fifth best in Europe by Trip Advisor, the largest on line travel review site (Oct 2011)
 York has been hailed as Britain’s most beautiful city – and the place where most people want to live (July 2011) in an independent survey by Bing
 York – ‘Britain’s Favourite Small City’ – York was voted Britain’s favourite small city by the Rough Guide to Britain, in an independent poll published in May 2011

Press contacts:
Kay Hyde, Head of Communications, Visit York. Email: Tel: 01904 554451.
Katie Parsons, Senior Communications Executive. Email: Tel: 01904 554436.