3 days in York – 33 things to do!

The real Diagon Alley or The Shambles - a 14th century cobbledstone street in York!<br /> 3 days in York - 33 things to do! ©VistBritain / Andrew Pickett
The real Diagon Alley or The Shambles – a 14th century cobblestone street in York!
3 days in York – 33 things to do! ©VistBritain / Andrew Pickett

So, last week, I introduced the city of York to you, including ten (10) exciting things you probably didn’t even know!

Oh, and if you didn’t know, where have you been?

 

 

 

Our very own Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are finally engaged!

You know how much I adore the Royal Family, not only doing documentaries about the Queen, but getting to hobnob with Prince William and Kate Middleton too!

I am delighted for them.

North America. You’re welcome!

Book your hotel here!

How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!
© Liverpool 360

As you know, I spent the Autumn visiting the UK and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! And Liverpool!

If you’re just tuning in, here’s a recap:

Ye-Ha!

And of course, if you want to read about Scotland and other British things, just follow the link here!

Book your hotel here!

YORKSHIRE:

3 days in York – 33 things to do!

Yorkshire, otherwise known as Yorks or the County of York, is a county in Northern England, and the largest in the UK!

Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire, are areas which are widely considered to be among the greenest in England, due to the vast stretches of unspoilt countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors!

The emblem of Yorkshire is the White Rose, of the royal English House of York.

The War of the Roses – Elizabeth Woodvill (Rebecca Ferguson) – The White Queen

If you are versed in English history, you’d know well the Wars of the Roses between the two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster – a red rose – and the House of York – a white rose. If you enjoy watching British cultural dramas, you might recognise the name in the wonderful BBC TV series – The White Queen!

I have happy childhood memories of camping in the Yorkshire Dales, but this time we visited the lovely historical city of York!

Book your hotel here!

The Music Producer & Victoria on Bootham Bar – York City Wall – York

Ha! Ha! Ha!

You won’t believe it, but before this visit, I had never previously been to York!

I know!

Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

It’s as bad as when I didn’t go to Switzerland, even though Switzerland is literally next door!

In order to rectify this, I reached out to the very nice people at Visit York, and they were great! We used VIP press passes in order to experience the attractions of the York Pass.

Thanks so much!

Book your hotel here!

YORK

 

 

York is one of the oldest cities in the UK!

York is a historic city, and like Chester, is also a walled one! It has a rich heritage, and has been around for more than 2,000 years!

It was previously an Anglo-Saxon trading port known as Eoforwic, and then became more established under the Romans.

In 71 AD, it was known as Eboracum!

Return of the Vikings – Wolf Burning

As far back as 866, the south of Northumbria – otherwise known as modern-day Yorkshire – was invaded and conquered by fierce Norsemen from Scandinavia, which is present day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, known as Jórvík!

In medieval times, York became a most important political region via the House of York and an even more important religious symbol from which people did pilgrimages, and the seat of the Archbishop of York since AD 735!

Trains were an important part of the Industrial Revolution
North York Moors Railway – Yorkshire © Welcome to Yorkshire

By the 19th & 20th century, York was part of the Industrial Revolution that would turn the fortunes of Britain forever!

Today, the population of York is roughly 153,717, and is otherwise known as the City Of York, but certainly, not to be confused with any Cities of York ork Cities in the United States of America!

3 DAYS IN YORK – 33 THINGS TO DO!

My piece of fudge in York! 3 days in York – 33 things to do!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

1.  Ramble through the cobbled streets of York

2.  Put on some horns and be a viking for the day at the JORVIK Viking Centre

3.  Heave yourself up the York City Wall – the longest medieval town walls in England – and walk along ’em!

4.  Have traditional Afternoon Tea at Bettys Café Tea Rooms – one of York’s best, and oldest places to have High Tea!

5.  Climb the magnificent York Minster – the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe!

Victoria & The Tall Young Gentleman outside the York Castle Museum – York
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

6.  Climb up the last remaining part of the intriguing medieval Norman York Castle – otherwise known as Cliffords Tower! 

7.  Visit Kirkgate (built in 1938) at the York Castle Museum, and put yourself in the streets of Victorian England!

8.  Search for magic in the original Diagon Alley and get yourself a bit of Potter memorabilia at The Shop That Must Not Be Named!

9.  Lose yourself in the historical street of York – otherwise known as the Shambles – a 14th century cobblestone alley, and the most medieval street in England!

10.  Invest in a York Pass so that you can get into many places of interest for free!

Horrible Histories – Vikings

11.  Scare yourself silly at the York Dungeon, where the Horrible Histories of York can be learnt, audience participate in the stories, and actors pop up surprisingly!

12.  Learn about the history of chocolate in York where not only is it an important industry, but it also has it’s own museum!

13.  Walk along the beautiful riverside in Bishopthorpe. Simply one of the best things that you can do, in any riverside city-destination!

14.  Go on the River Ouse, sail along on a river cruise, and listen to the history of York at the waterside.

15.  Explore life in the Middle Ages, touch, feel, dress up and hear, as you imagine yourself living in mediaeval times, as the Lord Mayor of York, at his 14th century home at Barley Hall!

 

16.  We all know Henry VIII, but did you know his father – Henry VII – who was the first Tudor King of England! Why not visit the Henry VII Experience to find out who he really was!

psst. If you’ve watched the BBC version of the White Queen, you’ll know!

17.  And while you’re at it, you might as well get to know Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England, and also it was rumoured, the person who gave the word for the two (2) little princes (Edward and Richard) to be murdered in the Tower of London in 1483, and their bodies never to be found, until 1674! But is it true? Visit the Richard III Experience and find out for yourself!

18.  Hop on the historical train and learn all about 300 years of history at the National Railway Museum. And it’s absolutely free of charge too!

19.  Learn all about Guy Fawkes, and his 1605 Gunpowder Plot. Thankfully, he didn’t succeed, and every year on November the 5th, we celebrate that fact with singing, fireworks, an effigy, and a bonfire!

20.   York’s history is full of death, blood and gore. Join a sinister production of the York Terror Trail, and be a part of the story!

The Original Ghost Walk of York, believed to be the first exclusive ghost walk in the world!

21.  Go on a ghost walk. There are plenty throughout the city of York. We went on two of them! Not only did we go on a terror trail, but on the Original Ghost Walk of York, believed to be the first exclusive ghost walk in the world!

Gulp!

All you have to do is choose one, and go screaming through the streets!

22.  See great drama at the 270 year old York Theatre Royal. With a wide variety of performances, events, activities, and pantomimes featuring the UK’s longest-running Dame, there’s bound to be something you like!

23.  Have a drink at the Golden Fleece Inn – reputedly the most haunted pub in York. And see whether you actually see ghosts. Or something else!

24.  And if you’re full of courage, visit the Kings Arms Pub – said to be the most famous pub in York – otherwise known as The Pub that Floods –  due to the fact that when the city floods, the pub floods with it! It has even been known to have punters standing on upturned crates and floating in and out with canoes, so that they can keep on drinking! Now that’s what I call the British spirit!

25.  Marvel at the smallest street with the longest name in the world – Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate!

Victoria in front of the carousel fairground – York
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

26.  Get yourself a home-made roast beef sandwich at any of the locally owned sandwich cafés

27.  Indulge your inner-child and take a horse-ride on the carousel fairground, which has been around for over 100 years, and is a well-loved York institution!

28.  If you’ve never had English fudge, you’ve never lived! And don’t even get me started on treacle toffee. I have very fond memories of almost breaking my jaw ‘cos of all the toffee, that I had bought. Yum!

29.  Go shopping in York. And why not?!

30.  Visit the farmers market and other traditional markets, opened on various days of the week, in York

My mojito cocktail – 2 for the price of 1 in York!

31.  Have cocktails during Happy Hour! We found a gastro-pub – the Slug & Lettuce York – which had fantastic cocktail prices. I mean, on the day that we “stepped in, it was a Monday night, the offer on was 50% Off Food Monday! And cocktails were 2 for 1, ALL day EVERY day! And with mocktails going for as little as £3.95 for a Bambini Bellini, thus £1.97 a glass, my pocket was very happy! We didn’t have our dinner there, but a few snacks and a couple of drink, certainly went down very well…!

32.  While in York, visit any one of the UK’s loveliest national parks – the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.

33.  York is home to the Yorkshire Pudding! A Yorkshire pud is often served with roast beef, roast potatoes, a selection of seasonal vegetables, generous lashings of thick gravy, and is one of Britain’s most important food item, when having the all-important traditional Sunday roast!

Oh yeah!

So, there you have it.

Book your hotel here!

3 DAYS IN YORK – 33 THINGS TO DO!

My pint of beer at the Kings Arms Pub – The Pub that Floods – York
3 days in York – 33 things to do! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

This article isn’t sponsored, and even though we received VIP press passes, courtesy of Visit York, all opinions and the great #YorkAdventure that we experienced, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

I’ll be writing about my visit to the UK, and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! And Liverpool!

I’ll also be visiting Hamburg in December. Watch out on Twitter!

Yippee!

December is going to be sparkling!

Victoria outside Monk’s Bar – York City Wall – York
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

Watch this space!

It’s Black Friday!

For a limited time only, if you’re always wondered how to start a blog, now’s your chance! BlueHost have given my readers a great deal for super savings!

  • Shared hosting as low as $2.65/month!
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*The promotional price is for the first term only and renews at the regular rate.

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Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

3 days in York – 33 things to do!

Have you ever been to York? What would you choose to do if you could have a #Yorkadventure? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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10 exciting things you didn’t know about York!

10 exciting things you didn’t know about York!
My pork pie in York! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

Isn’t the North of England just so interesting?

If you’re just tuning in, I’ve just returned from visiting the UK and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! And Liverpool!

I love living in Germany, but I also very much enjoy visiting my home-country of England and showing my German-British family, the country of my birth!

Here’s what you missed:

Ground-breaking stuff!

And of course, if you want to read about Scotland and other British things, just follow the link here!

Book your hotel here!

YORKSHIRE:

A fishing village in Yorkshire!

Yorkshire, otherwise known as Yorks or the County of York, is a county in Northern England, and the largest in the UK!

Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire, are areas which are widely considered to be among the greenest in England, due to the vast stretches of unspoilt countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors!

The emblem of Yorkshire is the White Rose, of the royal English House of York.

The War of the Roses – Elizabeth & Edward IV – The White Queen

If you are versed in English history, you’d know well the Wars of the Roses between the two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster – a red rose – and the House of York – a white rose. If you enjoy watching British cultural dramas, you might recognise the name in the wonderful BBC TV series – The White Queen!

I have happy childhood memories of camping in the Yorkshire Dales, but this time we visited the lovely historical city of York!

Book your hotel here!

The Tall Young Gentleman in York, for the very first time!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

You won’t believe it, but before this visit, I had never previously been to York!

I know!

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

It’s as bad as when I didn’t go to Switzerland, even though Switzerland is literally next door!

We used VIP press passes in order to experience the attractions of the York Pass.

In order to rectify this, I reached out to the very nice people at Visit York, and they were great! We used VIP press passes in order to experience the attractions of the York Pass.

We visited many important historical attractions, and I’ll be writing about them in the following weeks!

Thanks so much!

Book your hotel here!

10 EXCITING THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT YORK!

It's embarrassing! I had never previously been to York, but that all changed!
It’s embarrassing! I had never previously been to York, but that all changed!

We were travelling with The Tall Young Gentleman, and when travelling with a teenager in tow, you have to spend time doing more exciting things!

So we did.

Here are some of them below:

  1.   Diagon Alley is in York!
An illustration of Diagon Alley ©Pottermore

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan.

No really!

So I was amazed to walk down a narrow street in York that looked an awful lot like Diagon Alley!

Victoria outside the real Diagon Alley – York!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
The real Diagon Alley – York
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

It was!

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Harry Potter franchise films was inspired by this very same street, and copied almost to the letter! Not only that, but there’s a recently opened shop on the Shambles called The Shop That Must Not Be Named!

And.

The North York Moors Steam Railway was actually the location of the very first Harry Potter film! Once you see for yourself, you’ll be in doubt that you’re in the world of Harry Potter!

Wow!

Diagon Alley – The Shop That Must Not Be Named – the Shambles – York
©Monica Harmony

Note: The crowds are huge, and the street is quite narrow, so watch your handbag and wallets, queue smartly, and elbows at the ready!

2.   York is a Viking city.

Return of the Vikings ©JORVIK Viking Centre

York was once dominated by the Norse warrior kings and known as Jórvík!

As far back as 866, the south of Northumbria – otherwise known as modern-day Yorkshire – was invaded and conquered by fierce Norsemen from Scandinavia. Previously before that, York was the pre-Roman Anglo-Saxon trading port, known as Eoforwic!

The JORVIK Viking Centre was created to show visitors the sights, sounds and even the smells of York or Jorvik, and what it was like in AD960!

We decided to find out!

Experience the ‘time capsule’ at the recreated Coppergate JORVIK Viking Centre – York!
©Anthony Chappel-Ross

We used the York Pass.

There are great artefacts and exhibits and depending on the time of year, performances, but the bit that we liked the best, was the seating in a ‘time capsule’ which transports visitors around the basement. There’s a touch screen display so that you can choose your own language, and off you go.

Some of the animatronic models were so realistic, it was difficult to know if they were actors or plastic!
© JORVIK Viking Centre

It reminded me a little of the York Dungeon where the actors pop up surprisingly!

In fact, some of the animatronic models were so realistic that it was sometimes difficult to know if they were actors or plastic! At one point, we almost got the scare of our life when one of the “models” picked a piece of fish up. She was real!

Note: Queues at the JORVIK Viking Centre are long. Pre-book your time slot if you can.

Cost: Adults – £10.25. Children ages 5-16 – £7.25. York Pass holders – £0.00 – Included in the price. Most importantly, if you live in the UK or visit the UK on a regular basis, there is free admission for 12 months included in your ticket, so don’t throw it away!

3.   York is one of the oldest cities in the UK!

The plaque on Bootham Bar, shows the history of York City Wall – York!

York is a historic city, and like Chester, is also a walled one!

York has a rich heritage and has been around for more than 2,000 years!

It was previously an Anglo-Saxon trading port known as Eoforwic, and then became more established under the Romans. In 71 AD, it was known as Eboracum!

As far back as 866, the south of Northumbria – otherwise known as modern-day Yorkshire – was invaded and conquered by fierce Norsemen from Scandinavia, which is present day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, known as Jórvík!

Outside Monks Bar – York City Wall – York!

In medieval times, York became a most important political region via the House of York and an even more important religious symbol from which people did pilgrimages, and the seat of the Archbishop of York since AD 735!

By the 19th & 20th century, York was part of the Industrial Revolution that would turn the fortunes of Britain forever!

4.   York and chocolate are one and the same!

York and chocolate are one & the same – Chocolate all over!

If you thought chocolate was the preserve of the Americas, you’re very wrong! We went to the York Castle Museum and discovered the history of making chocolate, at the new exhibit Chocolate: York’s Sweet Past. We had contemplated on visiting the York’s Chocolate Story too, but figured it would pretty much be the same, and anyway, I don’t like chocolate, ‘cos it takes like coffee!

I don’t like coffee either!

Rowntree’s Cocoa advertisement – York ©York Castle Museum

The story of chocolate in York can be summarised as Rowntrees (otherwise known as Nestle), Tuke, Craven, and Terry’s (otherwise known as Kraft), and began in York 300 years ago!

The world’s first chocolate bar ever made was in 1847, in Bristol, by Joseph Fry! After that came our most beloved John Cadbury (1849) of Cadbury’s milk chocolate fame, in Birmingham!

The first succesful chocolate bar to be launched in York was Kit Kat in 1935 by Rowntree, and it’s still the biggest seller of chocolate bars today!

However, the chocolate that I can just about tolerate is an English milk chocolate bar.

Even better, if there’s no cocoa in it. At all!

Cost: Adults – £9.09. Children 16 and under – free, with a paying adult. York Pass holders – £0.00 – Included in the price.

5.   York has the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe!

York Minster – the largest Gothic cathedral in North Europe – York!

York Minster is 800 years old, took 250 years to build – from 1220 to 1472 – and is home to almost 2,000 years of the most important and irreplaceable art, of the medieval art movement!

It’s also the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe!

York Minster – the largest Gothic cathedral in North Europe – York!

We’re not religious people, but we enjoyed a splendid time going from floor to floor. My husband and son also went up the 275 steps and 230 foot, winding Central Tower – the highest point of York – and were rewarded with breathtaking views over York. There’s even a museum – the Undercroft – in the basement!

A side view of York Minster – York

We spent a little over three (3) hours at the Cathedral, and could quite happily have spent much more!

Cost: Combined Ticket (Minster cathedral and Tower) Adults – £15.00. Children under 16 – free, with a paying adult. York Pass holders – £0.00 – Included in the price. Note: To climb the tower kids must be 8+ Most importantly, if you live in the UK or visit the UK on a regular basis, there is free admission for 12 months included in your ticket, so don’t throw it away!

6.   Guy Fawkes was born in York. Or was he!

Guy Fawkes was a Catholic rebel who had planned to assassinate King James I & blow up parliament!
©Getty

Guy Fawkes was a Catholic rebel who had planned to assassinate King James I, in order to restore a Catholic monarch, to the English throne.

Thankfully, the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 – in which he planned to blow up Parliament at Westminster Palace – was a disaster and everyone was discovered…

Guy Fawkes was born in Stonegate – York

Legend states that Guy Fawkes was born in Stonegate – York, and records confirm that he did indeed go to school there, but there is much speculation as to how he died.

Some say he was questioned, tortured, and eventually hung, drawn, and quartered. Others say, he fell from the hangman’s scaffold, and broke his neck!

Whatever.

Since 1605, every English school child knows the song:

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot!

A burning effigy of Guy Fawkes. ©Gareth Fuller – PA Archive

And then we make an effigy of Guy Fawkes, put him in a wheelbarrow, ask for “A penny for the Guy,” then at the end of the evening, throw him on a bonfire, and burn him!

7.   York is a bloody gruesome city.

Mad Alice – York ©The Bloody Tour of York

York has had over 2,000 years of death, blood and gore.

Is it any wonder that the city is choc-a-bloc with stories and tales of Viking invasions, battles of the Normans, civil unrest, unusual sightings, mysterious disappearances, and ghosts?

We were in York during the best time of all – Halloween – and it was thrilling!

Halloween isn’t fun in Germany!

The Music Producer and The Tall Young Gentleman had never been in the UK during Halloween before, and seriously, Halloween in Germany, just isn’t the same.

And there’s no Bonfire Night in Germany, either!

It’s all wrong!

Nightshade Productions – York Terror Trail – York © York Terror Trail

We partnered with the York Theatre Royal who were promoting a Halloween Special production of the York Terror Trail.

We joined a historical night walking tour of the dark side of York’s past – The Hallows Gate: The Eyes of Time!

Hallows Gate – The Eyes of Time – Nightshade Productions – York Terror Trail – York © York Terror Trail

It started at the Golden Fleece Inn – reputedly the most haunted pub in York – and ended up with our small group of local and international visitors, sprinting through the nooks and crannies of historical York with torches, a Dr. Who-like character, and being chased by zombies!

Having fun in York!

It was such great fun as York is quite tiny, and the other tourists that we bumped into, were either completely shocked by our shrieks and screams, or utterly delighted, to be unsuspecting witnesses of a free show!

Stay together – Nightshade Productions – York Terror Trail – York ©York Terror Trail

There are loads of night events and ghost activities in the city. York is pretty small, so we frequently met other groups, but it was pretty well organised, as times were staggered so that you weren’t all standing in the same corner!  There were a couple of whoops, and “get them,” but it was all in good fun.

Other ghost walks in York....!
Other ghost walks in York….!
The Great York Ghost…. ©Visit York

They say, York is the most haunted city in Europe!

It probably is!

Cost: Adults – £5.00. Children – £2.00.

8.   The smallest street with the longest name in the world, is in York!

The smallest street in York is called Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate!
The churchview of the smallest street in York – Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate!

We’re all about breaking world records in the UK.

The shortest street in the world is called Ebenezer Place – Wick in Scotland and the smallest street in York is called Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate!

I know!

The origin of the name is unclear however, there’s a plaque that indicates the origin of the street derives from the phrase used as far back as 1501 – Whitnourwhatnourgate – meaning “What a street!” Nevertheless, modern sources translate the phrase as “Neither one thing nor the other!”

9.   York is home of the Yorkshire Pudding!

A Yorkshire Pudding in the making! © J. Kenji Lopez-Alt – Serious Eats Inc.

To put it plainly, Yorkshire Pudding, otherwise known as a Yorkshire pud, is a British meal from batter made out of eggs, flour, and milk. It was even found to have been written in a (modern) controversial Georgian book The Whole Duty of a Woman… published in 1737!

A Yorkshire pud is often served with roast beef, roast potatoes, a selection of seasonal vegetables, generous lashings of thick gravy, and is part of the all-important traditional Sunday roast!

Delish!

A traditional Sunday lunch anywhere in Britain! ©Time Out London Food & Drink

As a British expat living abroad, you can’t under-estimate how important this is.

We used to have a British restaurant in Berlin that would serve a lovely Sunday roast, and if you didn’t pre-order the day before, you wouldn’t be having any! The food was the best British food I have ever had in Germany. Sadly, the locals complained that it was “too authentic,” there wasn’t enough custom to keep it open, and it had to close down!

10.    York, isn’t New York!

York, isn’t New York!

In fact, without York, there would be no New York!

If you look deeper into American history, most of the most influential and fairly important places, are named after European locations. Hence:

  • York (England) – New York. Tick!
  • Orleans (France) – New Orleans. Tick!
  • Jersey (Channel Islands – UK) – New Jersey. Tick!
  • Mexico (Mexico) – New Mexico. Tick!
  • Harlem (Holland) – Harlem New York. Tick!
  • Berlin (Germany) – Berlin New Hampshire. Tick!
51 reasons to visit Manchester. And more!
51 reasons to visit Manchester. And more!
  • Manchester (England) – Manchester New Hampshire.

And let me just say that the film Manchester by the Sea is most annoying, as everyone now things that Manchester is a sleepy little fishing village in Massachusetts! It isn’t! Tick!

  • England (England) – New England.

I mean, come on. That’s just plain lazy! Tick!

Ah well. That’s it for now!

Book your hotel here!

10 EXCITING THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT YORK!

10 exciting things you didn’t know about York!

This article isn’t sponsored, and even though we received VIP press passes, courtesy of Visit York, all opinions and the delightful York Castle Wall that we skipped across, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

I’ll be writing about my visit to the UK, and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! And Liverpool!

I’ll also be visiting Hamburg in December. Watch out on Twitter!

Yippee!

December is going to be twinkling!

Victoria in front of the carousel fairground – York ©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

Watch this space!

It’s Black Friday!

For a limited time only, if you’re always wondered how to start a blog, now’s your chance! BlueHost have given my readers a great deal for super savings!

  • Shared hosting as low as $2.65/month!
  • $29 MOJO Bundles (valued at $500+)
  • 20% off SiteLock
  • 50% off Domains
  • 40% off Backup, and more

Use my affiliate link for just $2.65 a month!

*The promotional price is for the first term only and renews at the regular rate.

Let’s do it!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

10 exciting things you didn’t know about York!

Have you ever been to York? Have you ever seen a ghost or been to a haunted house? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

51 reasons to visit Manchester. And more!

Imperial War Museum North – Manchester

Ay Up!

As you know, I’m The British Berliner, and my original home country, is England.

You know the one.

Ye Olde England!

That’s right!

That famous and historical city – Manchester!

Now if you’ve met me in really life, you’d be shocked to discover that I actually hail from the Northern part of the country.

But you wouldn’t know it if you heard me speak!

When I talk, I sound as posh as any Sloane in Chelsea.

Put that down to an independent private education!

The Angel of the North – Gateshead – Tyne and Wear

Having said that, even though I sound rather plummy, I am in fact, a Northerner, and my original home town is Manchester.

Not industrial steel Manchester mind you, but the leafy suburbs of Cheadle!

In fact, not far from my parent’s home is Abney Hall Park – the inspiration for country house life, and indeed, many of the scenes – of Agatha Christie!

Makers Market in Cheadle Village

What I’m trying to say is that even though I sound as if I come from the manicured landscapes of Surrey, I’m from Up North!

And what was once the suburbs of Greater Manchester in Lancashire, is also part of the suburbs of Cheshire!

Follow the path and route in Cheshire

If you would like to know a little bit about England, Scotland and other British things, just follow the link here!

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MANCHESTER

Manchester really needs no introduction, but if you insist…

Manchester began as a Roman fort called Mamucium or Mancunium, in about AD 79 and was historically a part of Lancashire, and until the 20th century, became a part of Cheshire.

The lovely Just So Festival is an annual weekend camping festival that’s actually in Cheshire, but billed as Manchester!

Manchester is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the South, the Pennines to the North and East, and an arc of little towns surrounding it!

In fact, where I grew up, is technically no longer known as Manchester, but Cheshire!

Throughout the Middle Ages, Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand around the turn of the 19th century, brought on by a boom in textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution, bringing extreme wealth to Manchester, and making it the first industrialised city in the world!

Now even though I’m a Mancunian, I haven’t lived in Manchester since I went to university!

I haven’t been back to Manchester for quite some time!

And that’s quite some time ago!

I had planned some day trips but we went to Liverpool instead!

That notwithstanding, we did a historical walk, had a few beers, and then went to hipster Ancoats and the Northern Quarter!

Yippee!

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Grab a few beers at Pot Kettle Black in Manchester!

There are so many things to do in Manchester that you need at least a week to do them all, so here’s a list of things you could do whenever you get there.

Go on then, choose your poison!

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51 REASONS TO VISIT MANCHESTER. AND MORE!

Dracula, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, in Victorian England
© Nino Munoz/NBC

1.  Discover the Victorian historical past of Manchester
I found a large collection of self-guided walking talks distributed by Discovering Britain and created by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers – IBG), which you can find online! I picked The Slums, squalor and salvation – A self guided walk around Victorian Manchester. Being that I was named after Queen Victoria, I’ve always had a fascinating interesting in the era of that period! I enjoyed it very much, but ran ut of time!

2.  Read a book at one of Manchester’s oldest libraries
The John Rylands Library is one of Manchester’s most majestic buildings, and as a little girl, I was very much a bookworm and a bit of a boffin, so this library was one of the libraries of my dreams! It’s a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic architecture and looks more like a castle than a library! Go see for yourself.

3.  Go to Victoria Square – the first “industrial suburb”in the world!
Victoria Square in Ancoats was built in 1894, and is the first “industrial suburb” in the world! Ancoats became a cradle of the Industrial Revolution and was a thriving industrial district before it suffered economic decline and became quite a horrible slum! You can still see bit and pieces of it’s historical past, but you’d have to hurry as Ancoats is being turned into a gentrified Quarter of horrible glass and steel!

4.  See the home of one of North England’s most famous writer
Once the home of famous novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, the building – Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is now open to the public, exhibiting her old kitchen, servant’s hall, a tea room, and beautiful recreated gardens.

5.  Learn about Manchester’s industrial past
The Museum of Science and Industry is one of my favourite museums and is based on the site of the oldest passenger railway station in the world! As you know, I really like museums but most importantly, it’s completely free of charge, so why shouldn’t you visit?

Walter Greenhalgh in Tudor costume at Ordsall Hall – Manchester

6.  Travel through time
Ordsall Hall is a fine example of Elizabethan architecture. Dating back to 1340, Ordsall Hall is one of Manchester’s oldest buildings and was built by the Radclyffes, an influential local family with close links to the monarchy! And certainly, when I was a young girl I never forgot the importance of Tudor and Stuart! Oh, and it doesn’t cost a penny!

7.  Explore Art!
The Manchester Art Gallery is an amazing gallery that houses a huge collection of paintings, craft and design, and early 20th Century British art. Entry is free!

8.  Imagine life during WWII
Be a modern day Doctor Who and wander through time via the original tunnels from the Stockport air raid shelters used during 1940 Wartime Britain. Opened in 1939, the shelters were the largest purpose-built civilian air raid shelters in the country, and provided shelter for up to 6,500 people!

9.  Visit one of England’s finest Grade II listed buildings
One of the finest pieces of architecture is the Manchester Central Library. With it’s original historic features, cutting-edge design, impressive Wolfson Reading Room, as well as a fascinating collection of reading material, as a young girl, it inspired in me a love of dusty books!

10.  Hail the Suffragettes!
The Pankhurst Centre was the home of Emmeline Pankhurst and her family, who led the Suffragette campaign for Votes for Women & the Women’s Social and Political Union. She was named as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, and is a must visit for anyone interested in political history at the turn of the 20th century! It’s also free of charge!

Buying records in the Northern Quarter is a very good thing!

11.  Stay trendy and cool in the Northern Quarter
Similar to Berlin’s Kreuzberg, the Northern Quarter is one of the most popular places to head to. Situated between Piccadilly and Ancoats, the Northern Quarter retains a unique character and charm, and is Manchester’s urban creative, urban heart and home, to countless independent fashion designers and stores, record shops, cafés, bars, restaurants, street art, and other creative hubs! We spent a little bit of time hanging out here. Note that the Quarter also has the bohemian hippy air of Copenhagen’s Freetown of Christiania!

12.  Lose yourself in music
Since it opened in 1978, Piccadilly Records has become one of the world’s best independent record shops selling a wide variety of musical genres spanning from indie, disco, funk, house, psych and everything in between. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, they’ll tell you where you can!

13.  Rip your jeans at the centre of Manchester’s punk scene!
Manchester was very much a prominent part of the punk scene in the 1970’s where the Buzzcocks, the post-punk band The Fall, and Joy Division used to play before they hit the big time! Occupying a grand old Victorian building is the pub where it all started – Band on the Wall – with a reputation for hosting respected artists from all over the world. Visit, if you want to reveal Manchester’s 20th century music scene!

14.  Take a stroll and do business
Situated in the heart of Manchester, Spinningfields is one of Europe’s most successful urban regeneration projects! It’s the leading regional business quarter in the UK and the centre of Manchester’s corporate community, over 165 world-class financial and commercial services organisations, luxury international fashion brands, restaurants and bars, and over 5.5 million tourists a year!

15.  Be dramatic. Do theatre!
Once the largest trading hall in England, the Royal Exchange Theatre is soaked in history and was a prominent target in the Manchester Blitz in 1940! Today, the Royal Exchange Theatre attracts the very best acting and writing talent to the seven-sided, glass-walled capsule, and is uniquely suspended in the middle of the historic Cotton Exchange, so that each and every seat, is less than nine metres from the circular stage. We went to see a play there and it was remarkable!

The Imperial War Museum (IWM) North – Manchester

16.  Experience the reality of war at the Imperial War Museum North
The Imperial War Museum North (IWM) at Salford Quays was initially established during the First World War! Housed in an iconic aluminium clad building, it represents a globe shattered by conflict and is the first museum in the UK to be designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Daniel Libeskind, and of course, is free of charge.

17.  Power to the People!
My second favourite museum in Manchester is the People’s History Museum. It’s a national museum that shows the way ordinary people used to live, as well as the history of labour and democracy, in the UK. It’s very interactive and hands on. We visited a few years’ ago, and The Tall Young Gentleman was amazed to see an 1800 telephone that had both a mouth piece and an ear piece. He was so astonished, he didn’t know how to use it!  Absolutely free of charge!

18.  See the oldest library in the world. Probably!
Chetham’s Library was founded in 1653 and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world! It’s housed in a building from 1421, and it’s entire collection is deemed to be a national and international treasure!

19.  Visit Whitworth Park Gallery
The Whitworth is a gallery that I remember well as a young girl! It’s located in Whitworth Park, and is now a part of the University of Manchester and exhibits an extensive and eclectic collection of art and design, which is of international significance. It’s free of charge.

20.   Run away to the circus. No! Visit the theatre!
The Lowry represents a diverse programme of theatre, opera, musicals, dance, music, comedy and visual art, as well as events and activities to expand the horizons of audiences and artists alike. One of the most familiar childhood places that I remember is that of the Lowry Gallery. The Gallery presents paintings, sculpture and photography, as well as the exhibitions of one of Britain’s best loved artists – LS Lowry.

Party on in Manchester!

21.  Party on!
Housed in a venue built in 1878, The Deaf Institute, is a music hall ballroom with velvet curtains, a domed ceiling, a massive mirror ball, and parrots on the wall! It also hosts live gigs, comedy and club nights for big names in the early stage of their career, as well as craft beers served to rock ’n roll sound tracks!

22.  Listen to live classical music
As one of the BBC’s six performing groups, the BBC Philharmonic offers a wonderful opportunity to experience live classical music at its very best. The BBC Philharmonic gives many concerts, nearly all of which are broadcast on BBC Radio 3, it also appears at the annual BBC Proms. If you’re interested, you can apply for free tickets for concerts in the studio, or purchase tickets for the annual season at Bridgewater Hall.

23.  Experience musical talent at the Hallé
In my younger days, I used to play the clarinet and was a member not only a jazz-like Big Band, but also a symphony orchestra! And one of the places that I delighted in visiting was the Hallé. The Hallé is an 1857 English symphony orchestra that ranks among the UK’s top symphonic ensembles and supports youth choirs, children’s choirs, and youth orchestras, as well as releasing its recordings, on its own record label! It was a huge deal to perform there, and we did!

24.  Listen to music under the Arches! 
It can’t get any more authentic when you dive under the arches along the railway tracks. Gorilla is a mixture of film, comedy, live and club music space. It’s also a little gritty and is one of Manchester’s music haunts. And isn’t that what we all want!

25.  Get it in, at Manchester City FC!
Enjoy an exciting Manchester City Stadium and Club Tour and bask in the pride and heritage of Manchester and it’s very own football team – Manchester City!

Sculptures of football legends, at Manchester United

26.  Kick a ball for Manchester United
Travel to the home of the most successful football club in the world! Book yourself a Manchester United Museum & Stadium Tour, and enhance in the experience of a life-time as a premier league football player and a behind the scenes look at the most recognised football team in the world at Old Trafford!

27.  Be a Viking and throw an axe!
If you’re looking for something different, why not visit the Great Northern Warehouse where Whistle Punks will show you how to throw an axe. Jaaaaaa!

28.  Go to the clouds on the 23rd floor!
The highest point in Manchester is a unique venue on the 23rd floor! Cloud 23 at the Hilton has the most fabulous views of Manchester’s skyline as well as genteel afternoon tea, and elegant cocktails. Dress smartly. Note: Children under 18 are only allowed between 11:00 and 17:00.

29.  Sip gin at the City of Manchester Gin Experience
The City of Manchester Gin Experience is a purpose-built space with a cinema screen and private bar. Take your time and tour the distillery, explore the history, learn about the intriguing history of gin, as well as drinking it. And then top it off by creating your own personalised bottle of gin!

30.  Welcome to Chinatown!
Manchester, twinned with Wuhan in China, has the second largest Chinatown in Britain, and the third largest in Europe! Originally created in the 1970’s as a cultural hub for Chinese families in the north of England, Chinatown is now famed for its restaurants, grocery shops and bakeries, as well as Chinese New Year celebrations which attract thousands of visitors. In 1987, an impressive archway (a paifang) shipped from China – was built!

The original Bury Black Pudding – a breakfast delicacy of the North!

31.  Put your finger in a Bury Black Pudding!
Black Pudding traditionally served with hearty favourites like bacon and fried egg is the ultimate Lancashire delicacy and dates back to 1865! There is an English speciality called Bury Black Puddings! It’s a Bury institution and a must have, when having an English breakfast in the North of England! I’m not a fan myself, but why not give it a try at least once!

32.  Eat street food at a Farmers’ Market
Manchester has a huge number of local food and drink, produce, and Farmers’ Markets, so why not enjoy all that Manchester, and the North of England has to offer!

33.  Sing carols at the Manchester Christmas Market!
Step into winter with a dose of European / British  local food from the number of Christmas Markets scattered around the city. It won’t be traditionally German, but you’ll get food, drinks, wooden gifts, hand-made products and a good sprinkling of glühwein and sausages!

34.  Visit Manchester’s Edwardian Corn Exchange
Take a step back in time and immerse yourself in Manchester’s rich past via the Edwardian Corn Exchange. Bask in the Gothic Quarter and take your senses through the quaint medieval cobbled streets, away from the hustle and bustle of Manchester city centre.

35.  Sip coffee at Pot Kettle Black
Established in 1871, Manchester’s Barton Arcade is an  industrial vintage space that is home to a speciality coffee shop – Pot Kettle Black. We went there for a snack and a few drinks, but sadly, they stopped serving meals at 16:00, and the cakes they had on offer were either filled with nuts, or crammed with chocolate! A beer it is then!

Manchester craft beer – Chorlton Pale Ale –
©thebeerinreview.co.uk

36.  Enjoy craft beer
Manchester has a growing craft beer scene, with more than 80 breweries operating across Manchester! Try the beer, slap someone on the back, and buy a round for the locals!

37.  Laugh your head off!
Located along Deansgate Locks, the Comedy Store Manchester is right in the heart of a popular nightlife spot. Housing a spacious bar and canal-side restaurant as well as an auditorium, this hugely popular venue showcases some of the best comedic talent from around the world building on its impressive heritage from the original London venue, which helped launched the careers of French and Saunders, Jack Dee, Paul Merton, Julian Clary, and Eddie Izzard. We went to one of the performances, and it was pretty alright!

38.  Pub crawl through Deansgate Locks
The Deansgate Locks’ is home to not only the Comedy Store Manchester,  but also ten converted railway arches with six bars, a walkway, and a bridge hanging over a part of the Manchester canal beneath! Not far away is the real Deansgate and also the longest road in the city centre, one of the oldest thoroughfares ,and dating right back to Roman times! Can you imagine that just 30 years ago, many of the gentrified gastro-pubs used to be working men pubs, or packed with underaged kids either wearing tightly ripped jeans and second-hand leather jackets, or listening to the 70’s post-punk music of The Police, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Smiths, and The Cure, before the area beame a desolated mess! In fact, when I went back a few years ago, I was shocked at how gentrified Deansgate Locks had become!

39.  Drink at some of Manchester’s finest pubs and ale houses
You wouldn’t be in Manchester if you didn’t have a bevy of good old British pubs, serving real beers and traditional ales. Check out the Peveril of the Peak – one of Manchester’s most celebrated pubs – as the only ‘detached’ pub in Manchester city centre, and it’s distinguished two-tone green tiled exterior. It dates from the early 19th century and is said to be named after a stagecoach that ran from Manchester, across the Pennines. It’s an architectural gem, has original wooden benches, stained glass, etched mirrors and bells. Or perhaps The Briton’s Protection – a historic, grade II listed pub dating back from 1806! As well as serving real ale, it is known for offering a wide range of over 200 whiskies. A real British find!

40.  Be fabulous and glow, at Manchester’s Gay Village
Located just south of Chinatown, along and around Canal Street, the Manchester Gay Village is both a place to party, and a piece of the people’s history. Like New York, London, and Berlin, Manchester is one of the world’s leading gay-friendly cities, so whether you’re part of the LGBT community or just a supporter of the cause, head out to Canal Street and paaarty!

Head to Manchester University!

41.  Head to university!
Manchester is a university town and has over 99,000 students across four universities namely the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Salford and the University of Bolton. It’s also home to the University Campus Oldham and the Royal Northern College of Music. Like London and Berlin, Manchester has one of the largest student populations in the UK, and therefore, one of the largest entertainment and nightlife available and very cheap beers!

42.  Shop ’til you drop
Manchester Arndale, otherwise known as the Arndale Centre, or the Arndale, is one of the largest shopping centres in the UK, and receives up to 41 million visitors every year! The Arndale was built in the 1970’s but was redeveloped after the 1996 Manchester IRA bombing, making it Europe’s third largest city-centre shopping mall! It’s so worth a visit!

43.  Hop on the train
The best way to explore the North England region is by train! Northerners have a soft spot for heritage trains which can’t really be used for travel, but are a picturesque reminder of how we used to live! One of such, is the East Lancashire Railway. With a history stretching back to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the East Lancashire Railway is the steam-powered heart of the Irwell Valley, pumping goods and people around the region for nearly 200 years!

44.  Be a Children’s BBC (CBBC) presenter for a day
The CBBC, otherwise known as Children’s BBC, is the British children’s television strand owned by the BBC and aimed for older children aged from 6 to 12. BBC programming aimed at the under 6-year-old child is broadcast on the CBeebies channel. If you have young children, let them go behind the scenes, join one of the interactive tours, and discover how it feels to be a TV presenter. The CBBC tour lasts about 1.5 hours and is suitable for ages 6 to 11! Note: You can only watch the CBBC videos and games online, if you’re actually in the UK!

45.  Visit a farm!
Set on 70 acres of rolling countryside, the Smithills Open Farm is a family run business, where children can meet and learn about a mixed bag of animals such as goats, cows, pigs and sheep, as well as reptiles, and more unusual species like Burmese pythons. Most animals can also be fed and held!

Hats off!

46.  Hats off!
Hat Works is Stockport’s hat museum! It’s an attraction with two floors of interactive exhibits, taking you on a journey through the history of Stockport’s once thriving hatting industry. At Hat Works, visitors can step back in time and experience the world of hatting from its humble beginnings in the cottage industry, to the mass production of the early 19th century when hat manufacturing was a thriving industry, with over 100 hat factories and businesses in the area. You can even try on a huge collection of hats, or try your hand at making your own! Utterly free of charge!

47.  Go rambling through the country
Manchester isn’t just city centred, but encompasses rural environments too. The Dovestone Reservoir lies at the convergence of the valleys of the Greenfield and Chew Brooks, above the village of Greenfield, on Saddleworth Moor. The reservoir is on the edge of Oldham and the Peak District National Park in the South Pennines, offering several walks amongst picturesque landscapes. The reservoir has its own sailing club, a permanent orienteering course, an extensive network of footpaths, and good links to areas of open access moorland. If you’re looking to ramble in the countryside, go sailing, cycling, orienteering, or horse-riding, then this is the place to do it!

48.  Sail across the oldest man-made canal in the world!
Pack up your troubles nd put it on a barge by river cruising along the historic Bridgewater Canal opened in 1761! The canal flows through Dunham Massey, Sale, Stretford, Barton-upon-Irwell, Old Trafford, Boothstown, Worsley Village, and beyond. Relax in the gentle sounds of Manchester’s most historic waterways, or use Manchester Water Taxis, or a Waxi, to travel around!

49.  Travel for free with the hop-on, hop off bus!
Within the Manchester city centre, you can travel for free! Yes, for free! The Metroshuttle is a free of charge ‘hop on, hop off’ service, linking all of the main rail stations, car parks, shopping districts and business areas. There are three services which operate on circular routes and operate in Manchester city centre (routes 1, 2 and 3), Bolton and Stockport. When in “town”, we also used the metroshuttle, and it’s very efficient. Just look for the bus stop signs dotted around the city centre. Free of charge!

50.  Pop into Greggs for a meatpie
Greggs is the largest bakery chain in the United Kingdom! It specialises in savoury products such as pasties, sausage rolls, sandwiches, vanilla slices, and cream finger doughnuts! The first Greggs was opened in 1951 and is generally considered to be primarily based in the North of England. Prices are low and quality is really good for a quick snack. To be candid, you’re not in Manchester if you don’t pop into Greggs for a cheese pasty or a sausage roll!

That’s it for now!

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51 REASONS TO VISIT MANCHESTER. AND MORE!

The beautiful Edwardian Corn Exchange – Manchester.

This article isn’t sponsored, and even though I thoroughly enjoyed myself in my original home town, and some of the ideas are inspired by Visit Manchester, absolutely all opinions, and the great times I had in my childhood, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!

Yippee!

November is going to be exciting!

The Music Producer at Piccadilly Gardens – The Northern Quarter – Manchester

Watch this space!

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51 reasons to visit Manchester. And more!
51 reasons to visit Manchester. And more!

Have you ever been to Manchester? Do you like black pudding? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

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