We Made It To York!

Last Summer we took our first big cruise from South Yorkshire to York in our floating home.  By car it would take around an hour to get to York from where we have our permanent mooring in South Yorkshire, but on our canal boat last summer, we enjoyed a leisurely week or so of cruising, with a few exciting moments and experiences along the way, a truly enjoyable cruise along, approximately 19 miles of the industrial South Yorkshire Navigation, 6 miles of the very straight, yet interesting New Junction Canal with it’s, quite different swing and lift Bridges, then 9 miles of the Aire and Calder Navigation with it’s stretching views over the English countryside.  We then met the tranquility of the Selby Canal, with it’s 5 miles of

Rosie on heron watch

low bridges and abundance of nature, especially remembering the darting dragon flies, colourful birds, not to mention the green carpet covering the water.  The excitement of tackling 14 miles along the tidal River Ouse was next, we actually bought life jackets for that stretch!  As we thankfully reached Naburn Lock, the mighty River Ouse became calmer and a little more restful, giving us time to enjoy the last, approximately 4 mile cruise entering the busy stretch of water into York centre, we crazily did a few 360 degree twirls as we tried to moor, not intentional I might add!   We had the most amazing time as we cruised from Rotherham to York along some of UK’s beautiful waterways last Summer.

If you’d like to catch up with our big canal journey to York, then below is;

Part 1 – A Bumpy Start

Part 2 – A Challenge On The Selby Canal

Part 3 – Tackling Our Tidal Fear – The River Ouse

Part 4 – Enjoying Naburn And On To York

Our mooring in the centre of York

We finally moored up in York!

It seemed such an adventure for us and we were quite proud of ourselves, in fact we are talking about doing the same trip again this July/August and staying a little longer, but this time going even further, through York towards Ripon.  We’d put so much effort into the preparations and planning of last years trip and, after mooring, setting up our chairs on the bank and enjoying a beer, we looked around at the beautiful surroundings we were lucky to be in, slowly beginning to relax and enjoying watching the activities passing us on the river; the river cruise boats with waving passengers, (funny how people have the urge to wave at everybody when on a boat), plenty of canoeists who seemed to be training, a few brilliantly decorated ice-cream boats and then there were a variety of unusual floating constructions.

Not quite sure what this was, but they were having fun!

Straight away we’d made the decision to stay a few extra days than originally planned.

We were finally happy with our mooring in the middle of York facing the way in which we’d just come, looking toward the Millennium Bridge, which is such a fabulous structure and certainly adds to an evenings’ romanticism when various colours begin to glow from it as the darkness draws in.

An Evenings view of the Millennium bridge from the bedroom of our boat

A Cyclists City

The first thing we noticed while sat enjoying a beer on the canal path, watching the world go by around our new temporary home, was that everybody here seems to cycle everywhere.  Looking away from the water, parallel to the tow path was a pedestrianised street, no cars were allowed.  There were many people, some walking fast and purposefully to wherever they were going, some meandering with their dogs and children, but there were noticeably many more cyclists than we had ever seen in any town or city, (apart from when I went to Amsterdam).  Over the 4 days we were there, we saw elderly people on their cycles, men in suits with their briefcases fastened to their bikes, there were men and women peddling ahead of their family of little cyclists, their young children already quite proficient.  There were young fast ones weaving in between the others and ‘steady-away’ cyclists obviously very used to their daily routes, with shopping in their baskets.  I even saw a man pulling along a cot on wheels, presumably with a baby inside and another pulling a tow-a-long for a dog.  Watching this busy cycling scene made me immediately think of one thing –  I needed to cycle more!

Clifford’s Tower

York is a beautiful city and every time we visit we seem to find something new.  As we walked the dogs from where we were moored, we came across this stunning site up on a mound, which seemed to pop up from nowhere amongst the busy traffic.  The sun just happened to catch it perfectly, we were drawn to it.



Clifford’s Tower is all that remains of York Castle, built by William the Conquerer aroundIMG_2082 1068.  It was originally built in wood, was burnt down during a massacre of York’s Jewish community, who were taking refuge there in 1190.  Apparently the mound is full of planted daffodil bulbs to commemorate the deaths, which come into full bloom in Spring.  The present castle was rebuilt in 1245 in stone.  It has a fascinating history as it has been a prison and mint in it’s time.  As a prison, it housed the famous highwayman Dick Turpin, who was later executed in York in 1739.  Clifford Tower is owned and maintained by The English Heritage and you are allowed in, for small fee, to learn about the history of the castle and you can walk along the high walls to see the views of York and beyond.

Wanting to understand a little more of this wonderful cities’ history, I took to Wikipedia.  If you’d like to read about the history click Here.  It is truly fascinating reading about York go through such radical changes during its time along with its many rulers, including Roman Emperors from 71 AD to the 5th century when the Angles settled and also various Kings.  The city was also captured by the Vikings around 866, which saw the start of York being part of extensive trading routes.  Then of course around 1066, there was the Norman conquest of England with William the Conqueror coming onto the scene.  It was around 1080 when a cathedral started to be built, which in time became the infamous York Minster.

York Minster

During our stay in York while Jon was at work, I made sure I visited the Minster.  I’ve seen it many times from the outside, but this time I’d treat myself for a wander inside too.  Time always seems to stand still as you look up in awe at this fabulous building.

Of course there’s Emperor Constantines’ statue to admire.


Constantine came to Britain with his father, the emperor Constantius, in 305.  Constantius died in July the following year in York.

“The system of succession at the time demanded that another Caesar should become emperor, but the soldiers in York immediately proclaimed Constantine their leader.  It proved to be a pivotal moment in history.  He is known as Constantine the Great for very good reasons”.   History of York.org

Read a little more about Emperor Constantine Here


The detail on the stonework around the whole of the vast structure is just incredible, I’m afraid my photo’s don’t do it justice.

I spent quite a while just staring at the carvings on these arches.

Inside this magnificent building you are equally taken aback.

If anyone intends to visit for the first time, just make sure you have plenty of time to wander at your leisure, it’s incredible. 

I tried different ways to get the beauty of the windows



Such detail!!  Love the dog at his feet!

Everywhere you turn there are beautifully carved statues!



Sir George Savile, (1726 – 1784) Member of Parliament

Part of the inscription on his statue in York Minster by John Fisher reads,

“In private life, he was benevolent, and sincere;
His charities were extensive and secret;
His whole heart was founded on principles
Of generosity, mildness, justice, and universal candour.
In public, the patron of every national improvement;
In the senate, incorrupt;
In his commerce with the world, disinterested.”

More here in Wikipedia




There is so much to see as you wander around this vast minster with breathtaking, ornate walls, windows and ceilings.  The statues and artwork are incredible and down in the crypt there is a fascinating tour into the history and succession of Roman Emperors.

As I was there, organ pipes sounded out, wow what a beautiful sound!

(Sorry, not great photo’s).  Parts of the organ date back to 1834 and it’s having the first refurbishment in 100 years this year. Read, (and see better photographs) about it Here.

I loved visiting the Minster again, certainly well worth the £11.50

You have to wonder who, throughout history  has been through this door
I wonder which door this key opens










Of course, as you walk anywhere around York, you are surrounded by history with many of its historic churches and medieval buildings popping up on every street and around every corner in and amongst the busy modern life which engulfs the city.  I’m sure an individual  blog post could be easily written on each and every building!


There was some great choice of street food in York, but we tended to aim for this little place with their delicious Galette’s

We loved living in York for a few weeks, hopefully we’ll be back this coming summer too.   We’re still planning this years cruise which depends on where Jon’s working at the time.

Just a few more picky’s of this beautiful (and one of my favourite) cities.


I hope you’ve enjoyed wandering around York with me.

Have a great day! 😍


Me with Crazy Rose (left) and our beautiful, (late, but always remembered) Jenna 💕

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41 thoughts on “We Made It To York!

  1. You certainly packed a lot in! I think one of the best things to do in York is walk round the walls – great views. And the City Museum. Actually, so much to do there! Great post.

    1. There is so much to do, I feel there is much more to take in. I love the wall walk too, such beautiful views. Thanks for reading

    1. Such a beautiful city, I’ve been many times & still feel I have so much more to see. My niece went to York Uni & loved her time there 😊 enjoy x

  2. Beautiful depiction of your trip, Sam. I’m trying to figure out what a galette is. It looks like something we would call a wrap, gyro or pita, filled with fresh veggies, meat and sauce.


    1. Well yes I do think it’s the French version, but they made the ‘wrap’ in front of us. It seemed to be made from a light batter and so fresh! Thanks for reading 🙂

    1. Thanks Debbie, it’s just one of those places that once you’ve been you just have to go again😊

  3. My husband and I went to York a few years ago so I could meet his mom. She lives there with her husband and daughter, and my husband and I had just been dating for a couple of years. We did a whirlwind tour of England since it was my first time there (the husband is from there), but I’d have to say out of all the cities we visited, York was easily top 3. We even lodged there the longest, but took day trips to other cities and didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time exploring. We spent a half a day and saw the sites you did, but I’m itching to go back and explore some more. 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading Bex. So glad you got to stay in York during your ‘whirlwind’ visit to England, It is a beautiful city steeped in so much history. IT’s difficult isn’t it, when you visit a country and only have little time. I live here in England and still have so many places I’d like to explore 😊

    1. Well if you find yourself up there during this Summer, we may just be there in the boat moored up somewhere. I’d love to meet up 😊

  4. I absolutely love York and was married there in 1977. I’ve been back a few times and never tire of it. So much history. Thanks for the great pictures.

    1. Hi Darlene thank you for reading. What a beautiful city to be married in. I just love the history, it’s everywhere you look. Thank you 😊

  5. Hi Sam I tried to comment on your website but it always gives me the message ‘Invalid Security token’. 🙁 I visited York back in the mid 80s and still remember it well. It was also around the time Prince Andrew and Fergie became the Duke & Duchess of York, I think. Hubby and I would love to do a driving holiday through Britain but now you have me thinking about doing it via the canals. I always think of Wind in the Willows when I read about your adventures. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and congratulations again on your win at the ABBAs. xx

    1. Hi Sue, that’s strange I’ve no idea why that would be?? I do sometimes struggle with other websites to comment & then they’d be ok on another day. Very odd. I’m so glad you got to York, I remember Andrew & Fergie’s wedding. Travelling the canals is lovely, do make sure it’s the spring/summer months though as the nature is stunning & weather better 😊. Thank you Sue xx

  6. I love York, and we’ll be back there just before Christmas this year. The idea of coming in by boat? That sounds like so much wonderful. I’ve been to York twice & on each occasion the Minster has been closed to visitors for special events. I’m hoping this year will be third time lucky.

    1. Cruising into York wasn’t as relaxing as we thought it would be 😬 but once moored it was just wonderful & we were reluctant to leave. Oh no that’s such bad luck about the Minster fingers crossed for you this time. Have a lovely time. The Xmas markets are magical 😊

      1. Last time we were there it was the first day of the markets so we’re really looking forward to seeing them in full flight.

  7. I’m so happy you enjoyed your stay there Sam – first a really enjoyable cruise (with little exciting and scary bits) and then a relaxing holiday – what’s not to love? I also thought those statues were amazing, but the best pic for me was the raft with the young people hanging out together – simple and youthful – just perfect!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    1. Thank you Leanne yes we can’t wait to set off again in July, although we have engine problems at the mo so hoping our plans aren’t ‘scuppered’. We’d love to cruise through York this time up to Ripon. Fingers crossed for good engine news 🤞

  8. Absolutely lovely Sam, loved York and we were lucky to have local friends who showed us around. Love your floating home, after hiring a boat in Amsterdam I can see why you enjoy that lifestyle. Keep doing those trips together 🙂

    1. It’s always good to have someone show you around a city. Oh we’ll definitely do more cruising. We’re planning to be off for July & August, after a week in Cornwall 😊

    1. It’s a beautiful city Simon, especially if you are interested in history, but if not there’s still such a lot going on 😊

      1. There’s a lot of history to York, I think it’s passed between the Scots and the English a couple of times and there’s so much happened there. I wild love to see the city and its history.

        1. I’ll be there this summer hopefully if all goes well with the cruise up. I hope to be concentrating more on the smaller churches dotted about the city. It’s a fascinating place 😊

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