Due to the huge popularity of York and its attractions it can be quite difficult to find accommodation available at all prices ranges, especially during peak York Festival periods or popular York Racecourse meets.
Accommodations outside York present an attractive alternative to staying in York, especially if you prefer the quieter pace of small village or country locations. Popular accommodation base choices near York include Selby south of York with its historic Abbey and Pocklington to the east of York renowned for the stunning Burnby Hall Museum and Gardens and nearby watersports and fishing mecca Allerthorpe Lakeland Park. For the younger tots checkout the fun packed webguide (link right) to Creepy Crawlies indoor and outdoor Adventure Playsite conveniently situated on York's outer ring road with ample parking space on-site. Designer shopping fans will find 50 percent reductions on all labels at York Designer Outlet south of the city centre.
Award winning York Racecourse sits just to the south of York city centre, and is one of the most popular racecourses in the country. Hardly surprising that Royal Ascot made its temporary appearance at York recently.
York Races offers 15 days of some of the best racing in the country. This UK racecourse has won the best Flat Racecourse award and topped the charts in The Times' list of top UK racecourses.
Check out your choice for favourite race meets at York including the renowned Ebor Festival in August and the St Ledger in September. Full details of dates and prices are available on the York Racecourse website link right. If you're looking for superb views of the course and your own deluxe box you can't do better than The Knavesmire Stand, which was opened in 1996. It's won awards this stand, including the Civic Trust and RIBA awards. Guests book boxes on this stand year after year, as you're guaranteed superb views across the course from private balconies.
York Racecourse, York, YO23 1EX. Tel. 01904 620911.
To the south east of York sits a rather special museum - the Yorkshire Air Museum. It's special because it's one of the few authentic RAF bomber bases open to the public and to add to its already impressive collection of World War One and Two artefacts.
Set on RAF Elvington's airfield which was rebuilt inclusive of three hardened runways in 1942, Elvington was one of three airfields in the area. The other two were RAF Pocklington and RAF Melbourne. Together they were known as '42 Base'. Here at the Yorkshire Air Museum a more impressive collection of World War Two aircraft you're unlikely to find. Earlier aircraft like the Blackburn Mercury Monoplane first displayed in 1911 are also on display. More highlights include the huge collection of Military Vehicles on display at Elvington, and buildings such as the Control Tower with Meteorological office, staff restroom and air traffic control have been restored and preserved as they would have been in the 1940s.
The Memorial Gardens also on-site is a reminder that over 100 Halifax Bombers left RAF Elvington during the Second World War and never returned. Within the Collections Department Archive, Library and Research Centre on the complex you can see numerous photographs, papers, aircrew log books, medals and memorabilia giving you a real sense of what life was like on this important RAF bomber base. French squadrons were also based here during World War Two.
Yorkshire Air Museum, Halifax Way, Elvington, York YO41 4AU. Tel. 01904 608595. See the Yorkshire Air Museum's weblink right for details and opening times.
Just a mere 14 miles south of York sits attractive Selby and the spectacular Norman Selby Abbey. Selby Abbey's history dates as far back as York Minster. Actually its history is slightly older than the York Minster you see today. In 1068 King Henry I of England is thought to have been born at Selby Abbey and Selby Abbey ranks as the first monastery (Benedictine) in the North to be founded after the Norman conquest. The foundation of the abbey links in with the history of St Germain around 378AD.
A more contemporary particular point of interest within Selby Abbey is the link between one of its ancient medieval stained glass windows and the USA. The Washington Window depicts the Washington (Wessington) family shield coat of arms which has a direct link with the present day American Flag. Look out for the Washington Window in the South Clerestory window of the choir. It dates from the 14th century.
Selby is renowned for its traditional markets, its friendly family run B&Bs and self catering farm cottages. The Trans Pennine Trail used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders runs through Selby on its way detour upto York or towards the coast and Hull. See the Trans Pennine Trail's webguide for more information on this trail running all the way from Liverpool across to Hull and Hornsea.
Selby Abbey, The Crescent, Selby, North Yorkshire. YO8 4PU. Tel. (00 44) (0)1757 703123.
Historic old market town Pocklington to the south east of York is increasingly attracting attention both for its crucial place within World War II history and as attractive North Yorkshire holiday base.
Stunning Burnby Hall Gardens & Museum close to Pocklington town centre is renowned for its collection of Hardy Water Lillies. You won't find a larger collection of these beautiful flowers in all of Europe, spread as they are across Burnby's two lakes. The lakes sit within the 8 acre garden complex which also includes a Victorian Garden, Secret Garden, rock gardens and natural shrubbery. Band concerts and events such as falconry displays and specialist plant fairs run throughout the Summer season. Checkout Burnby Hall's webguide right for dates and details. Burnby Hall is an Age Concern attraction award winner, noted for its excellent accessibility for wheelchairs. Special viewing platforms are situated around the lakes, with ramps to the tearoom. Burnby also has an on-site kids play area. Within the grounds the Stewart Museum explores the life of Major Percy Stewart, the inspirational source behind the gardens.
More stunning lakeland territory is situated just south of Pocklington at Allerthorpe Lakeland Park, but here watersports and fly fishing are grabbing the headlines rather than water lilies. Allerthrope Lakeland Park Watersports centre offers a superb choice of watersports activities including kayaking, windsurfing, fun laser boat rides, sailing and there's a designated fly fishing lake on-site containing 5 species of trout.
Other attractions at Allerthrope include Peaks Coffee Shop and coming soon a pets corner and crazy golf. Keep up-to-date via the Allerthrope webguide right or tel. 01759 301444 for details.
Selby Abbey image contributed by 'BC' (no real name given). Air Museum image contributed by Ken Crosby. Racecourse image contributed by DS Pugh. All images are copyrighted but licensed for further reuse under the Creative Commons License.