From London the journey time is under two hours, Edinburgh is only two and a half hours away and there are direct services from Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and the South West.
In our experience seats are usually readily available on the East Coast Mainline route, however, if you’re travelling with Transpennine Express or Virgin Cross Country via Birmingham you should try and book a seat in advance or avoid peak travel times.
York is just 20 minutes from the M1 and M62 motorways, and its central location makes it within easy reach of most regions of the UK. Estimated travel times are as follows: London and Edinburgh 4 hrs, Cardiff 4 1/2 hrs, Birmingham 2 1/2 hrs and Manchester 1 1/2 hrs. If you’re travelling into York by car, and want to avoid the excessive car park charges, you can use one of the six Park and Ride sites surrounding the city. We’ve put together a handy map of York’s Park and Ride network.
York is within reach of 4 international airports – Leeds/Bradford, Manchester, Humberside and Robin Hood Doncaster/Sheffield.
- Travelling from Leeds/Bradford: Catch the 757 bus from the airport to Leeds train station and then get on a train to York.
- From Manchester: There are then regular Transpennine trains that run direct from the airport to York.
- From Humberside: Public transport is a little bit trickier for Humberside. You’ll have to take the Humber Flyer bus into Hull and then catch another train to York. If you time it right there will be a direct train, otherwise you might have to change at Doncaster or Selby.
- From Robin Hood Doncaster/Sheffield: Catch either the 91 or the X19 from the airport into Doncaster town centre, then pick up a direct train for York from the main station.
York is only an hours drive from the P&O Sea Ferries terminal at Hull which has daily sailings to Holland and Belgium. If you’re not bringing a car just be aware that – although they exist – the public transport links between York and Hull aren’t that great.
York is an incredibly easy city to explore on foot (although the cobbles do present something of a challenge to high-heeled visitors after a couple of drinks). Due to its compact size it’s possible to cross the city centre in about 20 minutes. If you’re staying a bit further out, fear not, there are plenty of other transport options.
Mobile signal is pretty OK in the city centre so you can use a smartphone to navigate your way around. If you’re more of a traditionalist and prefer a physical map in hand, this PopOut Map is cheap and has everything on it you’ll need.
Due to it’s neat size, you probably won’t need to get on a bus to get about. However, if for whatever reason you’re travelling a bit further out you can find the First bus timetables here www.firstgroup.com/york. There is a council run site called iTravel York (the ‘i’ makes it hip) which offers to help you plan your journey but in our experience Google Maps is far easier to use and has all the relevant bus timetable information.
If you are travelling over to the coastal towns of Whitby, Scaborough or Filey you can hop on a Coastliner – just be sure to check the time of last bus back to York. The service runs through to Leeds the other way and also goes to towns such as Pickering and Malton.
A little confusingly, York has both full and part time taxi ranks. We’ve put them on a map Here (along with some numbers for local cab firms) so you can find the one closest to you. You can also book taxis and minicabs directly, but just be aware that if you’re booking at short notice you might struggle to get one on a Friday or Saturday night.
As mentioned above, York is small enough that you don’t really need to use a car to get about. However, if you’re planning to travel out of the city centre read our guide to car hire in York or get a rental quote above.