York Minster

1032 Reviews

Star Travel Rating

4/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Date of travel

November, 2018

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

Partner

Reasons for trip

It was a wet morning in York and although we’d planned on visiting the Minister the following day, we knew the entrance fee provided unlimited visits for a year and decided to shelter from the rain. The guy on the entrance joked he’d heard it was the biggest umbrella in York.

Having paid our entrance fee of £11 and bought a £2.50 mini booklet, we were told that the free 10.30am tour was starting. 15 of us were ably led by an elderly volunteer who was both amusing and informative whilst managing to navigate an iPad to show us close up photos of images too high on the wall or ceiling to see properly. She was a former teacher and her voice was loud and clear. It was here we established the difference between a minster and a cathedral.

Following our taster tour, we visited the next day and spent another 2 hours at our own pace finishing with Holy Communion in the Lady Chapel.

It’s a majestic place with lots of detail but I had a few favourite things. The 12 semaphore saints: six headless saints either side of the Great West Doors. They all depicted a letter of the alphabet and with the aid of a crib sheet found they were saying ‘Christ is here’. Having seen a golden dragon head high in the roof the previous day, we struggled to find it again, and had to ask. It was thought to be part of a mechanism for raising a heavy lid and we were told, there was twice as much obscured as there was on show and that is was made from a single beam.

There was an extensive exhibition in the undercroft which told how in the 1960s the minster was in danger of collapsing and so the stone pillars were ringed with concrete and bolts.

The stained glass is magnificent and the rose window, destroyed in 1984 by fire but painstakingly restored, was a glorious finish. On the iPad we saw the bosses in detail, six of which had been designed by Blue Peter viewers following a competition which 35,000 children entered.

As this was the end of November, we watched a group of young school children rehearse their nativity play in the Chapter House and the University brass band practise their Christmas carols.

The exit was via the shop with its usual array of gifts both religious and/or tacky.

Helen Jackson

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.