Yorkshire (inc. York)
Geographically, a large county, where the many disparate parts contribute to the whole. The prosperity of central Yorkshire was built on wool. As the centuries passed, the wool mills helped villages develop into towns, and later into prosperous cities. The profits accrued, contributed to the splendours found in many fine country houses that are such a feature of this region. North Yorkshire is a countryside of high moorlands, limestone hills, steep-sided valleys and plunging waterfalls - the harsh magnificence of Bronte country http://www.bronte-country.com/. In the east of the county lie the Wolds, a broad expanse of lowland, where views stretch for miles over quiet villages and great houses. At the very heart of Yorkshire is its jewel, England's 'eternal city', York.
This is a city of outstanding beauty, with its history recorded in the streets, buildings and museums gathered around its mighty Minster. Within its towering medieval walls, substantial relics of Roman, Viking, Victorian and Edwardian influence jostle each other for attention.
Made capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior after its founding by the Romans in 71AD, York, with its walls, has a history that stretches over two millennia. Its rich history and well established heritage have provided a solid backdrop to many significant events throughout the history of Britain and its importance is still evident
The city offers a rich tapestry of historic attractions, York Minster being the most prominent. The title 'minster' is attributed to churches that were established during the Anglo Saxon period, with the purpose of acting as missionary teaching churches; this title is now honorific. On the site on which the minster now stands previously stood many churches that were built and subsequently destroyed, either by invading forces or by fire. The first recorded church on the site was a hurriedly built wooden structure built in 627 to provide a place for the baptism of Edwin, King of Northumbria. After its destruction steps were made to make its structure more substantial. After a number of subsequent fires a Gothic style was decided upon when Walter de Gray became archbishop of York in 1215. With the aim of being a building of such grandeur to rival that of Canterbury, work began in 1220 and was finished in the early 15th century. The stature of the building and the challenge that its construction presented echoes the importance of religion in the city of York, a diocese since 314. The city remains of importance to the hierarchy of the Church of England, being the second most important after Canterbury and the religious focal point of the North.
The Shambles is another of York's iconic sights. It is an old street of overhanging timber framed buildings, many dating back to the 14th century. 'Shambles' is an obsolete term meaning open-air slaughterhouse and was a place of animal slaughter and the preparation of meat for consumption. There were no health and safety or hygiene laws of any kind during this era and the guts, blood and offal were simply thrown into the street making it look a right Shambles! The site of Margaret Clitherow's house and her shrine can also be found in the Shambles. Her execution by crushing in 1586 was her punishment for harboring Catholic Priests and allowing the illegal Catholic mass to be heard in her home. Elizabeth I subsequently wrote to the people of the city of York, describing her horror upon learning that a woman was executed in such a brutal way. The Shambles is just a stones throw from the Minster itself.
York's history and culture make it a fantastic place to visit. It is said that York has over 365 pubs, enough to sample Yorkshire's famous ales in a different setting every day of the year. York has many hotels, B&B and holiday homes (http://www.casamundo.co.uk/) which are available to suit all budgets.