York offers a winning blend of revelry and refinery.
With two universities, a regular influx of young folk at the weekends taking to its bars and a host of cultural events throughout the year, York is a well-stocked, vibrant place to let your hair down after sunset.
Places to grab a cold one aside, there’s also a vast, well kept buffet of eating choices spread from fine dining to fast food (visit my York Cafés and Restaurants page for more information) alongside a choice of theatre, cinema and concert venues that should satisfy every taste, whim and budget.
Theatre and cinema
The two main theatres in York, the Grand Opera House (Clifford Street, York YO1 9SW; +44 844 847 2322; www.grandoperahouseyork.org.uk) and York Theatre Royal (St Leonard’s Place YO1 7HD; +44 1904 623 568; www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk) both offer a full program of touring drama, comedy, music and dance productions.
For big screen entertainment in the heart of the city, both the City Screen Picturehouse (13-17 Coney Street, York YO1 9QL; +44 871 902 5726; www.picturehouses.co.uk) and Reel Cinema (Odeon Buildings, Blossom Street, York YO24 1AJ; +44 1509 221 155; www.reelcinemas.co.uk) have the latest releases.
Clubs and venues
For cheap cocktails and dedication to indie music and live bands, The Stone Roses Bar is the place to head (4 King Street, York YO1 9SP; +44 1904 670 696; www.stonerosesbaryork.com). For more indie, plus dub-step and metal nights, Fibbers (8-10 The Stonebow, York YO1 7NP; +44 1904 651 250; www.fibbers.co.uk) is a well-respected club and venue attracting national and international live heavyweights. For a thoroughly unique and intimate setting to watch musical talent, House Concerts of York (www.houseconcertsyork.co.uk) is literally that - live performances in house.
Beneath the City Screen Picturehouse, The Basement (13-17 Coney Street, York YO1 9QL; +44 1904 612 940; www.thebasementyork.co.uk) is a small venue hosting a variety of comedy and music performances. Those after a more mainstream, disco type of thing should try The Gallery (12 Clifford Street, York YO1 1RD; +44 1904 647 947; www.galleryclub.co.uk).
For an evening of more meditative and sacred music among magnificent surroundings, York Minster also hosts regular classical and choral recitals.
Pubs and bars
York is full of wonderful places to sup beer and sip wine. From über cool bars to centuries old pubs specialising in real ales, here is a selection of my current and matchless favourites. The Maltings (Tanners Moat, York YO1 1HU; +44 1904 655 387; www.maltings.co.uk); The House of Trembling Madness (Stonegate, York YO1 8AS +44 29 2039 1910). The Three Legged Mare (High Petergate, York YO1 7EN; 01904 638 246) and Pivní (6 Patrick Pool, York Y01 8B; +44 1904 635 464; www.pivni.co.uk). Finally, incomparable and groovy, The Evil Eye Lounge (42 Stonegate, York YO1 8AS + 44 1904 640 002: www.evileyelounge.com).
Of the collection of generic contemporary bars in the city popular with young groups, I would choose Revolution (Coney Street, York YO1 9NA; +44 1904 676 054; www.revolution-bars.co.uk/York) for its design and riverside location. For a drinking endurance marathon, the ‘Micklegate Run’ is a long established pub crawl along this historic thoroughfare calling in at the collection of so-so bars and occasional treats such as the Brigantes (114 Micklegate, York Y01 6JX; +44 1904 675 355; www.markettowntaverns.co.uk).
Alternatively, for the spirit of things that go bump in the night, York has an array of nightly Ghost Walks to entertain mystify and occasionally frighten. Visit my Ghost Hunt of York for details of my preferred choices. Another more gentler option is take one of the Evening River Cruises on offer during the warm summer months, see too my York City Cruise page for information and contact details.