A wealth of new discoveries are waiting in glorious York


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The Independent Online

When was the last time you had a first time – a weekend full of new encounters and fresh memories? This autumn, why not make York your big discovery?

In many ways, of course, York needs no discovery. It has dotted the map of England since 71AD, when the Romans founded it as the crossroads city of Eboracum.

Two millennia on, it is just as connected to the rest of the country – it sits less than two hours from London King's Cross by direct train service with East Coast (eastcoast.co.uk).

What you find when you arrive is a place that will reach all five of your senses.

There are, of course, sights galore, many emphasising York's epic history – the longest city walls in England, which date back to Roman times; that glorious medieval street The Shambles, with its many inviting shops.

There is much to taste too – the gorgeous cakes and sumptuous afternoon teas served at the iconic Bettys (bettys.co.uk); the gourmet fare crafted under award-winning Yorkshire chef Andrew Pern at The Star Inn The City (starinnthecity.co.uk). And if you want the smells of York, head for the Jorvik Viking Centre (jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk), where the heady stench of life under Danish occupation in the 10th century will reach your nostrils.

You can hear enchanting choral concerts at York Minster (yorkminster.org), the city's enormous Gothic masterpiece of a cathedral. As for touch – you can get your hands on a few fashionable bargains at York Designer Outlet (mcarthurglen.com). And you will certainly feel at home in a city where a short weekend will stay with you for a long time.

For more information, see visityork.org/first.