York with its cathedral and other attractions is definitely one of the UK’s top destinations for a city break vacation.
York can be visited on a day trip from London but a few hours is not enough to enjoy even the cathedral, let alone York’s other top visitor attractions. (Here are the Ten Best Things to Do in York.) Instead consider a stay of at least one or two nights in the city. There’s a wide range of accommodation options and York is well-served with 4-star and 5-star hotels, guesthouses, luxury lodges, and b&bs.
There are cheaper hotels too, for those on a budget, but here are some suggested hotels at the upper end of the market. They are all rated as either 4-star or 5-star by Enjoy England, the official tourist board for England. For other suggestions use the Enjoy England accommodation search service.
Amber House is a 4-star Victorian b&b just a few minutes’ walk from York city centre, but is in an area of York with free street parking. It is a non-smoking house with just three guest bedrooms, and facilities include free wireless internet.
36 Bootham Crescent
Alexander House is a luxury bed-and-breakfast that has been awarded both a 5-star rating and a Gold Award by Enjoy England. Gold Awards indicate exceptional quality of service, the very best that 5-star gets. It is a few minutes walk from the centre of York, with free car parking too.
94 Bishopthorpe Road
Arnot House was built in about 1880 and has also won 5 stars and a Gold Award from Enjoy England. In the past it has also won various awards such as Best Guesthouse and Best Guesthouse in Yorkshire. To ensure a peaceful stay for all guests it is a child-free and pet-free guesthouse. There are only 3 guest bedrooms, all ensuite and with canopy and 4-poster beds.
17 Grosvenor Terrace
Enjoy England gives Bishops Hotel a 5-star rating and a Silver Award too. It is a Victorian villa with a range of rooms – single rooms, double or twin rooms, family rooms, and extra-special luxury rooms as well. There’s also a conservatory for guests to relax in.
135 Holgate Road
Bootham Gardens Guesthouse
Breakfasts are exceptional at the 4-star Bootham Gardens, where guests can order special breakfasts inspired by celebrity chefs including Gary Rhodes, Rick Stein, Andy Worrall-Thompson, Nigella Lawson, Raymond Blanc or Jamie Oliver. Not surprisingly this hotel-style guesthouse has been awarded a Delicious Yorkshire Breakfast Award. There are 6 bedrooms, and 4 of them are easily accessible on the ground floor. It has its own car park, and the city centre is a short walk away.
47 Bootham Crescent
The Four Seasons is a 5-star family-run b&b with a Silver Award, and is no relation to the Four Seasons hotel chain. It’s a Victorian house in a quiet cul-de-sac, walking distance from York’s cathedral and other main attractions. Free wireless internet is provided, as is good local information as the owners have lived in York all their lives.
7 St.Peters Grove
5-star Guest House on the City Walls – Berwick Hotel
There are surprisingly few Berwick hotels. This compact Northumberland town, famous for its city walls and only a mile or so from the Scottish border, is more blessed with a wide choice of guesthouses and b&bs, ranging from cheap and cheerful to luxurious 5-star comfort. One of the newer bed and breakfasts is The Walls guest house, situated right on Berwick’s ancient city walls.
The Walls is a superb, city townhouse on the Quay Walls, recently refurbished by its new owners to a very high degree of comfort. Soon after opening it was rated as 4-star quality by EnjoyEngland (aka the English Tourist Board), and on its second inspection in mid-2008 its rating was increased to a 5-star standard.
The Walls has only three rooms, all of them large and all of them facing the harbour. From the windows it’s possible to watch the salmon fishermen with their boats, see seals and otters swimming, or just kick back and watch the tide come and go where the River Tweed flows out into the sea.
All the bedrooms are large with ensuite bathrooms, and tastefully decorated with simple, elegant touches – fresh flowers, thick draped curtains, ceiling roses. Two rooms are described as king-sized, and the third room is a super king-sized, with an adjacent family room that can also be used if needed.
Free wifi is available throughout the house, and there are wall-mounted flat-screen TVs with cable, bedside chocolates, free bottled water, tea and coffee making facilities, and luxury toiletries. There is also a large lounge for guests to enjoy, with a great deal of literature on Berwick and the attractions of the local area, and a fridge.
The price includes breakfast, which can be a full cooked Northumberland breakfast, local kippers, or delicious fishcakes made by owner Eric Deighton, who runs the guesthouse with his wife Suzanne and their daughter Gemma.
Things to Do
Berwick’s city walls make a popular walk, giving great views over the town and also of the harbour.
The Lowry Trail links together places painted by artist LS Lowry, who visited Berwick-upon-Tweed for many years. Plaques showing copies of some of his paintings have been erected in the spots where he painted them.
The 18th-century Town Hall is a splendid building, also painted by LS Lowry, with tours available.
There are walking tours of the town, which can be booked from the Tourist Information Centre
The Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, by the city walls with changing exhibitions
The Berwick Barracks, now a regimental museum.
Day trips to nearby attractions including the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Dunstanburgh Castle, The Farne Islands, Chillingham Wild White Cattle, Bamburgh Castle, Alnwick Castle, and many other options.
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