Don’t know about you, but I do like a city staycation. Though, it can be tricky working out which city to visit and where to stay when you get there but recently, I hit the jackpot on both fronts.
With a cute city and awesome accommodation. We went to York, because we kept on hearing the name. Either winning awards for being the best UK citycation destination, being the Queen of quirky indie shops or just being downright cool and vibey.
If you fancy walking the walk in York, taking a toptastic city staycation of your very own. I have got just the place for you. 109, Nunnery Lane. A perfect piece of self catering paradise, right in the heart of the city of York.
One of the downsides of being an ancient city with limited space, is limited parking. Luckily, the owners of this particular holiday home from home have an arrangement with a private carpark just moments from the front door.
You pop your details on an envelope, add some cash, and voilà. Everything is taken care of, in a rather charmingly old school way.
Since we were looking for self catering, with a side order of luxury, we went for a company that specialises in just that sort of thing, Crabtree & Crabtree.
They have an amazing portfolio of gorgeous, quirky, self catering, properties, all set in the South of Scotland or the North of England.
Didn’t take long to find a perfect, dog friendly cottage, in a picture perfect location, in the midst of a quiet, friendly and really rather lovely neighbourhood, right next to the city walls.
109, Nunnery Lane is one of three cottages in a row, each sleeping six, in fine style. Owned and run by a local couple, Claire and Alistair, who obviously take great care to give their guests a self catering holiday in the heart of York to treasure, these cottages really are just the ticket. Comfy, cosy and charming in equal measure.
We were in the middle house. With three beautiful bedrooms upstairs plus one deliciously decadent bathroom. The ground floor was an open plan delight, with plenty of lounging space, along with a fine kitchen dining area. For any fan of fancy self catering, this is the perfect kitchen space for you.
There were thoughtful touches throughout the whole house; dreamy bedding, throws for snuggling, shelves full of books for kids, with more for adults, as well as oodles of games and DVD’s. Naturally, it’s got all the modern stuff you could wish for too; turbo charged central heating, excellent wifi and a large telly on the wall of the living room.
When we arrived we even found a welcoming, homemade cake waiting for us under a glass cover. Which is always a thrill. It was only after we’d sat down to munch a slice or two over a pot of tea, we realised the dining table doubles up as a pool table. Which is a surefire way to get any staycation off to a flying start.
A minutes walk from the front door takes you to Bishopthorpe Road, known locally as Bishy Road. A paradise for those who like to shop small and local.
There are butchers, bakers, sandwich makers, greengrocers and delis all within strolling distance, along with a sprinkling of bars, cafes and corner shops. Our favourite food shop, for nibbles and treats, was The Good Food Shop.
If you’re in the mood for a drink or two, 2manywines is the place to head for. Great spot for people watching too.
Our fave local cafe was, the Flori Bakery, right next door to our cottage. Mmm. Talk about close, convenient and charming, this place has everything a hopeful heart could wish for. No wonder Bishy Road keeps on getting voted Best UK High Street. The whole neighbourhood just shimmers with good vibes.
Things to do
If you are like me, fascinated by the famous city walls. You can get an amazing overview and learn some history by walking a circuit of York City Walls.
Like all good cities, York is blessed with a barrel load of fine pubs. Some great names too; The Fat Badger, Three Legged Mare, House of Trembling Madness.
If you are looking to tick those tourist boxes, the majestic and historic York Minster is the place to be.
The Shambles is a well preserved medieval street that has launched a thousand pretty pictures.
There are lots of High Street chainstores hanging around, but I prefer independents, lovely little shops, selling lovely little things. There are loads of them here. Enough to warrant their very own, ‘Indie York,’ map. A particular fave, was ‘Duttons for Buttons.’ Colourful, quirky, a crafty souls sweet dream.
If churches and shopping aren’t your thing, you can always visit a museum. With all that history, there are lots of them. The museum and gardens of York is a popular place to explore both inside and out.
Walking around town, can’t help noticing there are pocket sized patches of greenery at every turn. Seems one of the benefits of having lots of beautiful old buildings, is they come complete with beautiful bits of open space around them. My particular favourite was Rowntree Park.
Running through all of the above, is the River Ouse. It splits the city, yet somehow also manages to draw it together. A watery lifeline filled with constant activity.
Must admit, when we were there, I lost a piece of my heart to York’s golden beauty. It is unexpectedly fab. Not only is it pretty, it also draws you in, reminding you just how deep its delicious roots go.
The city was right and our accommodation was absolutely spot on too. With everything we needed, right on our doorstep.
It’s not often you get to open your front door and walk along a thousand year old embankment thrown up by the Vikings, topped off with medieval stonework. Where fox cubs play in the evening sunshine and a cheerful smile greets you from every passerby.
This city is small enough to stroll round, yet filled with enough things to do to keep you happy for a lifetime. We only had a few days at, 109, Nunnery lane, but I could have spent weeks staying there, exploring, enjoying the sights and delights of this upmarket University town. It’s cosy, friendly and trendy, everything makes you feel at home right away. Turns out, York is every bit as good as they say it is.
3 nights at Number 109 available through Crabtree & Crabtree from £895. 7 nights from £1,715.
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