York is one of the UK's most attractive and accessible cities. It's little wonder that houses for sale are sought-after in this corner of North Yorkshire.

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  • York is a highly sought-after historic city and is considered one of the best places to live in the UK.

    It boasts a rich cultural heritage, magnificent architecture, historic attractions, shopping and a lively restaurant and bar scene. York Minster, one of the greatest Gothic cathedrals in the world, sits at the heart of the city.

    York is famed for York Racecourse. It has hosted many races as well as Royal Ascot at York in 2005 and The Ladbrokes St Leger in 2006.

    On a more practical level, the city boasts excellent road and rail connections, with trains reaching London in less than two hours and Edinburgh in around two and a half hours.

    York is surrounded by some of the country’s most beautiful national parks and coastline, including North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales.

    Houses for sale in York

    There are many different types of houses for sale in York. Properties in the city range from period townhouses and new-build homes, to family houses and glitzy riverside apartments.

    A major draw for buyers in York is the city’s leading university and schools. The University of York is well-respected, drawing in students from across the UK and overseas. Meanwhile, there are excellent private and state schools in and around the city, making it a popular choice for families.

    The city's many transport links to London and the north make it an ideal location for commuters.

    There is also beautiful countryside, coastline, historical towns and idyllic villages in the wider North Yorkshire region, attracting outdoor and country sports enthusiasts, weekenders, second-home owners.

    Riverside homes.

    Where to buy in York

    Waterfront properties are a popular choice for many buyers looking at York. There are several new housing developments with contemporary apartments along the River Ouse. However, they don’t often come onto the market.

    Period properties can also be found along the river; there is a particularly handsome stretch of historic properties on the riverside at Friars Terrace.

    The city boasts many attractive period homes full of character – ideal for those seeking a smart property to enjoy the perks of city life. The Bootham area of York, for example, is renowned for its smart historic townhouses.

    But there are many new-build homes in York suited to those looking for modern living, from spacious and well-designed family houses and pied-à-terres to homes suited to downsizers. Westgate has newly-built apartments for sale with all the mod cons.

    One up-and-coming area in York is Clementhorpe. The neighbourhood recently took ninth place in The Times' top 30 'coolest places to live'.

    Clementhorpe is close to the city centre, the river and York Races and boasts amenities including local shops and schools.

    There is also plenty of choice in North Yorkshire - the county where York is located - for buyers with a fine country house in mind. Londoners in particular will find that their budget will go much further.

    Temple Avenue in York.

    Popular villages and towns around York include Sutton-on-the-Forest, Terrington, Coxhold and Helmsley. Malton is gaining attraction for its food scene; celebrity chef James Martin has been the executive chef of the local Talbot hotel until recently.

    There is a good variety of houses for sale for families looking to buy close to the top private and state schools in and around York.

    Independent schools include:

    •          Terrington Hall in Terrington near York
    •          St Martin's Ampleforth in Gilling East near York
    •          Aysgarth School near Bedale
    •          Queen Ethelburga's near Little Ouseburn
    •          Ashville College in Harrogate
    •          The Mount School in York
    •          Bootham School in York
    •          Cundall Manor in Cundall near York
    •          Pocklington School in Pocklington, East Riding 
    •          Queen Mary’s School in Topcliffe near Thirsk
    •          Queen Margaret’s School in Escrick Park near York
    •          Ampleforth College in the village of Ampleforth
    •          St Peter's School in York

    Well-regarded state schools include Skipton Girls’ High School, Ripon Grammar School, Fulford School in York and Ryedale School near Helmsley.

    In nearby Harrogate, there is also St John Fisher Catholic High School and St Aidan’s Church of England High School, a mixed Church of England secondary school and sixth form with academy status.

    Sutton-On-The-Forest near York.

    Transport in York

    York is a very accessible city. The A1 and the M1 connects York with London and Edinburgh.

    The city has direct trains to Edinburgh, London and Manchester. The journey time is two hours to London, and two and a half hours to Edinburgh. York train station also has links to all major cities across the country, including Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.

    The closest airport is Leeds Bradford Airport, which is a 50-minute drive from York. There are also national and international flights at Doncaster Robin Hood Airport, Humberside Airport in North Lincolnshire and Manchester Airport. There is the port in Hull too, which has connections with Holland and Belgium.

    York itself is nicely compact and easy to explore on foot. It is possible to walk through the heart of the city in 20 minutes. There are six Park & Ride sites to reach the city.

    iTravel York, operated by the local council, provides travel and transport information on York.

    There are also a number of bus services for sightseeing in the local area. Yorkshire Coastliner offers connections with Leeds as well as the popular resorts of Whitby, Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington on the east coast. Transdev York operates a network of local services between the city centre and the north, west and south of the city, while York CitySightseeing are ideal open-top buses for visitors.

    Wigginton Road in York.

    Things to do in York

    York is a charming city in which to spend time. Ancient buildings sit on quaint streets inside the thirteenth century city walls. Explore the Snickelways of York, a maze of small streets and alleyways. And look out for the Shambles, a narrow cobbled street that was once home to 26 butchers. Today it is one of the most picture-perfect streets in the country.

    York certainly has its fair share of historical attractions. At the heart of the city is York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe and certainly one of the most beautiful.

    Clifford's Tower is also in the city centre. It was first built by William the Conqueror but it was burned down twice before being rebuilt by Henry III in the thirteenth century. It offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.

    There is a myriad of restaurants, cafés and pubs in York. There is a lively café culture, and pubs line the River Ouse. The York Theatre Royal, which dates back to 1744, has a good range of events and shows.

    York has its fair share of museums too. The award-winning National Railway Museum, York’s only national museum, is a good family day out.

    There is also the Jorvik Viking Centre, which stands on the site where the York Archaeological Trust found the amazingly well-preserved remains of Viking Jorvik. The museum includes exhibitions - and even the chance to meet a viking. 

    Meanwhile, York Castle Museum showcases hundreds of years of York’s history, and the Yorkshire Museum is home to high profile archaeological and geological finds in Europe.

    Other top city attractions include York Dungeon and York's Chocolate Story, which reveals the history of chocolate in York.

    Penleys Grove Street in York.

    There is plenty to see and do in market towns and picturesque villages around North Yorkshire. They include Harrogate and Northallerton, which boast striking architecture, historic and cultural attractions and a good food scene.

    There are stately homes, castles, abbeys as well as the great cathedrals of York and Ripon in Yorkshire for those interested in historical attractions. Castle Howard in the rolling Howardian Hills is one of the most spectacular stately homes. Many of the top estates in the region are still in the hands of county families.

    The region is a magnet for those who enjoy the Great Outdoors. North York Moors is a picturesque landscape of purple heather moorland. There is also the Yorkshire Dales, where hiking, cycling, riding and other sports are enjoyed. The region offers some of the best country sports.

    The Great Yorkshire Show, held every July, and meets at York Races are highlights of the social and sporting calendar. The agricultural show stages livestock, machinery and a food festival.

    North Yorkshire’s beautiful coastline is a highlight for many too. It is dotted with old fishing ports and seaside resorts, including Whitby, Scarborough and Filey. Sandsend is an emerging property hotspot among second-home owners.

    Weather in York

    Summers tend to be warm and winters mild in York. Temperatures typically reach their lowest in January. The city is located in the Pennines’ rain shadow so it receives less rainfall than other areas to the west.

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