In a Nutshell
An ancient city with Roman walls, Viking remains and oodles of historic lanes and sights to explore. A city we frequently return to for its character and dog friendliness.
Parking and Pooping
The City of York lies in North Yorkshire, approximately 30 mins drive east from the M1/A1M. This is a very popular tourist spot, so expect it to be busy the whole year round, but it is worth the effort to visit. York is served by a number of park and ride operations dotted around the ring-road formed by the A64 and the A1237. Parking in the centre is expensive (approx £13 for a 5 hour stay) and they fill up quickly. Most of the centre car parks are arranged just outside the city walls, meaning a fairly short walk in to the main areas. Our preferred car park is the Monks Bar car park on St John's Street, which is a little tucked away off the inner ring-road and less easily found by the tourist traffic. It has the benefit of grassed areas as you walk into the city. Other options include St George's Field by the river or Castle if you want to be close to the Shambles area.
Once in the city, grass areas are a little sparse. There are some grassy areas around the castle and the minster, although the minster grounds themselves are not open to dogs. The museum park on the west side of the centre is good for a doggy toilet break and stroll along Dame Judi Dench Walk!
Once inside the walls, you will quickly find yourself in largely pedestrianised lanes that cover the majority of the historic centre. The city is quite walkable and you can easily take in the key areas such as the atmospheric The Shambles, the market area, York Minster and the main walking streets of Low Petergate, Stonegate etc.
Be prepared for cobbled streets and lots of people. The walking is generally fairly easy with the roads closed off to traffic, but some of the older lanes are quite narrow and get busy with the tourist crowds at times.
Keeping the Humans Amused
There is so much to see and do in the city that some planning is probably best beforehand. The old town lanes are wonderful to just browse and take in the history and charm of the city. It's an especially atmospheric place to do your Xmas shopping - it has an Dickensian 'A Christmas Carol' feel, with an excellent Xmas market. There are the tourist attractions of the JORVIK Viking Centre and the York Dungeon (neither dog friendly unfortunately). Numerous river cruises are available, which do accept dogs. We often visit the Antiques Centre on Stonegate, which is dog friendly, and there is the daily Shambles Market with its own outdoor food court.
York has a good smattering of the usual dog friendly café brands - Café Nero, 200 Degrees Coffee and Starbucks can all be found around the centre. A more local option is Lucky Days café, who have several sites in the centre. They tend to be very popular and little tight on space, but are dog friendly.
For a little more atmosphere, try any one of the numerous traditional pubs that are tucked away down alleyways and on the street corners. There are too many to mention here, but we enjoyed a meal at the Ye Olde Starre Inne on our last visit. Check below for a list of places we have noted as dog friendly. You won't have to go far to find a place to eat that's for sure.
Tried & Tested
200 Degrees Coffee (Low Petergate) - quite deep and spacious, no restrictions on seating as far as we could see.
Café Nero (Kings Square & Coppergate) - the usual Nero offer, dog welcoming in all areas.
Browns Café (Davygate) - unusually for a department store, the café is dog friendly with a separate entrance off St Sampson's Square.
Ye Olde Starre Inn (40 Stonegate) - a true piece of York history, now run by Greene King, enjoy a meal and a pint in the timber-beamed rooms.
Listed Dog Friendly
Bills (Coney St) - European menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner; dog welcoming.
Ambiente Tapas (Goodramgate) - Casual tapas dining in a relaxed atmosphere
Lucky Days (Church St, Low Petergate, Parliament St) - traditional café with menus for day parts
Last Visit: January 2023