Tips for York mini-bus and coach tourism

Useful tips for York bus groups with ‘what to see’ and ‘what to do’ items and  ‘bus- friendly’ or must see tourist sites in York. Check our list of attractions before planning your bus tour with a stop or departure in York. Let us know if your favourite attraction or ‘bus-stop’ is not there and you think we should add it to our list of York highlights.

Tours in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is the biggest county of England and is comprised of unspoiled nature, historic cities, and charming villages. The area teems with history and is one of Europe"s finest destinations. Yorkshire was voted European destination of the year 2013 at the World Tourism Awards. Explore 200 year old markets where locals sell everything from cheap electronics to second hand wooly jumpers. Get out into the North Yorkshire moors, a stunning landscape of rolling hills and sheep. Or walk through the cobblestone alleys of York, a city with almost 2000 years of history.

Quaint and traditional, North Yorkshire has a lot to offer groups and individual tourists. On its eastern side tiny fishing villages line the North Sea, each competing to have the best fish and chip shop in the country. Throughout the county you"ll find tiny villages where men wear flat caps and women push around tartan shopping trolleys. And while it"s a large county, you can easily combine a trip to North Yorkshire with a trip to the other Yorkshire regions, like the vibrant cities of Leeds and Sheffield.


York credit: Roland Turner CC BY-SA 2.0

Travel by plane

There are no airports in North Yorkshire, but it is accessible via other airports close to the area. The nearest big airports are: Durham Tees Valley (MME) in county Durham, Newcastle airport (NCE) and Leeds Bradford International airport (LBA) in West Yorkshire. From any of these airports you can reach the main destination in North Yorkshire, York, with a one hour transfer.

You may also consider landing at Manchester Airport, which is much larger and has flights arriving from far more destinations in Europe. From Manchester Airport to the city of York is 75 miles (120 km), from Durham Tees Valley Airport to York is 47 miles (80 km) and from Leeds Bradford to York it is about 30 miles (50 km).

An image of Newcastle Airport arrivals from inside.

An image of Newcastle Airport arrivals from inside. credit: Ryanicus Girraficus CC BY-SA 4.0

By road

The main highway through North Yorkshire is the A1. This road runs from the north to the south of the UK and connects the main destinations in North Yorkshire. However, for the smaller villages and destinations in the county you will need to travel by some quite local roads. Be careful in winter. The UK can"t handle snow and if a tiny bit falls then the whole road network closes down. It"s great for locals as everyone makes excuses to not go to work, but not great if you"re on holiday.

North Yorkshire"s roads are rural and quiet so you shouldn"t worry about getting caught in rush hour traffic. Your main worries are the occasional sheep that runs across the road, or getting stuck behind a tractor on a single lane road. When speaking to a farmer try and perfect your local Yorkshire accent as they"re notorious for ignoring anyone who can"t speak in the same dialect as them.

Golf tourism

North Yorkshire is a very good place for your golf holiday as there are many golf clubs, golf resorts, and golf hotels in this area. Famous golf clubs are the Ganton Golf Club, which has a good name outside England and is where professionals play during the Curtis Cup and the Ryder Cup. Another club where a lot of European tournaments are held is the Fulford Golf Club. Other clubs in North Yorkshire are: York Golf Club, Harrogate Golf Club and Rudding Park Golf Course. Steels Meadowland Course is an easier course which is suited for all levels.

Business tourism

North Yorkshire has a number of great locations for conferences. Pavillions of Harrogate is one of them and is a resort specially built for conferences. This location has a variety different meeting rooms, experienced and friendly staff, locally made food, free WI-FI and free parking spaces.

Another place, where you could organize your conferences, is the Priory Street Centre. It has six different meeting rooms and is centrally located in York, which makes it easy to access by car or walking distance from the train station. Being in the centre of York city means your group can then get out and enjoy the city"s sights, and get lost down the many cobblestone alleyways that York is famous for.

Knaresborough, viaduct

Knaresborough, viaduct credit: TJBlackwell CC BY-SA 3.0

Places to see and visit in North Yorkshire

Exploring castle ruins, reliving the region"s history, or getting out into nature, North Yorkshire has something for everyone. It"s even got lots of traditional locals who walk around in terrible wooly jumpers and funny flat caps. There is also a lot of accommodation choice and you could be in a city hotel or a quiet bed and breakfast in the countryside. Here are some suggestions for your trip.

The Garden of England

In total, around 40% of the North Yorkshire area is designated as national parks. The most spectacular of these are Yorkshire Dales National Park, Vale of York and North York Moors. This is iconic English scenery, with rolling hills, cute stone walls, lots of sheep, and then lots more sheep. Beside these national parks, North Yorkshire also has a beautiful coast line with magnificent cliffs and small local fishing villages. Therefore, it is not strange that North Yorkshire is also known as the greenest county of England and often called ‘the garden of England’. Some of the coastal walks cut past Roman ruins and take you along stark cliffs that are slowly eroding into the sea. It will be cold, so wrap up warm and do as the locals do by bringing a large flask of tea. However, North Yorkshire does not only consist of nature, it also has some beautiful historical cities.

Summertime in The Valley Gardens,Harrogate,North Yorkshire,Harrogate,England

Summertime in The Valley Gardens,Harrogate,North Yorkshire,Harrogate,England. credit: Steve Gill CC BY 2.0


This romantic city is known for its spectacular architecture, colorful street artists and performers, and of course the Gothic Cathedral, York Minster. This cathedral was built in 1472 and is the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. York is one of the UK"s most visited destinations after London, and it offers a mix of tradition, ancient buildings, and a charming atmosphere. Head down narrow streets and discover 200 year old pubs, walk along the 1000 year old city walls, and soak up the ambience of a city centre that remains unchanged for centuries.

However, would you like to go a bit deeper into the history? Then you should visit the ‘Jorvik Viking Centre’. You can find a 1000 year old village here, which archeologists discovered thirty years ago. Another important sight in York is the ‘National Railway Museum’, the largest railway museum in the world and one that celebrates how this region was home to some of the first railways in the world.


Harrogate is an elegant city with magnificent gardens, parks, luxurious spas and theaters. One of these beautiful gardens is the RHS Garden Harlow Carr a 58 hectare garden, where you can make nice walks. This relaxed place is great for a day trip and provides a very typical image of old England. Make sure you stop at Betty"s Tea Rooms; this traditional cafe has been around for over 100 years and serves up pots of tea with scones.

Slug & Lettuce, Harrogate, England

Slug & Lettuce, Harrogate, England credit: Daniel/Dan Eidsmoe CC BY 2.0

The Coastline

Scarborough is good if you are looking for a holiday on the coast. This city has many things to offer; you could enjoy the nice view on the two bays from an historical castle, visit Scarborough Sea Life Centre, or head out to the secluded North Bay Beach. Brash and loud, Scarborough city centre was the main tourist destination in the UK...during the 1950s. Families would come and place their multi coloured deck chairs on the beach and sit there all day with their coats on. People still do this, which is always an amusing sight. Scarborough centre is full of arcade machines where you can gamble away 2 pence pieces and go crazy from all the flashing lights and whirling sounds.

For a far quieter and charming place along the coast visit Robin Hood"s Bay or Whitby. These stunning fishing villages are perfect for a taste of ancient England and for a real traditional experience buy some fish and chips and eat them with your hands as you walk along the pebbled beach.


Scarborough credit: Mike Dobson CC BY-ND 2.0

Flamingo land theme park

Flamingo land is the most visited zoo of England but it also has a big attraction park with the world"s steepest roller coaster. It"s loud and full of things to do but if you don"t have children you might get annoyed by the number of screaming kids that run around Flamingo Land.

Transport from and to the airport

The airport Durham Tees Valley Airport (MME) is 75 km away from York. Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBA) is 50 km away and Manchester Airport (MAN) is 120 km. Unfortunately North Yorkshire doesn"t have its own airport, but with a pre booked airport transfer you can be in York within an hour of landing.

Arrow Cars is a company that drives from Manchester Airport to York. Fleetways Taxis is a York based company that specialises in airport transfers and the area, and 1AB Taxis, on Garden street in Darlington, drives from Durham Tees Valley Airport to York. The advantage of Manchester Airport is that there are direct train services from the airport to York. The other airports are not well connected by public transport which limits your options. Whichever airport you land in you"ll get an immediate opportunity to eat the local speciality – pies. These savoury mixtures of pastry and meat have been keeping the region going for centuries, and they are one of the reasons everyone in the north of England is so overweight. Pick one up for around £1.

Terminal 1 complex at Manchester airport, Manchester, UK

Terminal 1 complex at Manchester airport, Manchester, UK credit: lucidtech CC BY 2.0

Tours through York

With City Sightseeing York you can drive past the main attractions of the city in a red bus. This is a handy introduction for people who have never been to York before. This tour starts at the Exhibition Square, which is close to the Minster cathedral and passes through several museums and shopping alleys. However, if you"re a group why not hire your own coach to do this tour. This means you can personalise your itinerary and take time to stop at the attractions that most excite your group.

Walking tour through the city

York has a lot of beautiful architecture and interesting history to see. Furthermore the city has a lot of cosy artistic shopping streets. These cobblestone streets are easy and fun to explore by foot and on every corner you"ll find something quaint to take a photograph of. Make sure you stop in one of the many cafes and order high tea. That"s not a very long cup of tea, but the name given to the traditional afternoon snack of tea and scones. Organized walking tours are hosted by Britain Express who also offer exciting tours like ‘the ghost hunt’. Furthermore there are cycle tours offered by Scoot Cycling Holidays and York 360°.

York Newgate Market

York Newgate Market credit: Keith Laverack CC BY-ND 2.0

Places to see and visit in York

York is a charming city and is best explored slowly. Walk down cobblestone alleyways, discover ancient ruins, and marvel at medieval architecture. On every corner you"ll find something new to admire, and throughout York there is an elegant and cosy atmosphere that has been wowing visitors for centuries. The stand out attractions are the Gothic Cathedral and the well maintained city walls, but with enough time you will find your own delights in what is one of the UK"s most visited tourist destinations.

York Minster, Cathedral

|York Minster, Cathedral credit: Jack Torcello CC BY-SA 2.0


After a day of culture it"s time for an introduction to York"s nightlife.  There are lovely bistros where you can eat local meals, like Stonegate Yard and Masons Bars & Bistro, both in the centre of York. When in York it"s essential you try a Yorkshire pudding. This isn"t the name given to overweight locals; it"s a baked pancake dish in the shape of a bowl. Locals say that you can only learn the secret of how to cook it once you become a mother.

One of York"s most charming experiences is the many traditional pubs in the city centre. Many have the same interiors from the 19th century and specialise in hand pulled ales. These ales can be very bitter and have spectacular names that suggest what may happen if you drink them. Like the Flying Dragon, Black out Lager, and the Honey Badger. You can enjoy several plays in the York Theatre Royal on St. Leonards. Or for nightclubs try Kuda which has won several prizes. In the centre of York there is another nightclub called The Gallery, which is the biggest nightclub of York. When the weather is good, the Riverside bars are very popular to go to. Which isn"t very often, but hey, what do you expect in northern England.

Yorkshire Terrier in Heworth, York

Yorkshire Terrier in Heworth, York credit: Matthew Black CC BY-SA 2.0

What to see during your tour in York with a rented coach with driver?

Are you looking for a coach rental company in the city of York? On our website it is very easy to get a competitive bespoke quote from several different rental companies. You can receive, compare and confirm quotes very easily and you won’t have to make a single phone call. It is very easy so you will quickly find the best coach to hire, with the best driver and for the best price!

On this page you will find an overview of all active coach companies in York. If you see a coach company for your tour, daytrip or bus trip, then it is possible to directly request a quote.

When making a group tour through York make sure you don’t miss the following places:

National Railway Museum

This museum on Leeman Roadin in York shows over 300 years of rail history.  The invention of the train and the railway was led in this region and this museum shows the development of the industry. There are locomotives and carriages to explore, but also work of artists that have been inspired by trains. The museum has its own coach park.

B-UK-F-LUX 2012 262 York - National Railway Museum

B-UK-F-LUX 2012 262 York - National Railway Museum credit: Klaus Nahr CC BY-SA 2.0

York Minster Cathedral

Northern Europe"s largest Gothic Cathedral, this 15th century monument is the city"s biggest attraction. Marvel at the elegant interiors, admire the sheer scale of the building from the outside, and step inside the home of the Archbishop of York. It took over 100 years to complete this cathedral and it takes visitors a few hours to fully appreciate its beauty. Locals are justifiably proud of this monument and it should not be missed on your itinerary.

York City Centre

The centre of York remains unchanged for centuries. The cute cobblestone streets are perfect for slowly exploring and you"ll discover many hidden doorways and pubs. Your coach driver can drop you at the edge of the pedestrianised area and either pick you up in the same place, or pick you up on the other side of the centre. There"s a gentle charm and elegance to this area so make sure you allow enough time to appreciate its beauty.

York has retained the original city walls from when it was the second most important city in England. You can walk along these city walls and with a coach your driver can take you out to the most spectacular sections.

York’s Wild Kingdom

This amusement park and zoo is situated by York Beach, Maine. To preserve the ecology they have 25 hectare of protected ground, 75 animal shelters, and a huge butterfly shelter. To keep people entertained all day they have 18 attractions, 5 food and ice-cream stands and 2 gift shops. There are a lot of different species from all over the world and while it might be strange to find tropical birds in the north of England it makes for some interesting photos.

Clifford’s Tower

This historical tower is located on Tower Street in York and was a symbol of power for the medieval kings. It was constructed under orders from William the Conqueror to withstand the rebels coming from Scotland and the north. The building was burned down twice and rebuilt in the 13th century by King Henry III. The tower is named after the man who was hung there because he protested against his King, a crime of high treason 10 centuries ago. His name was Roger Clifford.


The best shopping in York is down the narrow alleys where you"ll find many boutique and antique shops. The charm of these shops is not just in the shopping but in the cute 19th century buildings that the shops are housed in. Many are still in the same families after over 100 years so if you want some real life stories about York history then ask questions to these locals.

York Stonegate shop

York Stonegate shop credit: Roy CC BY 2.0

North Yorkshire

From York you are in an ideal place to explore the nature and culture of North Yorkshire. Take a day trip to the charming old towns of Harrogate or Skipton, where life continues as it has for centuries. Expect cute bridges, old castles, and pensioners walking around with flat caps and tartan shopping trolleys. Or head to the coast and the 18th century fishing villages of Robin Hood"s Bay and Whitby. Finally, get out in nature in one of the many national parks. Here you"ll find the quintessentially English scenery of rolling hills, sheep, and quaint stone walls.

Good food in York

York has a lot to offer for food. In the centre of York on St. Helen’s Square you can find one of Betty"s tea rooms. Try the typical English high tea and the accompanying sweets, scones, and assorted pastries. The food isn’t the only British thing about this tea room. It has a British ambiance as well. 

For good quality pub food you should definitely go to Bay Horse Marygate at Marygate in York. Feel the warm ambience of a cosy pub, but also get high quality healthy food. If you would really like to eat the traditional fish and chips you should go to Drakes Fish And Chips Restaurant at Low Petergate in York.

Regal Cup Cakes, in York

Regal Cup Cakes, in York credit: Dave Collier CC BY 2.0

More about York

Would you like to organize a bus tour to see all these beautiful highlights? Request quotes and compare the different bus and coach hire companies:

Bus tours in York
Coach hire in York