One of the UK's most historic cities, York is a great weekend destination for couples. Simply wandering along the narrow cobbled paths seems romantic enough, but you can also enjoy sunset cruises down the River Ouse, visit medieval sites of great beauty, play games, take on Escape Room challenges or just hole up in a spa for the day. Here's our pick of some of the top things to do in York for couples.


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Sip sundowners on the Ouse

The River Ouse winds through York before emptying into the Humber Estuary. Board an evening cruise for sunset scenes, passing the modern Millennium Bridge and the historic Clifford's Tower, which was originally constructed in 1068. Get a drink from the onboard bar and take in the sights while listening to the onboard commentary that relays stories of York through the ages.

Book it: An early evening cruise along the Ouse

Take in a show at the Grand Opera House

If you're after for an evening of entertainment, look no further than the charming Grade II-listed Grand House Opera, which hosts regular comedy shows, live music and musicals. With capacity for a little under 1,000, the theatre has a lively vibe while still feeling intimate. Check out what's on when you're in town and book a couple of tickets for a fun evening out.

Meet other couples at a supper club

If you're a social couple, consider a night at York's 'first dining club', Sara @ St. John's. Run by 2011 MasterChef finalist Sara Danesin, this relaxed supper club is held in her Victorian townhouse two or three times a month. The four-course menu might include ravioli stuffed with partridge, roasted venison and a perfect chocolate fondant. It's a great way to meet people while enjoying excellent food.


Relax in the Museum Gardens

In the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey, the Museum Gardens is a scenic spot for relaxing after a busy day in York. Set on the banks of the River Ouse, there's free entry to the gardens and they're open every day. Take a leisurely stroll à deux around the gardens, which is home to 40 bird species and a variety of flowers, trees and shrubs. Also on site is the Yorkshire Museum, which opened in 1830. It houses a collection of the county's dinosaur fossils, rock specimens and extinct plants and animals.

Test your teamwork at an Escape Room

Fancy yourselves perfect partners? Put it to the test at GR8escape York, where you'll be locked in a room together until you've solved puzzles and broken codes (which will eventually reopen the door). Each of the three rooms has a story: completing spy school, working on a stolen diamond mystery and restarting a spaceship.

Kiss under the Heart of Yorkshire Window

The 7th-century York Minster is one of the world's largest Gothic cathedrals and a must-see when in York. But for superstitious couples, there's even more reason to visit - when pairs kiss underneath the Heart of Yorkshire Window, it's said they will stay together forever. Myths aside, the Great West Window is a stunning sight, with its columns of stained glass topped off by heart-shaped stonework.


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Share tasty local chocolate

Sweet-toothed couples can get their sugar fix at the Chocolate Story, where you can watch chocolate being made and learn about its history - from where cocoa is grown to York's own chocolatier families. The interactive experience means you can taste various samples and make your own chocolate goodies to take away. And yes, you can stock up on chocolate in the store too.


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Indulge in a spa day

If you've come to York for some quality couple time, consider a very welcome spa experience. Set in a 17th-century country house, Middlethorpe Hall & Spa is just five minutes from York Minster, so easily accessible from the city. Meanwhile, The Grand Hotel & Spa, located in the Edwardian former headquarters of the North Eastern Railway in the city centre, is another top choice. Its spa is in the old vaults, where you can book a massage or unwind in the steam room, sauna or whirlpool.

Where to stay: Book a hotel in York

Stroll through Rowntree Park

Enjoy a romantic walk through Rowntree Park. Follow the path along the lake, where you might spot ducklings, or take a wander through the woods. The park - the city's first municipal park, dedicated to soldiers killed in World War One by philanthropist Joseph Rowntree - is 30 acres large and had a £1.8 million refurbishment in 2003. Active couples can challenge each other to a tennis match on one of its six courts.