After a long and dreary winter, the first signs of spring in York bring visitors and locals into the streets to enjoy a range of exciting experiences. With longer sunny days and warm weather, you have no shortage of things to see and do in York. Take a look at what to do in spring in York to make the most of your trip.

Tour York Minster

York Minster is one of the city's greatest attractions. It's not only the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe, but it boasts a range of stunning architectural details, such as 15th-century stained-glass windows, a 13th-century Gothic window that forms a heart and the perpendicular Gothic central tower. During the tour, you can see the Undercroft below the cathedral with exhibits on the 2,000-year history of York, including a Roman barracks and an illuminated manuscript.

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Exterior of YorknMinster

Explore the York Moors

The warm weather and sunshine in spring is the ideal time to wander the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Moors. Far from the bustling energy of the city, the picturesque valleys and hills of the moors are the perfect place to get some quiet, contemplative time and relax on your holiday. During your hike, you'll pass charming villages, idyllic coastlines and an abundance of wildlife. The moors are easy to reach by self-driving or taking public transport for a short distance.

See the sights of Shambles

Home to the thriving butcher trade before the 20th century, Shambles is a beautifully preserved medieval shopping street. The half-timbered buildings and corbelled buildings date back to the 14th century, showing off shelves and meat hooks that were once used for butchers to present their products. Now, the street is home to quirky boutiques, tea shops, cafes and restaurants with all types of unique offerings. You can wander the shady streets and dip in and out of shops and restaurants to experience the haunting atmosphere.

Sample delectable confections

If you have a sweet tooth, the York Chocolate Festival is a must-attend event in spring. The event brings together the history, culture and tastes of the long-standing confectionery and chocolate industry in York. The festival stretches from Parliament Street to Shambles, lining the street with chocolatiers, artisan producers, chocolate tastings, petting zoos, chocolate-themed games and museum exhibits and more, so you can surround yourself with all things sweet.

Dates: April 9 to April 13

Walk the dramatic city walls

Since Roman times, York has been protected by dominant defence walls that surround the city. Dating back to the 12th and 14th centuries, the York Walls are mostly ruined, but you can walk the walls to take in aerial views of the city and prominent landmarks and historic sites like the Multangular Tower in Museum Gardens, which dates back to the rule of Constantine the Great. The walk takes a few hours, but there are gates and sections where you can enter and exit to experience smaller portions of the walls.

Find thrills with York Races

Spring in York is the start of race season and the thrills of the sporting event. The York Races are one of the biggest events in York in the spring, offering refreshments, partying, international music acts, excellent dining and more. You can purchase a ticket to a race and place bets on your favourite to win, or you could just enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment with fellow sports fans. To get in the spirit, don your fascinators and finest suits to attend the race and have fun with it.

Stroll St Mary's Abbey

Dating back to 1088, St Mary's Abbey once stood as the richest Benedictine abbey in the North of England. Located between Bootham and Ouse, the ruins of the abbey are found in the Yorkshire Museum Gardens. While much of the ruins have been removed over the years, a large portion of the nave wall and sections of the crossing remain. While you stroll along the ruins, you can see traces of the hospitum, West Gate, Abbot's House, a cloister and remnants of the protective walls.

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Ruins of St Mary'snAbbey

Tour the Clifford's Tower

Perched atop a grassy Norman motte, Clifford's Tower is the ruined keep and last remaining piece of York Castle. The site was once home to a wooden tower, but the current stone keep dates back to the 13th century. It was ruined by an explosion in 1684, but the site remains for visitors to learn more about its history and value to the city. You can hike to the tower and climb up the battlements to take in the panoramic views of the cityscape and the moors beyond.

Plan your York holiday

Whether you want to enjoy historic ruins in the sunshine or spend your time cheering with local sports fans, York in spring is a memorable experience. When you're planning your trip, take a look at things to do in York and explore York hotels to book your accommodation and save on your trip!