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I realize the guidelines of travel.stackexchange.com forbid specific recommendations of places to stay. Luckily that's not what I'm asking for!

One can stay within York, UK itself, but I'm told another option is to stay just outside of York in certain villages and take the bus in. This has several advantages (1) the rates for hotels and B&Bs are way lower, (2) you don't have to deal with driving/parking in York, (3) many prefer the small-town atmosphere as opposed to being in a noisy city at night.

I'm a little shaky on what these villages are, and how one takes the bus into York (where does one park the car, which buses and what are the schedules etc.). Can someone with experience tell me how to get started on researching this? We are a family of 5 and looking to either get a B&B OR just rent a house. We are certainly not opposed to taking a bus each day in and out of the city and in fact, might prefer to stay in a small village.

Please let me know if I can provide more relevant details or need to edit the question.

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I live in York itself, but that doesn't mean I don't understand some of the options for visiting the place. My own house is unsuitable for putting up friends or family, and so we're always going "half-tourist" when they want to come and stay.

I'd say the first consideration is what mix of activities you want to undertake on your holiday. If they're all, or are predominantly, based around the city centre (guided tours, walking the walls, museums, galleries) then I would strongly recommend looking close to the centre. This need not be within the walls themselves (I can think of only a few hotels that are) but there are a number of hotels or guest houses within short walking distance of the centre and most will offer some level of parking. If you want to be in the centre most days, just take it easy and cut out the hour or so of driving/bus travelling1.

If your plans are more wide ranging, with visits to locations outside of York's outer ring road (say, visits to Scarborough or other coastal locations, trips to the moors or to Ripon) then I'd recommend looking for villages outside the outer ring-road but close to it. (For instance, my parents once rented a cottage in Stockton-on-the-Forest and I actually moved out of my house and went to stay with them for that week).

Here I'd draw your attention to York's outer ring-road. The South and East sides are provided by the A64 dual carriageway. The North and West are provided by the A1237 which is single carriageway. A lot of more recent housing developments have been happening on the West side of York and it's generally acknowledged that the A1237 should be dualled2 at some point in time but isn't currently. The West side can also become clogged if there are certain events leading to (partial) closures of the A1(M) (of course, we cannot predict whether these would happen during your stay)

That means I would focus me attentions towards the South and East, unless you're planning a lot of excursions to the West. You might consider being on the North side if you plan multiple excursions into the moors.

If you're staying towards the South or East, then at least 3 (4 if you count Monk's Cross) of the Park & Rides are easily accessed from the A64 and which one you choose to use will not make a great deal of difference. I would note that when I did this with my parents, the cost of 3 adult tickets for the Park & Ride was actually slightly more than we would have paid for city centre parking. This was some time ago and the situation may have improved. Also bear in mind that they do offer family tickets and those should be more economical if you qualify.


1Also, if you do end up walking a lot around the centre and have small children or people prone to getting tired, don't underestimate the value of being able to pop back to the hotel/guest house and have an hour's quiet nap.

2Upgrades to York's outer ring road:

Dualling of the York Outer Ring Road is something we hope to carry out in the future, however we don't have the level of funding to do this at this time.

...

This scheme is a “stepping stone” to future dualling of the YORR ...

  • Thank you very much Damien I could pick your brains for 8 hours on Yorkshire! My mom was from Beverley and my dad from York, so current plan is to stay in or near York for 3/4 nights and make day trips to Beverley, Yorkshire Moors, knaresborough , castle howard, other places and of course York centre. It was my dad who suggested a village outside of York as he was under the impression there is some sort of shuttle service into city centre, BUT his information is largely 40+ years old! He also thought York itself would be expensive. Incidentally, he suggested Craike,Thirsk and Easingwold. – Dave Jul 16 '18 at 14:17
  • Our youngest is 10 and can walk a long distance. For others, Park & Ride free for 16 and younger with paying adult. I'll research Stockton-on-the-Forest and your other ideas. Thanks! – Dave Jul 16 '18 at 14:20
  • What does "being dualed" mean? (And why does it have two "l"s?) – davidbak Jul 16 '18 at 17:31
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    @davidbak - it means converting a standard single carriageway road into a dual carriageway. It is a clumsy shorthand though because all dual carriageway means is that the traffic in opposite directions is separated by a physical barrier. In practice, though, most dual carriageways also offer two lanes in each direction and that's what needs to happen on the A1237. It's often being used beyond its capacity of just a single lane in each direction. – Damien_The_Unbeliever Jul 16 '18 at 17:46
  • @davidbak - I've also updated my answer with a current quote from York City Council where they use the same terminology in the same clumsy shorthand. – Damien_The_Unbeliever Jul 16 '18 at 17:51
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Here is how I'd start researching this, i'd have a list of requirements, higher up that last are things that are more important and easiest to research. For me i'd place on a bus route at the top of the list, the plan of staying in a nearby village and getting the bus won't work without a bus. If you Google "York bus map" you'll quickly find this pdf showing all the bus routes in York. As you can see the map is fairly zoomed in, showing the city centre and suburbs. However, many of the routes going of the edge say "to x". An additional thing to note on the key is that the routes with colour have a higher frequency, so I would go around the map and list out the "x" place with a coloured route map.

Another think that will slowly start to happen is you'll find some sites that you like. In addition to getting the bus in you could also consider getting the train into York, but where are some nearby stations? openrailway shows some nearby options.

Now probably the next item on your list, somewhere to park the car. In the outer-ling villages you are much more likely to find somewhere which offers carparking then if you get a room in a hotel in the centre of York. Your best bet is realy just google, but over time you'll likely find some sites that you like and may choose to visit directly, for example AirBnB is very popular for full property rentals, otherwise Googling B&B in x is still a great tool, especially for finding smaller and more local options.

You'll probably have other requirements to consider as well so I would keep going down the list, if once I've finished by list I and still have a number of possible options left I have a second things of items which are nice to have and I look for, but would go without if needed and are not deal breakers until there is only one left. I I can't find any accommodation that meets all of my essential criteria then I either have to decide to look into other locations and consider going to the original place in a few years or whether there is some of my essential criteria I can manage without for a short term if thats going to make the difference between a trip and no trip.

Another thing is practice, I plan and research far more trips then I can ever reasonably hope to go on, why not try your hand at Googling for some of the questions asked here and seeing if you can find the answer. It will help you answer your own questions more quickly and easily when you have them. Sometimes you might need to use some of Googles more complicated syntax (list). The "-" notation can be useful if i'm reaching a place with the same name as a larger place in another country. The AND/OR commands and quotes can also be useful to mix queries, for example "B&B in y "carpark"".

  • The OP will need to refine his search of bus routes later to researching timetables as well, some bus routes are frequent and others run buses at intervals. There are villages near me in another part of the UK that get buses at 2 hourly intervals, some get no service at weekends etc. – Sarriesfan Jul 16 '18 at 5:09
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Some nearby villages with accommodation are on a railway route to York, such as Church Fenton.

Otherwise if you have a car you can drive from a village to a Park & Ride site, and then take a bus into York. The Park & Ride buses run frequently and their operating hours and locations are easy to google.

They are well signposted from the roads into York.

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    Thank you Weather Vane. I did come across "Park & Ride" and perhaps I should edit my question to reflect this. Perhaps my question should have been, "Can you recommend villages outside of York that are nice and lend themselves to easily driving to the "Park & Ride". I will Google the Park & Ride system in York. – Dave Jul 16 '18 at 2:43
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Consider staying in one of the towns near a railway station (e.g., along the Harrogate line).

The York railway station is adjacent to the National Railway Museum, and is itself a listed building. It's an easy walk to the centre and you will pass many sights along the way, including the York Minster, the city walls.

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I'm suggesting this as an outside possibility for potential consideration, because of proximity to rail & trunk roads.

Rather than stay in a small village near York itself from where you'd have to commute the ever-popular York Ring Road to get to a Park & Ride, or even try driving into the parking-limited centre, you could actually stay on the outskirts of Leeds [or even the centre, but central Leeds is not car-friendly].

For instance, Cross Gates train station is 30 mins from the centre of York. Leeds central to York is about the same, because many of the trains don't stop at all the little stations on the way.

Cross Gates station is a 5 minute walk from the nearest Premier Inn - that of course is going to depend on whether you consider a 'business hotel' suitable, but it's one I've stayed at a lot because it's near where I grew up, so I use it when I visit, even though I've lived in London 25 years. The 'annexed pub' is my old local. Hotel parking is free, as is most of the surrounding area.
The area is quite suburban, reasonably quiet even allowing for the relatively busy Selby Road/Ring Road quite close by.
York is maybe 30 mins or so by car from there, as the A64 is minutes away from that hotel.

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