Pick up your hire car in York and you'll see why the Romans and the Vikings stayed for so long.
"We're the capital of the north of England and we're packing over 2,000 years of history to prove it! You can't argue with the Romans and the Vikings, after all."
Spiritual capital of the north it may be but a mini London it isn't. The charming, ancient York is more fun summer nights than big city lights - a fact that's definitely in its favour.
Having seen so many changes over the centuries it's no surprise York feels historic. Stepping into one of the topsy-turvy pubs is like entering another world. Or maybe that's the beer?
The buildings may be old but the residents certainly aren't. York is a thriving university town with hoards of students.
This is not just Britain, this is northern Britain so it's going to be cold. Think furry Viking rather than toga-clad Roman when planning your wardrobe.
There's more to Yorkshire than a battered pudding, though you'll find plenty of tasty specimens on your Sunday roast. For a more underrated regional treat tuck in to some tasty York ham.
The infamous Guy Fawkes was born in the city, as was the more salubrious Dame Judi Dench.
Constantine was declared the Emperor of Rome a long way from home, in York in 306AD.
"Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this sun of York." - William Shakespeare, King Richard III
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The imposing minster at the heart of the city is the second largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe. Steeped in architectural and religious significance it's worth a visit whatever your spiritual persuasion.
Try the car park in Haxby Road. It costs Å
Boasting the biggest collection of railway locomotives in the world, the National Railway Museum is home to both the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman - enough to make train spotters of everyone.
There is a visitors' car park by the museum on Leeman Road that charges Å
Recreating more than 2,000 years of gruesome history, York Dungeon conjures up all the grizzly horrors of British life... and death.
You can either park at the Castle car park on Tower Street, or the Castle Mills car park on Piccadilly, both of which are nearby.
An excavation in the 1970s uncovered ancient remains from the Viking city of Jorvik. The reconstructed settlement is complete with authentic Viking poo.
You can either use the Clifford's Tower car park, which is two minutes away, or the Castle car park on Tower Street, which is five minutes away.
With more than a million plants spread over an area 15 times bigger than Wembley you'll be hard pushed to find a better way of losing yourself than a trip to York Maze.
There's free on-site parking at the maze.
Don't let the title fool you, there's more to this park than tottering pink birds. Spread over 375 acres of Yorkshire parkland, Flamingo Land boasts a theme park, zoo and holiday village.
Take the A64 north out of the city and you'll cover the 25 miles or so in about 45 minutes.
If you're looking for rolling hills and lush green meadows then you've come to the right place. Known locally as God's country, drive a short distance from York and you'll soon see why.
The A59 will take you all the way to the Yorkshire Dales in about an hour and a half.
The pretty village of Saltaire is built around a Victorian textile mill. The structure may be imposing but inside lays an inspirational arts centre funded by talented local lad, artist David Hockney.
Drive south-west out of York on the A64 and you'll get to Saltaire in just over an hour.
It may be synonymous with steel but there's more to this city than knives and forks. Award-winning art galleries, parks and winter gardens make Sheffield well worth the one hour drive.
Head south on first the A64 and then the M1 and you'll reach Sheffield in about an hour and a quarter.
" Being a small city, car parking is scarce. Many areas are set aside for are residents and the keen traffic wardens work seven days a week. But don't worry - outside of the city you can park for free or at a small fee and take the regular shuttle bus into the centre for around Â£2. Most of the city's sites are within walking distance from there and I'd really recommend a walk along the ancient walls or the river banks. "