Our fantastic York school is celebrating its 20th birthday this year. Yes, that's 20 years of providing top quality English language lessons in York to students from all over the world. Our York English language school first opened its doors back in 1998 with just one student and now welcomes hundreds of students each week to this wonderful city. Students come to learn English here for all kinds of reasons - here are ten of the best...
1. Amazing location
Not sure where York is? Well it's in the North of England in the beautiful county of North Yorkshire. It's pretty much in the middle of the East Coast Main Line which means not only can you get to London in 2 hours, but you can also get to Edinburgh in just 2.5 hours! Oh, and Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds are right on your doorstep! So as a base for exploring the UK then York is practically perfect...that's if you actually find you want to leave because...
2. York is the City of Festivals
in 2018 there is going to be a different Festival every month. In fact some months are being greedy and have more! So whether you fancy fashion, music, history, culture or even soapbox racing there will be something here for you. And that's not to mention the pop up Shakespeare festival, the Great Yorkshire Fringe or the Viking festival (more on Vikings later on!) You can read all about York's festivals for 2018 in the York Visitor Guide.
3. It's also the city of chocolate!!!
While other cities made their fortunes from wool, cotton or steel, York did something much more sensible and built a city out of chocolate! Ok, it's not actually made from chocolate but York was the birthplace of some of the most iconic chocolates that the UK has ever seen...think Kit Kat, Smarties, Aero, Chocolate Orange, Terry's All Gold...the list goes on. Lots of chocolates are still produced here (over 6 million Kit Kats are made here every day) and in fact there are days when the city itself actually smells of chocolate - and not many places can say that! Our students love doing the York Chocolate Trail and sampling some of the sweet treats for themselves...yum!
4. There are more pubs than you can possibly visit
Ok so this might not be everyone's cup of Yorkshire tea but the legend has it that York has a different pub for every single day of the year. We don't recommend trying to do them all but if you are ever in the mood to sample a pint of Yorkshire bitter then you'll be spoilt for choice! The oldest is Ye Olde Starre Inne which dates back to 1644 and was even used in the English Civil War (York is full of history!) If you'd rather an actual cup of tea then head over to world famous Betty's Tea Rooms (only a 1 minute walk from our BSC York school - perfect for a quick break!)
5. If you're looking for history...you found it!
York was founded back in 71 AD although there were people in the area long before then. It took a little longer until we opened our English school there but in the interim York was an important centre for the Romans, the Anglo Saxons, the Vikings and all through the middle ages (and it's still one of the best cities around now)! As a result it has an incredibly rich history from its city walls to York Castle and from the Viking Centre through to spectacular York Minster. If history is your thing then York will blow your mind. A walk around the city walls is a must as it gives you the chance to explore the city (and its history) from above - unmissable!
6. It has the best street names
Getting round York can be a little confusing for the new arrival. In York a lot of streets are called Gates (from the Viking word 'gata' meaning street). So around the centre you have Jubbergate, Davygate, Swinegate and our favourite Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate to name but a few (this is the street where the city's whipping post and stocks used to be - out of action now thankfully!) However, the gates to the historic city aren't called gates, instead they are called bars (which most of the time in the UK is a place that serves alcohol). Fun times indeed!
7. It is very affordable
One thing our students find in York is that the cost of living is much cheaper than in some of the UK's big cities like London. So if you decide to head out for the night then you'll find it won't cost you much (perhaps you might get to visit a few of those 365 pubs after all!) The same goes for food, coffee and pretty much anything making it a good choice for anyone looking to learn on a budget.
8. The Shambles
If you've seen Harry Potter then you'll know Diagon Alley where young wizards can buy everything they need for their time at Hogwarts. Well if you're looking for a real life version of that street then The Shambles in York comes pretty close! The Shambles is a maze of twisting, turning lanes that is arguably the best preserved medieval street in the world. York really is full of quaint buildings and chocolate box charm...in fact there's nowhere else quite like it!
9. The great outdoors!
York is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the spectacular Yorkshire Dales National Park. Here you'll find outdoor activities galore with some of the best hiking, cycling and climbing that the UK has to offer. And although York is in the middle of the country you are only around an hour from Scarborough which is fast emerging as the hot new surfing destination (although the water itself is not hot!!) A must for our students is a day trip to Whitby (home of the famous Whitby Abbey) and Robin Hood's Bay for seaside walks, dinosaur fossil hunting and a dip in the sea.
10. We saved the best for last...Vikings, Vikings, Vikings!
Whether you're a fan of the TV show or not (York features prominently in Season 5) you're going to love learning about York's viking heritage. The Jorvik Viking Centre in York is one of the UK's most popular attractions and a visit here is a must. York was first attacked and captured by Ivar the Boneless back in 866 and they held it until Eric Bloodaxe was defeated in 954. Although it was only in Viking hands for less than a century the Viking influence can still be seen today!
So that's it...10 reasons to come and learn English in York, a city full of history, adventure and experiences. If you'd like to find out more about our English language school in York then just contact us now.