Day 11 in York and Manchester, England

Since we were staying just 1.6miles away from the city centre, a.k.a the happening area of York, we figured why not just have a slow stroll over. The walk took us less than an hour including time where we stopped randomly to take photos. In addition, the thought of finding parking space within the city just irked us out. We planned to spend half a day in York which was just right before we get overwhelmed by the influx of tourists.

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20th May 2017

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09:00 | Morning at York Airbnb
Can we just show off how awesome the breakfast prepared by our Airbnb hosts was? Had a great morning waking up to the sun shining in from all direction of room. The room even has a porch that would be perfect to bask in the sun and have our breakfast. But too bad for us, it could not happen as the porch was still wet from the rain last night.

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10:00 | Checked out and strolled towards York city centre
Loaded our suitcases into the car boot which the hosts kindly allow us to park at their house temporarily, we then headed towards the city centre by foot. Passed by Hob Moor Local Nature Reserve where many locals were spending their Saturday morning running and playing with kids and pets. I’ve always loved having a peek into how locals live within the neighbourhood and the stroll gave me the perfect opportunity!

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Out of the nature reserve, strolled passed residential area and into the quiet main streets with lots of pretty shop fronts! Weather was really good that morning and we kept our fingers crossed not to encounter the typical English weather.

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10:45 | Passed by Micklegate Bar into the York city centre
Soon, we went through the Micklegate Bar, which is the southern entrance into York. Next, we crossed the Bridge street above River Ouse into the city centre of York.

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11:30 | Head to the Shambles Market
Walked along the cobbled streets towards the Shambles Market. Market stalls there literally were selling everything you can think of. From fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade goods such as leather bags. Lots of shopping can be done here at the marketplace. But if you still want to shop more, there are many boutique stores tucked in the narrow lanes around. These narrow lanes are also known as “The Shambles”, where signs of the medieval times can still be clearly seen here.

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12:30 | Donuts to soothe the sadness
While looking around the Shambles Market and taking footages, my Canon digital camera’s lens suddenly got stuck and cannot be retracted. Tried a couple of quick hacks but was of no use. Even visited two camera stores just around the corner, but found out that it will be expensive and will take up to a week to fix it and hence, not a solution for me. Knowing that I will no longer have my trusty digital camera for the rest of the trip made me really sad and moody.

Anders kindly cheered me up by getting me some donuts from the donut truck parked. The sugar from the donuts did inject a little joy into me. Guess that sugary food really does magic?

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13:00 | Visit to the York Minster
We only had time to visit one tourist spot, so we chose the impressive York Minster. The architecture of the building is magnificent from the outside. But, we strongly suggest that you pay the entry fee of £11.50 for adult to see all the amazing structural work from the past combined with the continuous restoration effort done.

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Just like how we roll for museums and castles, we joined the free guided tour (with admission ticket purchased) that run every hour between 10pm - 3pm. We truly feel that hearing the stories directly from the guide is definitely much interesting than reading words from a brochure. The guide will add in so much personal emotion and different set of understanding for each part of the historical building.

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With the guide, he shared many stories which about the stunning medieval stained glass found around the church, unique vaulted ceiling and many other structural details. There is an option of climbing up the 275 steps to the top of the bell tower for panoramic view of Yorkshire for additional £5. We did not climb up as we were short of time.

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15:30 | Hiding from rain in a coffee shop Croque Monsieur
Our luck with good weather ended. It started drizzling so we sought shelter in a coffee shop named Croque Monsieur. While being there, we also packed some sandwiches as late lunch to have on the road towards Manchester later. Both of us always have this bad habit of forgetting to have lunch while we are too engrossed in visiting each and every place.

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16:00 | Leave for Manchester
Due to the rain, we had to ditch our initial plan to walk back to the Airbnb. Instead we took a Uber back and switched to our rented car to head towards Manchester to return the car. However, we failed to check that the Piccadilly railway station return booth closes at 1pm on a Saturday so there was no staff at the booth to check our returned car. We followed a set of instructions on Hertz website to return the car by leaving the key in a box at their booth. Guessed it all went well with Hertz since we haven’t hear back from them on any issue. What a learning experience!

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18:30 | Checked in to Manchester Airbnb
From the Piccadilly railway station, we took a short train ride over to our Airbnb located at MediaCityUK. We are not usually the type of Asians that have craving for asian food in a foreign country, but I guessed we were feeling too cold from the rain that night and thus the need for hot soup. Each of us ate a bowl of ramen from Wagamama which was kind of decent, nothing to rave about. After dinner, we went for a short walk around MediaCityUK and chanced upon a red 1941 twin track swing bridge with historical value. Lovely way to end the night.

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You will find out about our real purpose for coming to Manchester in the Day 12 blog post coming soon!

Meanwhile, you can read up on the rest of our 17 days' adventure in Scotland and England here

Also, based on requests we’ve received from our readers, we will link the Airbnb that we’ve stayed in. Hope this makes our blog posts more helpful towards your trip planning!