An entry fee has been payable for the last few years (although free to York residents). This caused a bit of a hoo-ha when it was introduced as previously it was free to look around. After visiting you do realise the enormous amount of renovation and upkeep that is ongoing (currently the Great East Window is removed for years of releading and cleaning) and I think £9 to visit the Minster and Chapter House was more than worth it. We took advantage of one of the free guided tours, in a small group of 6, with one of the knowlegeable volunteer Minster guides. This was brilliant for L, with lots of history, facts, figures and explanations about the stained glass windows...
| The Great West Window known as 'Heart of Yorkshire'|
with the Semaphore Saints below
|The Rose Window above the South Door |
commemorating the union of York and Lancaster
and the start of the Tudor dynasty
What a fantastic experience and very calming and uplifting it was too!
When we were soaked and in need of a hot chocolate we visited a little cafe behind the Minster on College Street; The Vanilla Cafe, where you can sit outside in Summer (haha if only) The sideways rain forced us inside - it's one of those places where you walk in and think 'oooh I wish this shop was mine!'
Illy coffee and Crystal teabags, homemade food and cakes, homemade cards, bunting and gifts...
Gorgeously decorated with floral wallpapers and green paint...
Vintage china for sale...
Even the loo had my favourite Cath Kidston wallpaper!
Good prices for a City Centre cafe too- there are a couple of additional rooms upstairs too with a sofa and lovely vintage floral pictures on the walls. Very nicely done. I will be back!
The Vanilla Cafe
Open every day from 10am
12 College Street
York YO1 7JF