Get the best of town and country with a York cottage rental

Are you the sort of person who likes to have their cake and eat it? Well, a holiday in York might just be for you. With a York cottage rental you've got all the attractions and nightlife of a busy city, but there's also some of the best of British countryside sitting within easy reach. With a history stretching all the way back to the Vikings and even the Romans, York's unlike anywhere else, with wonky cobbled streets, cosy old pubs, and ancient fortifications and towers running right through the heart of the city.

There's a York holiday cottage to suit every budget

However deep or shallow your pockets are, you can be sure there's a York cottage to suit you – from simple self-catering accommodation to luxury farmhouse lodgings and 5-star city centre pads. Those looking for high-end stays won't be disappointed, with options out there offering private hot tubs and pools. Plenty of places offer weekend bookings – making York the perfect destination for a short break – and many cottages are pet-friendly, meaning you can bring the dog along too.

When to visit York

York's one of those places where there always seems to be something going on, and there's no wrong time of year to plump for a York holiday rental. That said, there are some times when the city really comes into its own. Taking place every February, the Jorvik Viking Festival celebrates York's history as a Viking capital, with plenty of re-enactors swinging their battleaxes about in the streets. Summer sees music, theatre and food festivals, while many folk love to come to York for the Christmas season, when the St Nicholas Fair hits town.

What to see in York

Start with a stroll along the medieval city fortifications known as the Bar Walls, then climb up to Clifford's Tower – the centrepiece of old York Castle. And York's got enough museums to keep even the keenest history buff busy. The York Castle Museum is set in the old town prison, while the York Railway Museum features some of the most famous locos in the history of the rails. The Jorvik Viking Centre is a local favourite, and of course no visit to York is complete without taking in the grandeur of York Minster.

Should you stay in the centre of York or further out?

One of the great things about a York holiday rental is that you can choose between locating yourself in the city itself or heading out further into the surrounding countryside. Staying in central York puts a wealth of attractions within easy walking distance, but if you've brought the car then you could stay further out and enjoy some awesome excursions out into the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. You could even take a trip over to the seaside if the mood takes you.

Wander the Shambles in York city centre

If you like to be in the heart of the action, you'll want to look for a holiday rental in the centre of York. Peppered with grand historic buildings, ancient fortifications and winding lanes, central York's overflowing with character, and there's no street more distinctive than the Shambles. Once home to the city's butchers, some of the buildings on the Shambles are around 700 years old, and with its leaning, timber-framed houses, it's straight out of Middle Earth. A city centre holiday rental's also the perfect choice if you're looking to enjoy York's nightlife and dining, or even just to take an afternoon stroll along the riverfront.

Find your country pad in the Vale of York

If you've got wheels, then you might want to think about staying in the countryside around the city, known as the Vale of York. Not only does this mean you can take advantage of spacious holiday lettings in converted farm buildings, but you can also hit the road for trips further afield. You could spend a day over at the majestic ruins of Fountains Abbey, schedule in a posh afternoon tea in Harrogate, or head for the seaside at Whitby or Scarborough. Best of all, York's brilliant park and ride means the city centre attractions are a breeze to get to.