The Traditional Pubs of York

If you’re looking for a diverse city for your short breaks this year, one which offers great shopping, wonderful sights and the ever so important traditional British pub, then look no further than York. With over 2000 years of history, the walled city of York is one of England’s most persevered and beautiful cities.

This Yorkshire gem has withstood the test of time from the Normans and the Victorians to the Vikings and Romans, to leave a city rich with stories and architectural wonders. Today, York’s magnificent buildings are being used for a variety of things, including pubs, places of worship, houses and even hotels in York. So if you’re looking for somewhere a little more traditional to quench your thirst while in York, then here’s a collection of some of the more notable pubs in York.

Previously known as the Board and the Chapter Coffee House, the building which is now the York Arms has been serving alcohol since 1838. Back in the 1860’s when the York Arms was the Chapter Coffee House, the site sold spirits, beers and wines along with the occasional cup of coffee.

Today this quaint traditional pub has ditched the coffee image and is satisfying its customers with its range of pub drinks including real ale. The pub is within walking distance of the Minster and is being run by a local brewer known as Sam Smith who has kept the pubs traditional charm alive. Opening times are Monday to Friday 11:00 – 23:00 and Sunday’s 12:00 until 22:30.

The Golden Slipper is a curious looking pub which combines a 19th century remodelled 18th century extension with a wooden framed building from the 1500’s, giving the Golden Slipper a two pub feel. The site hasn’t always been a pub and had originally served as a house. The exact time when the building started to be used as a pub is unknown; however there was mention of the pub in the year 1821 when one of its patrons was robbed.

Today the pub has retained its traditional appeal attracting many visitors every year for a pint. Its open from 11:00 to 23:00 everyday apart from Sunday when its opening hours are from 12:00 to 22:30 and as an added bonus the Golden Slipper also serves food all week between 12:00 and 15:00 apart from on Saturday and Sunday where food stops being served at 5pm and 4pm respectably.

Licensed during the Siege of York in 1644, Ye Olde Starre Inne is York’s oldest running inn. The siege resulted in York being eventually overrun by the Parliamentarians, after which the inn was then used as a hospital and a morgue by the soldiers. The inn once had a stable yard where customers could easily see and access the building, however around the 1730’s, the yard was built upon leaving only a narrow passage way to the inn. This was harming business, so the landlord hung a sign on the high street to his inn, which he paid 5 shillings per year to the people who’s building the sign was affixed to.

Ye Olde Starre Inne was extended and refurbished back in the 1980’s, however it still retains a historical atmosphere and is also a great place to enjoy a pub meal along with a refreshing pint. Ye Olde Starre Inne is open 7 days a week, 10:00 – 23:00 Monday to Wednesday, 10:00 until 01:00 Thursday to Saturday and 12:00 – 23:00 on Sundays. Food is served between 12:00 and 21:00 Monday to Thursday and 12:00 – 19:00 Friday to Sunday.

Not far from the Shambles, the Golden Fleece is famous for being York’s most haunted pub and has even featured on the show ‘Most Haunted’. But don’t let the ghost stories put you off, this little pub is a lovely, traditional and the staff are ever so friendly.

Once owned by the Merchant Adventurers of York the Golden Fleece has been pouring beer and ales for centuries, unfortunately the pub hasn’t always been so well looked after, undergoing a large restoration project back in 1840. Today the pub is perfect for that afternoon or late night drink. Opening times are 12:00 to 22:30 on Sundays and 11:00 to 23:00 Monday to Saturday.


  1. says

    I remember having a meal at the Ye Olde Starre Inn because I had read that it was the oldest around – and I wasn’t disappointed! It’s extremely charming and it was a perfect fit in our visit.

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