15+ Things to Do in York for Couples

CityDays’ guide to finding things to do in York for couples that are actually worth doing…

York frequently tops peoples’ lists as one of the most romantic cities in the UK and it doesn’t take a genius to work out why.

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Romantic cobblestones, medieval history, and an abundance of northern charm makes York one of the most sought after destinations for couples in the UK. But what do you do when you actually get there?

Whether you’ve spent days, weeks, months or years by each other’s sides, it’s always handy to have a list of things to do in York for couples to refer to. 

Read on to find out our top 15+ things to do in York for couples, as chosen by us!

And just so you know, nobody pays us to be featured on this list. They’re just our recommendations to you, so you can find the best things to do in York

Build a Romantic Mystery Picnic Together

things to do in York for couples

Kicking off our list of top things to do in York for couples, an epic adventure that allows you to impress your partner, explore York, support local businesses and fill your stomach with delicious food. Does it get any better than that?

Well, actually - it sort of does. This York Gourmet Mystery Picnic Hunt is perfect for all kinds of couples; foodies, history buffs, adventurous souls, puzzle-lovers, sustainable soulmates, you name it!

You and your partner will be transformed into food detectives, tasked with wandering through York’s winding streets, solving clues and riddles that lead you to carefully-chosen pit stops where you’ll pick up picnic items. 

All the locations are independent businesses with a focus on locally sourced and handmade produce, and you can take it from me that you won’t be disappointed in your scrumptious bounty by the end of it!

Uncover a Historical Murder Mystery in York

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Got a girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, partner or crush on someone who just won’t stop listening to creepy true crime podcasts podcasts? Yeah, you’re not alone.

Whether your partner is Team Sherlock or Team Marple, we’re betting the words “murder mystery” don’t quite conjure up romantic images in your head. On the other hand, we’re betting you know somebody who fancies themself as an armchair detective. And if that’s the case, this is for you!

Whether that’s you or your partner, this murder mystery game transforms you and your significant other into an indomitable detective duo unlike any other. Together, you’ll solve a real cold case that took place inside York’s city walls. The twist? It occurred over 6 centuries ago.

Solve puzzles, follow clues and discover more about York’s medieval secrets while being immersed in a gripping story line that will appeal to true crime fans, murder mystery lovers or anybody who can’t stay away from medieval lore! 

PSST: This game comes with optional stops at top-recommended cafes, pubs and bars for when the pair of you need to reassess your case file!

Attend a Candlelit Choir Concert at York Minster

things to do in York for couples

If you ask me, there’s never a bad time to visit York Minster.

Whether you’re there for the history or the gorgeous architecture  (I really recommend doing the guided tour if you’re interested in either of these things), anyone and everyone can find something to appreciate about this glorious building.

But if you want to take your experience up a notch or two, I’d advise you to see it as few people get to see it–by candlelight.

Depending on how old you are or what your musical tastes may be, you might not have given choir music a try before. If you haven’t, don’t dismiss it before you’ve tried it! The acoustics in York Minster are next level, and the combined effect of the ethereal beauty of the architecture, the flickering lights and celestial music provides a truly romantic evening.

Uncover York’s Mythical Beasts and Legendary Lore on an Outdoor Escape Room Game

things to do in York for couples

Looking for things to do in York for couples who are obsessed with all things mythological? This is for you. 

Based partly on history and embedded with legends, monsters and myths, The Drowned City is an outdoor escape room game that sees you and your partner become York’s heroes. Together, it’ll be your job to race against the clock and save the city from impending doom.

Along the way, you’ll meet the many layers of European deities that influenced York, including a Roman Emperor, a Norse monster and a Greek goddess. Solve puzzles, follow clues and become the power couple you’ve always been capable of being! 

Grab Something to Eat at The Shambles Food Court

things to do in York for couples

There’s a time and a place for a fancy lunch or dinner date, and since you’re here - we’re guessing now isn’t it.

There’s an element of surprise and spontaneity involved in an outdoor food market that you just don’t get from a sit-down restaurant - and it’s absolutely perfect if you and your partner happen to have very different ideas about which nation’s cuisine is top-tier. 

Nestled in one of York’s most iconic historic streets, the Shambles food court offers a vibrant selection of eats from local artisans offering global food. Share bites of gourmet street food or order from completely different vendors - the choice is yours.

PSST: This is my go-to lunch place with my partner. If one of us is in the mood for something in particular (usually me and my Thai food cravings), the other can get something totally different and inject some FOMO into the other. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose. Follow your nose! 

Turn Your Date into a Paranormal Investigation with a Self-Guided Ghost Hunt

things to do in York for couples

You don’t have to be an expert to know that York is incredibly popular with the dearly departed of centuries past. In fact, it’s nearly as popular with ghosts as it is with tourists - which explains why there are so many ghost walks dotted around the place.

This particular ghost walk though isn’t like your typical ghost walking tour. 

Firstly, it’s self-guided (which is ideal, because you’re unlikely to want strangers gatecrashing your alone time with your partner). Secondly, it’s gamified, making it more immersive and spooky - you have to interact with the ghosts and read their stories first hand as you plot your way around York. 

Finally, without giving you any spoilers, the ghosts on this walk aren’t the kind of ones you can Google. You’ll follow in the footsteps of former York locals, including Roman legionnaires, a woman accused of witchcraft, a gold-obsessed nobleman, a drunk monk, and a Viking who was skinned alive…

Have an Afternoon Tea at Merchant Adventurers’ Hall

things to do in York for couples

If you’re looking for things to do in York for couples that will appeal to someone with a sweet tooth, you just can’t go wrong with an afternoon tea - and this is my favourite place in York to get one.

Obviously, in a city like York you’ll find scones, cream and jam galore. But this one is my particular favourite for a few reasons. 

There’s something about sitting in a stunning medieval building and tucking into a cosy, homemade scone and sipping on a tea. My partner and I stumbled across this place totally by accident - we actually got lost on our way to Fossgate - but the building looked quirky so we stuck our heads in. 

And I’m so glad we did. This incredible place was built by the citizens of York in the mid 14th century. If walls could talk, I’d order myself four of five pots of tea and a tray of scones to hear the many stories this hall must have to tell - but I’ll settle for sitting opposite my partner, feeling the warmth and friendly welcome from the knowledgeable staff and nibbling on a freshly baked scone. Bliss!

Do a Self-Guided Walking Tour of York’s Mysterious Snickelways

things to do in York for couples

For those of you who want things to do in York for couples that include a bit of mental and physical exercise, I recommend going on a self-guided walking tour around York’s snickelways.

I love York’s many snickelways. For me, it’s yet another glimpse into York’s Viking past (“Snickare” in Swedish means carpenter, and dates back to the days when all Nordic buildings were made from wood). 

Packed with secrets, these historic, mysterious alleyways are portals that connect present-day York with all of its predecessors and their busy, sometimes dangerous, lives. 

Because they’re self-guided and you can stop and start the tour whenever you want, you’re free to explore York at your own pace while still getting all the vital snippets of trivia and intrigue that you would with a tour group. 

Wander these hidden alleys hand in hand, uncovering quirky shops and quaint cafes along the way, and let the city’s intimate scale bring you closer together.

Go For a Romantic Stroll at York Museum Gardens

things to do in York for couples

When your free time or funds are low, take a step back and remember that it’s the quality of time spent together that matters - and that’s true wherever you are.

Luckily, there are plenty of places you can visit in York for free - and for me, my favourite place will always be outside in York’s abundant nature. 

York Museum Gardens offers a beautifully maintained and peaceful retreat from the city's hustle and bustle. Explore the ancient ruins of St Mary’s Abbey, delight in the colourful flowerbeds, and during the summer, seek refuge in the shady walkways. 

Once you’ve had a little stroll about, there are plenty of places to sit down and enjoy some quality time with your partner - have a chat, play some cards together (always a favourite hobby of mine) and just enjoy spending time in each other’s company. Bonus points if you keep your phones in your pockets! 

Go For a Quick Day Trip to Leeds’ Headingley Stadium

things to do in York for couples

Going out with or married to a sports fanatic? Then you’ve got to visit Headingley. 

I’ll be upfront and say that sports aren’t my thing. With zero hand-eye coordination and only the vaguest recollection of what “off-side” means, sports venues aren’t typically where you’ll find me. My partner on the other hand? Well let’s just say it’s not just Pavlov’s Dogs who enjoy the sound of a whistle. 

That said, the last time my partner and I visited York, I was proved wrong. We took a day trip to Headingley to watch a rugby match as part of the Womens’ Rugby World Cup - and it was the best fun I’d had in ages! 

Whether you’re fans of Rugby League, Rugby Union, or Cricket, the stadium provides an exhilarating atmosphere to share your excitement and cheer on your favourite teams – or even discover a new passion. 

Check out what’s on in advance and try to grab yourself some tickets.

PSST: Visiting Leeds? You’ll find more treasure hunts and team-building activities from us there.

Take a Yoga Class at the Stables Yoga Centre

Looking for things to do in York for couples that find themselves stressed out or complaining about stiff backs, bad posture due to desk work or overactive brains? Have a yoga session together.

Our bodies are all created differently and there’s no getting around the fact that our flexibility varies enormously. That said, it’s never a bad idea to try to fix that. 

Perfect for beginners and seasoned yogis alike, the classes at Stables Yoga Centre offer the pair of you the  chance to relax, stretch, and connect with each other in a peaceful, supportive environment. It’s a wholesome way to align your minds and bodies and hey, it’s good for you! 

Get Nerdy Together at York Railway Museum

things to do in York for couples

The best thing about finding your soulmate is being able to share the most random of interests with each other. And even if you’ve never once in your life thought that trains could be cool – think again.

If you’re looking for things to do in York for couples that’ll keep you occupied for a few hours, head to York Railway Museum. 

We all love to complain about trains being delayed and how you never seem to get a seat anymore (that last one might just be me), but this museum shows Britain’s rail network when it was at its finest. 

Marvel at the majestic locomotives, hum Kylie’s cover of the Loco-Motion, learn about railway heritage, and take a look around historic train carriages and memorabilia. There’s some really cool stuff in here from all over the UK (and even as far as Australia). 

Check Out York’s Independent and Quirky Shops

things to do in York for couples

For a quirky date idea in York, I recommend taking a leisurely shopping trip through York’s array of independent and unique shops. 

From rare books to vintage clothing, these unique boutiques offer treasures that can’t be found anywhere else. There’s plenty of independent and interesting shops dotted about, you’ve just got to sniff out the best ones dedicated to your particular interest.

If you’re a bibliophile like me, you’ll enjoy looking through the new and secondhand bookshops, and if you like your jewellery there are still quite a few independent shops offering gorgeous handmade pieces. 

There are also unusual shops dedicated to all manner of things including armoury, retro games, and of course, York ghost merchants

Take a Look Around York Art Gallery

For those of you who want to find things to do in York for couples that involve the arts, head to York Art Gallery.

With its diverse collections ranging from old masters to contemporary artworks, this gallery is a must-visit for couples who like all things art.

Perfect if you just want to spend some quiet time with your partner, you’ll find art in all its many forms here, including iconic pieces of art to 17th century pottery. 

Indulge Your Chocolate-Loving Partner at York Chocolate Story

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For those with a sweet tooth, the York Chocolate Story is the perfect romantic treat. 

This interactive museum takes you on a journey through the history of chocolate making in York – and believe me when I say it’s as interesting as it is appetite inducing!

If you didn’t already know, York is the home of the humble KitKat, Smarties and everyone’s Christmas favourite, the Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Together, you’ll learn about how York’s confectionary industry grew from a grocer’s shop in town to provide every corner of the world with globally-recognised favourites.

Once you’ve learnt about the history of chocolate making in York, there’s plenty of time to refine your own palate by sampling some chocolates (and learning how the pros do it), as well as visit the shop to bring some goodies back with you. 

Find More Things to Do in York with CityDays

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So there you have it, 15 + things to do in York for couples! 

Want to find more things to do in York? Of course you do! 

Discover York’s secret sights and noteworthy nooks by playing one of our York treasure and scavenger hunts, exploration games or walking tours.

All you have to do is team up with your partner, friends, family or whoever to solve riddles, complete challenges and answer trivia to lead you on an unforgettable journey around York’s most intriguing streets. 

The best part? We’ll recommend top-rated pubs, cafés and restaurants and give your team the chance to earn rewards by competing on our leaderboard. 

CityDays gives you total freedom to start and finish whenever you like, take extra breaks if you want or need them, and it’s suitable for people of all ages.

You’re also guaranteed your money back if you don’t have an amazing time - although our previous reviews speak for themselves: we’re rated 5/5 on TripAdvisor and 4.95/5 on Google Reviews!