National Railway Museum
The National Railway Museum tells the story of rail transport in Britain and its impact on society. It is the home of the national collection of historically significant railway vehicles such as Mallard, Stirling Single, Duchess of Hamilton and the only bullet train outside of Japan. Entrance is free.
York Minster is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. Built in the 7th century, the Minster is open for general visiting seven days a week. Entrance includes entry to the Cathedral, Undercroft Museum, a guided tour, and access to climb the Central Tower for some great views of the city.
The City Walls
If the weather is kind, it is well worth walking a section of the City Walls. The walls were originally built in Roman times and can be accessed from many places around the city. From the conference hotel, walk past the train station and over the bridge, following the road around to Micklegate Bar, a mediaeval gateway built around 1100. From there you can get on the walls. Turn left and walk the short (20min) section in to town towards the Minster.
The brewery offers tours and tasting in its shop near Micklegate (see the City Walls above). Operating since 1996, York Brewery makes a range of traditional Yorkshire ales, stouts, and beers.
The Shambles is an old street in the town centre with overhanging timber-framed buildings, some dating back as far as the fourteenth century. A popular tourist sight, the shops offer local chocolates, souvenirs, and a lot of Harry Potter merchandise.
York Dungeon, Yorvik Viking Centre, and the Castle Museum
Aside from the Railway Museum, York has many museums dedicated to different aspects of its past and present. The York Dungeon is a 75-minute journey into York’s history, bringing together actor-led immersive sets and special-effects. The Viking Centre is a museum of mannequins and life-size dioramas depicting Viking life in the city. The Castle Museum looks at more recent history with exhibitions covering the Victorians, the First World War, and the 1960s.
York Art Gallery
If you are in the mood for some culture, York Art Gallery (www.yorkartgallery.org.uk) contains a range of temporary and permanent collections of paintings, pottery, and watercolours.