Make It York News

York Christmas Festival 2022: Celebrations for 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair

Baubles, carols and festive fairs – Christmas in York is just around the corner! Extra special plans are in place across the city this year to celebrate 30 years of York’s famous Christmas Market, St Nicholas Fair. 70 alpine chalets will line the streets of Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square from 17th November to 23rd December, creating a festive wonderland with an array of local produce and artisan gifts on offer from local traders. 

From luxury stationary to Yorkshire Pudding beer, there are lots of unique gift ideas at this year’s Christmas market. What’s more, all traders at this year’s St Nicholas Fair will be offering exclusive discounts for York residents when presented with a valid York Card or identity card with proof of address*. Each trader will offer a discount ranging from 10 to 30% discounts, more details can be found here. 

Brand new to York Christmas Market for 2022 is a traditional Swiss chalet, The Winter Hütte. With a spectacular terrace overlooking St Nicholas Fair, The Winter Hütte offers a ‘Swiss with a Twist’ dining experience from one of Yorkshire’s best-known chefs, the Michelin-starred Andrew Pern. For passers-by, there is a fully-licensed bar area serving seasonal favourites such as gluhwein and spiced cider. Dining bookings are now open on the website. 

Another new addition to York’s Christmas Market 2022 is the Chocolate Circus. The brainchild of the York based family behind Herbie’s Treehouse, look out for their Instagram-worthy loaded hot chocolates. From giant snowman marshmallows to York printed wafers, there’s a topping for everyone including a full vegan hot chocolate alternative menu.  

Herbie’s Treehouse returns for its fifth year, with premium German mulled wine, Cornish mulled cider and Belgian hot chocolates. This year, look out for the new Herbie’s Secret Orchard at the back of the Treehouse for a special menu of hot toddies created with award-winning York Gin. Throughout the duration of the Christmas Market, resident singers and variety performers will play on the new Treetop Stage above the Treehouse, offering an exciting new entertainment area. Local schools, choirs and community groups will be invited to perform, as well as York based artists and international singers.  

Shambles Market Food Court vendors Krep and Shambles Kitchen will be returning to the Christmas market this year, plus Meow and Bao Little Bubble Box will be serving up a combination of infused Asian cuisine. Shambles Ski Bar is also returning this year, with an authentic Après Ski themed pop-up bar stocked with festive favourites. A new addition to this year’s market is York Cocoa Works, who will be on hand to share their chocolate making process from cocoa beans to chocolate bar, truffles, cakes and more. Don’t miss a visit to neighbouring Shambles Market for some of York’s best independent traders, selling everything from seasonal wreaths to locally grown produce.  

To mark the 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair, the city will come alive on the opening day of the market with a special programme of free events and activities for residents. From 12pm to 9pm on Thursday 17th November, there will be live entertainment in St Helen’s Square, Parliament Street and Shambles Market to get everybody in the festive spirit. There’ll be choirs, bands, performances and free theatre workshops throughout the day and into the evening. Plus, there’ll even be an opportunity to meet St Nicholas himself at Shambles Market! The full programme of events will be announced soon. 

Those in the city centre on the evening of the 17th November to celebrate the opening of St Nicholas Fair will be the first to see the spectacular light display for the 2022 festive season. Promising to be the best winter lights display the city has seen, this year will see more lights, new technology and new areas added to the scheme. A partnership between York BID and Make It York, this year’s winter light display will increase the use of more sustainable LED and solar lights, with new areas to be lit up including George Hudson Street and Nessgate. The curtain of lights on York’s historic bar walls will remain, along with the magical ‘Tree of Light’ at the Eye of York with its 1km of twinkly LED lights which change colour to mark important dates and festivals. 

Another great way to see the city in all its festive glory is by following the brand-new Nutcracker Trail. Pick up a free map and seek out ten Nutcrackers across the city centre for a chance to win a £500 York BID Gift Card.  

York Minster has a packed programme of events for Advent and Christmas, including their Christmas Carol Concerts and the return of the Christmas Tree Festival. Castle Howard is set to be transformed into a wonderland of ‘happily ever afters’ with their new ‘Into The Woods’ Christmas experience designed by Charlotte Lloyd Webber Events and The Projection Studio. Plus, THOR’S Tipi will be back in The Principal Hotel Gardens from 11th November, serving up delicious snowboard platters by Yuzu Street Food and cocktails by the cosy log fires. 

Residents and visitors can bring home some of the magic of York this Christmas, with their own special edition 30th Anniversary Bauble. Designed by local artist Emma Feneley, following a local competition, the porcelain bauble will be available to purchase from the Visitor Information Centre from mid-November. Emma’s design features famous York landmark Clifford’s Tower in the festive season and is the perfect addition to any Christmas tree! 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “Christmas in York is always a special time of the year, with this year set to be even more so as we celebrate 30 years of the famous St Nicholas Fair. We’re delighted to be welcoming Michelin-starred Andrew Pern and The Winter Hütte to Parliament Street for a unique food and drink offer. We’re pleased that all of our traders at this year’s St Nicholas Fair will be offering a discount for York residents, plus we’ll be hosting a whole day and evening of free festive entertainment on Thursday 17th November to mark this special milestone for St Nicholas Fair.” 

Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities, said: “The programme of Christmas activities across York this year is outstanding – with so many unique experiences on offer for all to enjoy. This, combined with world-class food and drink and an array of independent retailers and traders, is sure to bring the festive magic back to York.  Christmas is a great time to support York’s local businesses by purchasing unique gifts and enjoying all they have to offer. 

“York really comes alive at Christmas, so we are looking forward to welcoming residents and visitors to enjoy the magic of the festive period in York.” 

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director at York BID said: “We’re excited about the new design and can’t wait to see the new winter lights scheme in place. Residents and visitors will notice a real difference in key areas like Parliament Street, and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to extend the scheme to light up new areas like Castlegate, George Hudson Street and Nessgate.” 

Andrew Pern, Michelin-Starred Chef, said: “We are hugely excited to be bringing The Winter Hütte and a taste of the Alps to the ancient streets of York. Aside from the incredible two-storey structure, I am delighted to introduce a new Star Inn venture to The Winter Hütte with a restaurant serving great Yorkshire produce with a Swiss twist.  As well as traditional fondue and raclette, the menu will also boast off-piste specials such as Cinnamon Roast Porcetta Suckling Pig with spiced apples, chestnuts and mulled cider juices or Gratin of Winter Roots with toasted cranberry muesli, nut “cheese”, garden sage and onion.  In the downstairs ski bar we will be serving a range of Bratwurst from “The Dog Haus” to enjoy with a festive beverage, while passers-by can also grab a tasty bite from the window counter.  Together with the scent of pine and decor of mountain scenes and cow bells, The Winter Hütte will be a real experience for all the senses this Christmas.” 

Festive cheer will be spread across the city, with carol concerts, festive events and the return of panto season. For more information about what’s happening in York this Christmas, please visit visityork.org/christmas.  

Visit York’s festive press pack can be found here and press images can be downloaded here. 

*To qualify for the resident discounts offered by traders at St Nicholas Fair, you must present a valid York Card or identity card that proves York residency. If presenting an identity card, this must clearly state ‘York’ (e.g. driving licence or older person’s bus pass). The full list of offers can be found here. 

ENDS 

For further information please contact:  

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Communications team at Make It York 

Email: comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

St Nicholas Fair runs from 17th November to 23rd December on Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, open daily from 10am to 7pm. St Nicholas Fair is a Make It York event.  

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events. 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand. 

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

About The Winter Hütte 

The Winter Hütte is a joint venture between Coopers Marquees, CMJ Events and Andrew Pern of The Star Inn the City (York) Limited. Combined, the team brings over 60 years of live entertainment and food knowledge to deliver this spectacular new event for York, home to all three companies. 

York becomes first city with an elected Culture Executive in UK

A broad coalition of people passionate about culture and creativity have been democratically elected to York’s new Culture Executive from across the sector: together, they will oversee the future direction of the city’s Culture Strategy, York’s Creative Future.  

In 2020, the ambitious Culture Strategy mapping out the next five years of York’s Creative Future was launched. A joint initiative between Make It York, City of York Council and the city’s cultural and creative sector, the strategy aims to create opportunity and make culture relevant and accessible to everyone in the city.   

A key priority within the city’s Culture Strategy has been to create more democratic and open structures: the York Culture Forum opened in December 2021, and it now has over 160 members. They represent a broad range of creative freelancers and members of culture, heritage and creative organisations. As the organisation leading the delivery of the Culture Strategy, Make It York has worked closely with City of York Council and the cultural and creative sector to build this process together and ensure robust engagement with it. 

Over the summer, nominations were open for any members of the York Culture Forum who wanted to stand for a voluntary elected position on the Culture Executive. The York Culture Executive, who will oversee the future direction and implementation of the city’s Culture Strategy, York’s Creative Future, have been democratically elected by the York Culture Forum this September.  

There are seven newly elected members of the Culture Executive group, who will lead on specific Priority Areas of the Culture Strategy, as well as General Members who will support across the breadth of the strategy. They are:  

  • Barbara Swinn, Head of Strategy and Engagement at York Explore Libraries and Archives, as Head of Priority Area – Cultural Engagement, Participation and Relevance   
  • Andrew Morrison, Chief Executive Officer of York Civic Trust and Fairfax House, as Head of Priority Area – Placemaking   
  • Lydia Cottrell, Founder of SLAP and freelance multi-disciplinary artist, as Head of Priority Area – Talent Development and Retention   
  • Sarah Maltby, Director of Attractions at Jorvik Group, as Head of Priority Area – York’s National and International Profile 
  • Rachel Cowgill, Professor of Music and University Research Theme Champion for Creativity, University of York, as General Member  
  • Tom Bird, Chief Executive of York Theatre Royal, as General Member   
  • Rebecca Newman, Soprano and Managing Director of York Proms, as General Member.  

They join the non-elected members:   

  • Chris Edwards, Chair of REACH, the Local Cultural Education Partnership, as Head of Priority Area – Children and Young People   
  • Owen Turner, Master of the Guild of Media Arts, representing the UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts designation   
  • Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York, as co-Chair of the York Culture Forum and Head of Priority Area – Culture and Wellbeing  
  • Councillor Darryl Smalley, representing City of York Council, as Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities.   

The Executive will be led by two co-chairs – Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York and a co-chair appointed from and by the incoming Executive. The group will meet bi-monthly to steer the strategy’s future direction. The first meeting of the new Culture Executive will take place in October. 

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York and Co-Chair of York Culture Forum, said: “It’s a really exciting time for culture in York. Through the York Culture Forum, we’ve created a new space for people working across the culture and creative sectors to connect, come together to share knowledge, and develop partnerships – and with the newly elected Culture Executive in place, the sector can now really take the lead in shaping the future direction of the city’s Culture Strategy. I’m very much looking forward to working with the new Culture Executive: they’re an incredible group of people, with so much expertise, passion and energy.     

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities said: “I look forward to working with the newly elected Culture Executive, who will with their experience, creativity and leadership help us bring York’s ambitious culture strategy to life. It’s a really exciting time for culture across the city, and York is leading the way in having an elected executive driving forward the delivery of our culture strategy. I’d urge any interested organisations or people working across the sector to get involved in the Culture Forum and help shape York’s creative future.” 

Andrew Morrison, Chief Executive Officer at York Civic Trust, said: “The Culture Forum is a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved in one of the most important parts of life in York to work together to develop and promote the vibrant and enriching creative and cultural community it is. I am excited to have been elected to join the executive in order to help support this development and in particular to help to ensure that opportunities for everyone to experience York’s kaleidoscope of culture are embedded within the fabric of the city as it develops.” 

Rachel Cowgill, Professor of Music and University Research Theme Champion for Creativity, University of York, said: “I’m excited to be joining the Culture Forum Executive at such a crucial time in the creative and cultural life of the city.  The cost-of-living crisis poses huge challenges, and we all have a part to play, as organisations and individuals working together, in promoting a culture of vitality, inclusion and well-being through creativity, arts and heritage. I’m excited to join as part of the University of York’s commitment as a university for public good to helping create the conditions for all parts of society to flourish.”  

Sarah Maltby, Director of Attractions at Jorvik Group, said: “I am delighted to join the executive group to bring the benefits to York; its residents and visitors, through the new Cultural Strategy. We have huge opportunities to work together to enhance York’s impact on a national and international stage and I am very pleased to be able to play a part in making that happen.”  

ENDS 

 
For more information: 

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Make It York Communications Team 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

About the York Culture Forum 

The Culture Forum is open to anyone working within the arts, culture, heritage, and creative sectors, including collections, combined arts, dance, libraries, literature, museums, music, theatre and the visual arts, as well as people’s own creative participation in, and interpretations of, culture based within York. Find out more and sign up to join the Forum here: York Culture Forum (makeityork.com)   

About the Culture Strategy 

York’s Creative Future has inclusion and participation at its core, and the commitment to ensure that culture is relevant and accessible to everybody in York – regardless of age, background or postcode. It places culture at the heart of activities from major capital developments, to residents’ wellbeing – and will work to ensure cultural entitlement for every child. 

The Culture Strategy has the ambition to transform York – and by 2025 we believe York will be known as a city where outstanding, renowned heritage comes together with a cutting-edge and contemporary approach to creativity – reflecting the city’s rich history and its status as the UK’s first UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts. 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

Halloween in the ‘most haunted city in Europe’

Celebrate the spookiest time of the year in the ‘most haunted city in Europe’ with a visit to York this October. York offers tricks, treats and spooky encounters for all with a wide range of new ghoulish experiences, trails and events on offer this year. 

From family-friendly magical adventures to experiences a little more gruesome and frightening, there is something for everyone. Partnering with York Dungeon and York Park & Ride, Visit York have developed a very special spooky video to celebrate the city this Halloween with a website hub packed full of the creepiest things to do in the city. 

Here’s York’s best Halloween experiences to celebrate this spooky season: 

  1. Séance Halloween Show at The York Dungeon (26th September to 6th November) 

Join York Dungeon’s sinister Victorian medium, Georgiana Eagle, otherwise known as Madame Card, in a brand-new Halloween show. Get ready to contact the Spirit world as you find yourself in the year 1872, participating in one of Madame Card’s sought after Séance shows where she will open your eyes to the world of the unliving. More information here. 

  1. York BID’s Ghosts in The Garden (23rd September to 7th November)  

The eerie sculptures, which were first installed in Museum Gardens last year, are back bigger and better than ever. This year, the BID are adding ghosts to more of York’s beautiful city centre gardens including Treasurer’s House, The Merchant Adventurers Hall, Middletons Hotel, The Artists Garden and St Anthony’s Garden.  

  1. Hallowscream at York Maze (13th October to 5th November)  

Dare you face Hallowscream’s killer clowns or flesh-eating zombies? This immersive scare experience features five live action haunted house attractions, roving characters and more. 

www.yorkmazehallowscream.co.uk  

  1. Dorian Deathly: A Night of Face-Melting Horror at Theatre@41 (26th to 31st October) 

Celebrate Halloween with local Spookologist and ghost botherer Dorian Deathly with an evening of ghost stories, paranormal sciences, original music and perhaps the odd unexpected guest. Explore spine-chilling tales of hauntings, both local and further afield, dissemble horrors captured on film and follow the ghost story through from the origins, the Victorian classics and modern-day frights. Book tickets here.  

  1. Hocus Pocus Halloween at Mother Shipton’s (22nd to 31st October) 

Beware of the cackles of old souls wandering the ancient woodland or feel a shiver down your spine stepping into the Haunted Halloween Village. There’s frightful fun to be had with photo opportunities and fancy dress competitions. More information here.  

  1. The Little York Ghost Hunt (24th to 27th October) 

As twilight gives way to night, The York Ghost Merchants invite you to join the search for Little York Ghosts along the atmospheric ancient streets that surround York Minster each evening between 6pm and 8pm (Monday – Thursday only). There are 125 Little York Ghosts to find each evening, including some which are rare & unusual. This is a free event and maps will be available from The York Ghost Merchants, The Visitor Information Centre and selected independent retailers from mid-October. There will also be a printable version of The Little York Ghost Hunt map available from this page nearer the event. 

  1. Trick or Treat Chocolate Bar Workshop at York Cocoa Works (16th to 31st October) 

Design and craft your own spooky Chocolate Bar in the shape of a Ghost or a Bat this Halloween at York Cocoa Works! £22.50 pp (under 5s go free with a paying adult). More information here.  

  1. William’s Pumpkin Experience at William’s Den (7th to 30th October) 

William’s Pumpkins is a picture-perfect scene for families to visit and celebrate the arrival of autumn together. Experience the sights and smells of the new season and of course, pick your own pumpkins to take home, carve, paint, decorate and cook. Lace up your boots, slip on your gloves and head out to pick the perfect pumpkin. Knobbly ones, wrinkly ones, different shapes and sizes, there is a bountiful supply of shiny pumpkins, quirky gourds and lumpy squashes. There is an ideal pumpkin for everyone. More information here.  

  1. Ghost Hunts with Paranormal Research (various locations and dates) 

Paranormal Research investigate some of York’s most historic and haunted venues. This October, they are hosting ghost hunts at The Guildhall, The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Bedern Hall, The Black Swan and Sandwitches Café. More information here.  

  1. Pick Your Own Pumpkins at The Balloon Tree (1st to 31st October) 

Looking for a fun and exciting way to choose the perfect pumpkin for the Halloween season?Why not visit The Balloon Tree’s Pick Your Own Pumpkin field! Whilst you’re there, see what local and seasonal produce they have available in the Farm Shop, or pop into the Cafe for a coffee and a slice of homemade cake. More information here.  

  1. The Graveyard Grimoire at The Mansion House (24th to 30th October)  

In days gone by, those departing the mortal coil of this parish were buried in St Helen’s Square. With progress came the removal of their resting place. Each year, these restless souls venture to the Mansion House to attend the Dance of the Dead. However, to pass through the veil and attend this supernatural ball, they must be remembered in the land of the living. Visit the Mansion House to complete the ‘’Graveyard Grimoire’ an adventure through ghostly residents of St Helens Square. A surprising, creepy, and entertaining event suitable for all ages. Included in the standard admission price. No tickets or booking required. 

  1. The Phantom Carriage at The National Centre for Early Music (26th October) 

The last person to die before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve is doomed to ride Death’s carriage, collecting souls for the year ahead. This eerie and innovative Swedish film classic (which inspired a twelve-year-old Ingmar Bergman to make films) is a Dickensian ghost story and a deeply moving drama – as well as a showcase for ground breaking special effects. Frame Ensemble, a quartet of Northern musicians specialising in improvised silent film accompaniments, will complement the haunting visuals with a unique, spontaneous musical performance. Booking information here.  

  1. October Light Spectacular at North Yorkshire Moors Railway (22nd to 30th October) 

Marvel at heritage carriages, decorated with thousands of lights, before departing from Pickering Station for an awe-inspiring journey alongside a DJ-Mix of music that will get you in the mood for a party the whole family will enjoy. Each passenger will be given their own interactive LED wristband which is synchronised to the music and passengers become part of the show. This hour-long round trip, with on-board narration and music, departs from Pickering Station for Levisham Station every evening from 22 to 30 October. More information here.  

  1. Dungeon Lates (Saturdays 1st to 29th October, Fridays 21st and 28th October) 

Dungeon LATES evenings (strictly 18+ adults only) will be running on selected dates throughout October and offer guests a darker, scarier and naughtier alternative to the daytime tours. These evenings also feature a new exclusive 11th show, Body Snatchers! More information here.  

  1. Little Peasants City Walking Tour with The York Dungeon (22nd to 30th October) 

For the Little Peasants who are too young (or scared!) for The York Dungeon, this one-hour tour of the City of York will give families the chance to walk, laugh and learn as they explore the famous sights including Clifford’s Tower, York Minster and The Shambles. The York Dungeon’s Dungeon Jester and lovable sidekick Smedley will talk about York’s most infamous rogues and heavenly saints including Dick Turpin, Guy Fawkes and the Pearl of York herself, Margaret Clitherow. More information here.   

  1. Halloween at City Cruises (22nd to 31st October) 

Beware! City Cruises are Halloween-ifying their Boats! During the day, the York City Cruise will be decked out, but at night on the Early Evening Cruise, there will be spiders and skeletons cruising the Ouse. 

  1. Take a famous York Ghost Walk (various dates) 

Learn more about the haunting history of York on one of the city’s famous ghost walks. Browse our recommended ghost guides here.  

  1. Stately Superstitions: Eerie Encounters at the Castle (21st to 23rd, 28th to 31st October) 

Explore the uncanny on this behind-the-scenes tour of Castle Howard where not all is as it seems. If you were to venture beyond the visitor route, below stairs, you’d encounter a labyrinth of dark cellars and never-ending corridors. Long since servants walked the halls and a fire ripped through the now empty wings, these parts of Castle Howard have remained largely unchanged. Those interested in the history of the House may revel at the chance to explore these quarters, but a stay longer than necessary provokes a sense of unnerving discomfort causing the imagination to try and make sense of the darkness. More information here.  

  1. Halloween Masterclass (24th to 29th October) and Halloween Tour & Truffle Rolling (17th to 30th October) at York’s Chocolate Story 

This Halloween, experience the York’s Chocolate Story tour with some added spooky extras! You’ll have the opportunity to decorate four ghostly chocolates with rat blood and goblin snot fillings. Plus, the Halloween Masterclass experience includes blind trick-or-treat tasting and a signature hot chocolate with a fully costumed chocolatier and assistant. From eyeball truffles to Trick or Treat chocolate wheels, Halloween at York’s Chocolate Story will be one to remember! https://www.yorkschocolatestory.com/ 
 

For the wizards and witches of York, why not make a magical potion at The Potion’s Cauldron or have a round of mini golf at The Hole In Wand this Halloween. You can also learn more about York’s magical history on one of the city’s walking tours, such as York Witches & History Walking Tour and The Wizard Walk of York.  

Bring Halloween home with a visit to Shambles Market. Wigginton Road Nurseries will be selling a range of ornamental pumpkin decorations and autumnal floral displays, plus traders throughout the market will have spooky decorations and clothing to buy.  

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with York Park & Ride and The York Dungeon on our spookiest campaign of the year! York is a must-see destination year-round, but there is no eerier time to be in the city than at Halloween – we are the ‘most haunted city in Europe’ after all. This Halloween, we have a huge programme of events across the city and beyond for the whole family to enjoy.”  

John Godfrey, Head of Marketing for First York, said: “Halloween is one of those times in the year when York really comes into its own as a place to experience fun and frights! By teaming up with York Dungeon and Visit York we’re encouraging people get to a ghoulish gathering by bus – it’s the best way to arrive right outside the dungeon doors or stop off on a scary street in the city.” 

Mark Mattinson, General Manager of The York Dungeon, said: “We cannot wait to launch our scariest Halloween show ever – Séance. Our terrifying team have pulled out all the stops this year and we cannot wait to SCARE, ahem, welcome York’s visitors to join us…I just hope they make it to the end of the show! 

“For those with Little Peasants who are not quite ready for The Dungeon, our Little Peasant’s Walking Tours will show younger visitors the sights of York in the comfort of the daylight. 

“We are delighted to be partnering with Visit York and First York Park and Ride on this year’s Haunted York campaign. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the UK’s Home of Halloween – it promises to be even bigger, better and without a doubt SCARIER than last year!” 

ENDS 

For more information: 

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Communications team at Make It York 

Comms@makeityork.com  

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events. 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand  

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

York Park & Ride  
Make travelling into the city easier with York Park & Ride! Avoid the hassle and expense of driving into the centre with buses up to every 12 minutes and free parking at all sites – what’s more, an Adult Return ticket is just £3.50 and up to three children go free. To find out more about York’s Park & Ride service, including fare and timetable information, visit: https://bit.ly/3bWBImy  

Finalists Announced for Visit York Tourism Awards 2023

Finalists in the Visit York Tourism Awards, sponsored by LNER, have been revealed today. Celebrating the best in tourism, hospitality and culture, finalists will go head-to-head to win one of 16 trophies on Thursday 23rd March 2023.

The ‘Tourism Oscars of the North’ will take place in a glitzy ceremony at York Racecourse hosted by award-winning journalist and legendary broadcaster, John Stapleton. John has more than 50 years of experience working in television and newspapers, spending 17 years as a presenter for GMTV, Daybreak and Good Morning Britain. On hosting the Visit York Tourism Awards, John Stapleton said: “Really looking forward to the awards ceremony and visiting the wonderful city of York. It’s a long time since my school trips there.”

Eligible winners across a number of categories will be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2023 to compete for the crown of the country’s best. York has a strong record of national glory, with Middletons Hotel’s General Manager Adam Wardale taking the national Unsung Hero Award in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2022.

New categories for 2023 include ‘Cultural Venue of the Year’ to celebrate the city’s thriving culture scene. The ‘Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award’ champions businesses who go above and beyond in their commitment to the environment and the wider community.

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “We had such a brilliant turnout in entries this year, with incredibly strong applications across the board. A huge congratulations to our finalists announced today, who have demonstrated excellence in their sectors across tourism, hospitality and culture. The Visit York Tourism Awards celebrate the countless organisations who work tirelessly year-round to deliver the very best experiences for visitors and residents. We look forward to celebrating their successes at the ceremony in March.”

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “From historic sites to wonderful places to eat and stay, York has so much to offer and is one of the most popular destinations on the LNER route. We are therefore proud to support the Visit York Tourism Awards, helping to celebrate the individuals and businesses that continue to work hard to make York such a great place to visit. Congratulations to all those who have been selected as a finalist.”

Councillor Darryl Smalley: Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “York is proud to be home to many excellent businesses and individuals who work incredibly hard to create unique visitor experiences for the millions of visitors exploring our city each year. These businesses are an essential part of our city and I am delighted to see such a diverse group of finalists this year. Their hard work, resilience and creativity will be rightly recognised and celebrated at the Tourism Awards. With so many excellent businesses in the tourism sector in York, it really is an achievement to be shortlisted. Congratulations and good luck to all finalists!”

Visit York Tourism Awards Finalists 2023:

B&B and Guest House of the Year**

MonkBridge House

The Bishop & The Bison

Westergate House

The Sidings Hotel & Restaurant

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year**

Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm

Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges

York Meadows Camping & Caravan Park

Cultural Venue of the Year* sponsored by Clarion Housing Group

York Theatre Royal

York Mansion House

Grand Opera House York

York Barbican

Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award sponsored by The Fabl

Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens

Avorium

Fairfax Corner

Event or Festival the Year* sponsored by LNER

York Proms

York Maze Hallowscream

Yorktoberfest

York Fashion Week

York Theatre Royal – An Evening with Kyiv City Ballet

Experience of the Year sponsored by Destination Core

The Wizard Walk of York

The Cookery School at The Grand, York

The Hilt

The Deathly Dark Tours

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year**

The York Dungeon

Castle Howard

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

The Web Adventure Park

JORVIK Viking Centre (York Archaeological Trust)

The Hole in Wand York

Large Hotel of the Year sponsored by Streamline Taxis

The Grand, York

Middletons Hotel – part of Daniel Thwaites

Malmaison York

New Tourism Business of the Year**

No.1 by GuestHouse, York

22 Yards Wine Bar & Merchants

Avorium

A Brecks Away Holiday Cottages

The Wizard Walk of York

Pub of the Year sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd

Valhalla York

The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub

Resilience & Innovation Award sponsored by York St John University

City Sightseeing (Transdev)

Next Door But One CIC

Yemen Heaven

The Deathly Dark Tours

Retailer of the Year* sponsored by Fidomoney

York Gin

Avorium

Antiques Centre York

The Potions Cauldron

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year

The Dovecote Barns

Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges

A Brecks Away Holiday Cottages

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year**

Mother Shipton’s Cave

York Army Museum

World of James Herriot

Small Hotel of the Year sponsored by Inglis Chartered Accountants

Grays Court Hotel & The Bow Room Restaurant

Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa

No.1 by GuestHouse, York

Taste of England Award sponsored by Fowlers of York

The Bow Room Restaurant at Grays Court Hotel

Corner Grill House Restaurant

Chopping Block at Walmgate Ale House

The Raj York

*Visit York only. These categories are not eligible to go forward to the Visit England Awards for Excellence.

**Sponsorship opportunities available.

Tickets for the glittering awards ceremony event on Thursday 23rd March 2023 are available from today. Book your tickets here. (Tickets cost £75 plus VAT for Visit York members, or £70 plus VAT when booking a table of 10. Tickets cost £95 plus VAT for non-members).

More information about the Visit York Tourism Awards can be found at visityork.org/awards

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer

Communications team at Make It York

Email: comms@makeityork.com

Notes to Editors:

About Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.

About John Stapleton

John Stapleton is an award-winning journalist with more than 50 years of experience in newspapers and television. He was the Royal Television Society’s Presenter of the Year in 2004 for his work covering the war in Iraq and a series of interviews with, amongst others, the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair. John’s career began as a journalist in local newspapers and progressed to Fleet Street where he worked on two national newspapers. After a four-year spell in regional TV he became a presenter on the BBC’s hugely popular Nationwide programme for five years and later a foreign correspondent with Panorama and Newsnight. He co-presented the BBC Watchdog programme with his wife Lynn Faulds Wood for seven years, hosted the ITV daytime chat show The Time the Place and spent 17 years as a presenter at GMTV, Daybreak and Good Morning Britain.

Winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards 2022:

B&B and Guest House of the Year – Sponsored by Morrell Middleton

Winner: Tower Guest House

Finalists: MonkBridge House, Westergate House

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year – Sponsored by The Fabl

Winner: Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm

Finalists: Springwood Shepherd Huts Glamping York, Wolds Walk Glamping

Experience of the Year – Sponsored by Destination Core

Winner: The Bloody Tour of York

Finalists: Castle Howard, The Deathly Dark Tours, The Cookery School at The Grand, York,

Event of the Year – Sponsored by Rugby League World Cup
Winner: York Maze

Highly Commended: That JORVIK Viking Thing

Finalists: The Great Ryedale Maze, York Balloon Fiesta

Large Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Streamline Taxis

Winner: The Grand, York

Highly Commended: Sandburn Hall Hotel

Finalists: Hotel Indigo York, Middletons Hotel, The Principal York

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by YO1 Radio
Winner: JORVIK Viking Centre

Finalists: The York Dungeon, York Art Gallery, York’s Chocolate Story

New Tourism Business of the Year – Sponsored by City Cruises
Winner: The Deathly Dark Tours

Finalists: Malmaison York, Sandburn Hall Hotel, York Riverside Apartments

Pub of the Year – Sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd
Winner: The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub

Finalists: House of Trembling Madness Lendal, House of Trembling Madness Stonegate

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year – Sponsored by Clarion Housing

Winner: Heritage Escapes (York)

Finalists: Roomzzz Aparthotels – York City, Staycity Aparthotels, The Enchantment Chamber, The Riverside York (Finalist)

Resilience and Innovation Award – Sponsored by Fabler & Co

Winner: The Web Adventure Park

Finalists: The Deathly Dark Tours, The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub, The North Yorkshire Moors Railway, The Web Adventure Park, Trembling Madness Ltd, York Gin

Shop Experience of the Year* – Sponsored by Fidomoney
Winner: York Gin

Finalists: The Antiques Centre York, York’s Chocolate Story

Small Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Hospitality Staffing
Winner: Grays Court Hotel & The Bow Room Restaurant

Finalists: Galtres Lodge, The Judge’s Lodging

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by Fowlers of York

Winner: Mother Shipton’s

Finalists: Fairfax House, York Army Museum

Taste of England Award – Sponsored by The York Roast Co.
Winner: The Bow Room Restaurant at Grays Court Hotel

Finalists: Forest at Galtres Lodge, Mr Chippy York, Plush Café, The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub

Unsung Hero Award - Sponsored by LNER

Winner: Adam Wardale, General Manager at Middletons Hotel

Finalists: Frank Caulfield, Porter at Dean Court Hotel and Norbert Lawrie, Kitchen Porter at Galtres Lodge

York Sculpture Trail Character Commission

Make It York is looking for visual artists, designers and illustrators to create a unique character or creature, bespoke to the city, that will be transformed into 3D, larger than life sculpture models as part of a family-friendly city-wide trail in 2023.

Submit your design using this form on the Make It York website by 12 noon on 14 October 2022.

Sculpture Trail Background

The 2023 sculpture trail will see 25/30 large scale sculptures strategically placed around the city to form a vibrant and bold family friendly trail of characters or creatures. Each sculpture model will be customised by being decorated with unique designs (through painting, applique, etc.) from Yorkshire-based artists, in response to a set overarching theme.

It is expected the sculptures will remain in situ for a period of four months and will be complimented with a programme of workshops, talks and demonstrations from our commissioned artists.

While this trail model has been seen widely across the country, taking the form of animals and other shapes in a multitude of formats, we’re looking to create something bespoke for the city – creating our own story and narrative for residents and visitors of York to explore.

About the Character Commission

We’re looking to commission an artist to design a character or creature that represents the city, something new and something different, that we will then turn into the sculpture model for the trail. Not only that, we’re interested in the narrative and why artists have chosen to create this particular design.

Perhaps the character plays on the heritage of York, a concept that is unearthed or has been missed from the city achieves, even a myth brought to life. Maybe this character or creature has found itself misplaced in the city, maybe it’s a fantastical never-seen-before animal, or perhaps it’s another construct entirely.

We are keeping the commission as open as possible to allow artists freedom of interpretation to create this character however, the trail will be family friendly and submitted designs must take that into consideration.

Practically, the selected design will be cast and transformed into a 5/6ft tall sculpture and therefore cannot be overly complex and highly detailed. Once produced the blank sculptures will be brought to life with different artist designs, meaning the shape of the character is key as this will be the defining element across the trail.

Another consideration is to keep designs as contained as possible, loose aspects to the character increase the likelihood of damage to the sculptures once they are in situ. Keeping the sculpture as solid and contained as possible reduces the risk of damage. For example, a long upward tail of a cat would be more prone to damage that one wrapped around the cat.

The selected artist will be decided by Make It York. The commissioned artist will be awarded a £1000 commission fee for the design and narrative of the character alongside an additional artistic fee of £1000 to create one of the artistic designs and bring a sculpture to life as part of the trail itself.

Upon commissioning Make It York will work with the artist and the manufacturing company to tweak designs where appropriate for the most suitable replication in a physical format.

Submit your design using this form on the Make It York website by 12 noon on 14 October 2022.

Commission Criteria

  • Artists may submit a maximum of two entries.
  • Anyone over the age of sixteen is eligible to submit a design.
  • Artists should reside in Yorkshire (including all of North, East, South and West)
  • Designs that do not fit the commission criteria will not be accepted.
  • Only new designs will be permitted – designs which already exist and have been used in other contexts will not be accepted.
  • The artist should submit a visual drawn/designed representation of their concept. This should be in PDF or image format.
  • Artists should also complete the expression of interest form and include details of the character narrative.
  • Designs should be considered practically based on the shape and elements for large scale reproducing.
  • The commissioned artist will be required to make tweaks to the design if needed following selection and consultation with the production company.
  • Entries remain the intellectual property of the artist and will be kept on record for informational purposes only by Make It York. Artists may contact the company to request their design be removed from records.
  • The selected artists commission fee includes a buyout fee of £1000 of the intellectual property of the design, which will become the property of Make It York, who will have sole right to replicate the design for the production of the trail and potential commercial opportunities to run alongside. The artist will not receive a share of sales.
  • An additional £1000 artistic fee will be awarded to the selected artist to create a design on one of the sculptures as part of the trail.
  • Decisions will be made in October 2022, with the winner being notified on or before 4th November 2022.
  • The decision of Make It York on the outcome of the commission is final, although we are happy to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Nine Organisations Awarded Cultural Wellbeing Grants 2022

Nine York-based charities, social enterprises, community groups and individuals have been awarded grant funding by Make It York and City of York Council, made available via the Better Care Fund. The Cultural Wellbeing grant funding will support a range of initiatives for York residents, which are designed to support mental wellbeing and reduce loneliness and isolation.  

A total of £30,000 was made available for organisations to help isolated people engage in their communities, combat mental ill-health, improve physical health, enable participation in culture and creativity, or access to employment and learning opportunities. Organisations were invited to apply to grants up to £5,000 to aid initiatives throughout the city, which will be taking place from summer 2022 through to March 2023.  

The projects that will be funded through the Cultural Wellbeing Grants 2022 are:  

  • Singing for all with Jessa‘Singing For All York’ – reducing loneliness and isolation by providing inclusive and informal singing sessions for those living with dementia or other physical/mental health conditions, carers, and those in good health.  
  • New Visuality‘Intergenerational Art: Memories and Hope’ – encouraging the sharing of memories, stories, and anecdotes by elderly people to make them feel more part of their community and more connected with younger people, which will then form various art projects throughout the city 
  • Next Door But One‘A Rehearsal for Life’ – providing young adults with multiple and complex disabilities a safe space to explore feelings of fear, anxiety and safety about real-life experiences through theatre, to help them develop personal resilience and social skills for when these scenarios arise 
  • Thunk-It Theatre‘Enchanted’ – enticing members of the local community to enjoy creative green spaces in our city to reduce isolation and loneliness using craft-making and storytelling 
  • Pilot Theatre‘Creative Connections with Sanctuary-Seekers’ – creating a series of arts, crafts, and dance sessions to welcome sanctuary-seekers into York and provide them a safe space to socialise, including Ukrainian refugees in York 
  • Converge‘An Exhibition of Sanctuary: from the hospital to the city’ – creating works of art with patients at Foss Park Mental Health Hospital to explore ideas of sanctuary in a stressful, busy world which will later form an exhibition in the city  
  • National Centre for Early Music‘Baroque around the Books’ – a tour of musical performances around York Explore community libraries to encourage creative conversations and share musical experiences with members of the community  
  • Bolshee‘Bolshee Women’ – an exploration of contemporary autobiographical performance techniques which will result in a co-created performance that aims to combat social isolation of women over the age of 25 
  • ‘The Artery for Health’ led by heritage and cultural learning consultant Karen Merrifield – establishing a programme to understand how artists and cultural organisations can provide solace, support and comfort for patients and healthcare professionals through art therapy and art interventions. 
     

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York, says: “This year’s Cultural Wellbeing Grants projects reflect the immense breadth and diversity of cultural initiatives taking place in the city to support people’s mental wellbeing, and to reduce isolation. They range from creative activity sessions for sanctuary-seekers in York, to an art exhibition by patients at Foss Park Mental Health Hospital, through to a programme of performance techniques to combat social isolation in women over 25. 

“The Cultural Wellbeing Grants are a really important scheme to support residents’ wellbeing, which is at the heart of the York Culture Strategy. It’s a privilege to be able to support these vital initiatives from Make It York.” 

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, says: “The Cultural Wellbeing Grants are a really vital scheme, building on our work in tackling isolation and supporting mental health across the city. This is particularly important in the aftermath of the pandemic. Thank you to all those organisations who submitted so many excellent bids, it’s great once again to see how many creative institutions there are across York.   

“The successful projects, from singing lessons to intergenerational art, will all deliver crucial support in bolstering residents’ health and wellbeing. I look forward to seeing these projects deliver a real difference across York’s communities.” 

ENDS 

For more information: 

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer, Communications Team at Make It York 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

Further information for the Cultural Wellbeing grants can be found here: https://www.makeityork.com/culture/cultural-wellbeing-grants  

If you have any queries or need support with the grant processes, please email: Carl.wain@york.gov.uk  

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.  

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Culture Strategy 

The Queen’s Baton Relay visits York

The Queen’s Baton Relay visited York on Wednesday 13th July ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Birmingham 2022 is staging the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – an epic journey across the Commonwealth, with The Queen’s Baton visiting all 72 nations and territories.

York’s Batonbearers Zoe Barratt, William Kilgannon, Colin Lea and Max May completed their relay around part of the bar walls and around York Minster. The baton then travelled to Batonbearer Lucy Hadaway at York St John’s Haxby Road campus, where 600 school children from 20 primary schools in York were able to see the baton up close.

Make It York’s Managing Director, Sarah Loftus, completed her stint of the relay this morning in Hull before supporting fellow Batonbearers in York. Sarah Loftus said: “It has been a huge honour to carry the baton today and to share this experience with York’s inspiring Batonbearers, as the relay continues its journey through England. It’s been amazing to see our community experience the buzz of the Queen’s Baton Relay and build up the excitement for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games”

Cllr Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities at City of York Council, said: Welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to York in this, the Platinum Jubilee year and ahead of the Commonwealth Games, is an honour. Thank you to the Batonbearers who represented the city.

“The Baton has visited many hundreds of cities and towns across the world already. Seeing it being carried along our iconic city walls and around the Minster reminds us of our connection to the Commonwealth, so thank you to everyone involved.”

For more information, please contact comms@makeityork.com

St Nicholas Fair 30th Anniversary Bauble Design Competition 

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED


Make It York are calling out for visual artists, print makers, and designers to create a bespoke bauble design to celebrate the 30th anniversary of York’s St Nicholas Fair.  

A staple in York’s streets over the festive period since 1992, the St Nicholas Fair Christmas Market will this year feature a special limited run of porcelain baubles that celebrate this exciting milestone. Profits from the bauble sales will be used to create a new cultural fund, York Creates, to provide future small-seed funding for artists and makers in the city. 

About St Nicholas Fair 

Rated in the top ten Christmas Markets in the UK, the five-week St Nicholas Fair features over sixty alpine chalets lining the streets of Parliament Street and St Sampsons Square, with local businesses selling everything from handmade gifts to delicious treats. The fair is the heart of the city’s Christmas experience and contributes to York ranking in the UK’s top ten Christmas destinations.  

Find out more about Christmas in York here. 

About the Competition 

The theme for the design is: A York Christmas 

Artists should produce a design around this theme for the bauble, which can be traditional, contemporary or give a fresh interpretation to a York Christmas.   

Artists should produce a design using the guidelines provided and give a short explanation of their design. The bauble can accommodate three images of 40 x 40mm. These images can either be identical or different, depending on artist preference. However, one (or all) of these image squares should either be or include the word ‘York’, or some variation around a Christmas greeting (e.g., ‘Merry Christmas from York’). 

Designs should be high quality and appeal to a range of customers, both local and visitors. The design should be suitable for use set against the white background of the bauble. The brief is open to interpretation on design style. Download instructions here for design specifications. 

The winner will be decided by Make It York. The winner will be awarded a £500 cash prize and be included in promotional activity. A limited run of baubles will be produced and sold through Make It York as part of the 2022 St Nicholas Fair. 

Enter the competition by 12 noon on 12 August 2022. APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

For more information or to ask a question, contact culture@makeityork.com.

Competition Rules 

  • Artists may submit a maximum of two entries. 
  • Anyone over the age of sixteen is eligible to enter the competition. Artists should reside in York, or have a strong local connection. 
  • Designs that do not fit the specifications provided will not be accepted. Read specifications here.  
  • Only new designs will be permitted – designs which already exist and have been used in other contexts will not be accepted.  
  • The artist should submit a visual design for a bauble which will be manufactured professionally. Artists are not expected the manufacture the baubles themselves.  
  • Entries from members of Make It York staff, Visit York staff and volunteers, and close family of these is not permitted. 
  • Entries remain the intellectual property of the artist and after the competition, will be kept on record for informational purposes only by Make It York. Artists may contact the company to request their design be removed from records. 
  • The winning artist’s prize includes a buyout fee of £500 of the intellectual property of the design, which will become the property of Make It York, who will have sole right to merchandise the baubles. The artist will not receive a share of sales. All profits will be ringfenced for the new York Creates cultural seed fund. 
  • Decisions will be made in August 2022, with the winner being notified on or before 19 August 2022.  
  • The decision of Make It York on the outcome of the competition is final, although we are happy to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.  

Applications open for Visit York Tourism Awards 2023

Entries are now open for the prestigious Visit York Tourism Awards 2023, sponsored by LNER, which recognise, congratulate and celebrate outstanding businesses and individuals that deliver a world-class experience for visitors to the city.  

The last Visit York Tourism Awards 2022 took place earlier this year in March, where 15 of York’s top tourism businesses celebrated a win at the ceremony at York Racecourse. Winners of eligible categories were put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, with Middletons Hotel’s Adam Wardale going on to win the national Unsung Hero award.  

Returning on 23rd March 2023 at York Racecourse for a black-tie ceremony and an evening of entertainment, there will be 16 Visit York Tourism Awards up for grabs including: 

  • B&B and Guest House of the Year   
  • Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year   
  • Cultural Venue of the Year* sponsored by Clarion Housing Group 
  • Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award sponsored by The Fabl 
  • Event or Festival the Year* sponsored by LNER 
  • Experience of the Year sponsored by Destination Core 
  • Large Attraction of the Year   
  • Large Hotel of the Year sponsored by Streamline Taxis  
  • New Tourism Business of the Year   
  • Pub of the Year sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd  
  • Resilience & Innovation Award sponsored by York St John University  
  • Retailer of the Year* sponsored by Fidomoney  
  • Self Catering Accommodation of the Year   
  • Small Attraction of the Year   
  • Small Hotel of the Year   
  • Taste of England Award sponsored by Fowlers of York  

There are two new categories introduced for the 2023 awards, ‘Cultural Venue of the Year’ and ‘Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award’.  

From hotels to restaurants, pubs to visitor attractions; businesses and cultural organisations across the city are being urged to enter – with the deadline of Friday 26th August to submit their winning entries online at www.visityork.org/awards. The awards are free to enter for Visit York members and £150+VAT for non-members. 

Once all the entries are in, a panel of independent judges will decide on the final shortlist and winners through a mix of mystery shopping and rigorous analysis against the entry criteria. Businesses can check the eligibility criteria and enter the Visit York Tourism Awards online at www.visityork.org/awards. 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “The Visit York Tourism Awards celebrate the very best in tourism, hospitality and culture in our city and surrounding areas. For many years, winning these awards have had huge benefits for businesses both regionally and nationally, with many awards being automatically put forward for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. This year, following his win at the Visit York Tourism Awards 2022, Middletons Hotel’s Adam Wardale went on to win Unsung Hero at the Visit England Awards for Excellence.  

With 16 opportunities to take home an award in 2023, as well as the introduction of two new categories, businesses have until 26th August to get their entries in!” 

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities at City of York Council, said: “York’s tourism industry plays a major role in our city’s economy and culture, with a vibrant offering, which sets us apart from other cities. There are many excellent local businesses and organisations who make our city world-renowned to millions of visitors every year and . The Tourism Awards are a great way to celebrate their wonderful work and the contribution they make to our great city. I would encourage all across the industry to apply to ensure their efforts can be rightly recognised.” 

*Visit York only. These categories are not eligible to go forward to the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.   

ENDS 

For more information: 

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Communications team at Make It York 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

Applications for the Visit York Tourism Awards 2023 are open until 5pm, Friday 26th August. Finalists will be announced in the Autumn, ahead of the awards ceremony at York Racecourse on Thursday 23rd March 2023.  

About Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events. 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand  

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

York Ice Trail 2023: Date and Theme Announced

York Ice Trail organisers, Make It York, are pleased to announce that plans are underway for the family-favourite event to return to the city in February 2023.  

The theme for York Ice Trail 2023 will invite people to time travel to prehistoric ages, walk through history and step into the future for ‘A Journey Through Time’. 

The last York Ice Trail took place in March 2022 and was a huge success, following a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Over 40 ice sculptures lined the streets of York over the weekend, with an estimated 25,000 people participating in the trail. Research commissioned with Qa Research showed that 94% of participants would recommend the trail to family and friends.* 

The free trail also had a positive impact on businesses in the city, with 81% of participants eating out or drinking in the city’s restaurants, cafes and bars. Plus, more than 50% were likely to go shopping or visit an attraction. 

Post-pandemic, York Ice Trail appealed to more residents than pre-pandemic in 2020. The proportion of residents visiting York Ice Trail in 2022 increased to 39%, compared with 23% in February 2020. 

York Ice Trail 2023 will once again see the ‘coolest’ sculptures around the city, all sponsored and concepted by local businesses. UK and Europe’s leading ice specialists, Icebox will design and create all the sculptures for the 2023 trail for the second year.  

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “York Ice Trail is one of the best-loved events in the city and we’re so excited to planning our next trail in February 2023. It’s a huge celebration of our city and a great opportunity for businesses to come together to support. The concept for next year’s trail will inspire the imagination with ‘A Journey Through Time’, transporting visitors across time and dimension!” 

Greg Pittard, Managing Director at Icebox, said: “We are thrilled to be returning to York for the second year in a row as the sculptors for the 2023 Ice Trail!  The York Ice Trail is by far one of the ‘coolest’ events we have been a part of, and we have a busy few months in the freezer ahead as we begin carving for this year’s theme. Thank you to Make It York and all the amazing businesses across the city for trusting us and making this event possible!” 

For more information, visit York Ice Trail | Visit York  #YorkIceTrail  

*Research based on a survey of 393 visitors  

ENDS 

For more information, please contact: 

Sarah Foster, Communications Manager at Make It York 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors 

York Ice Trail 2023 will return on 4th and 5th February. York Ice Trail is a Make It York event. 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

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