Useful Information

We’ve tried to think about what families living in or visiting York might want to know about that we haven’t covered elsewhere, from where to change a nappy to where to get a baby’s passport photo taken. We’ve also covered the basics on getting around, discount cards to get into visitor attractions and much more. No doubt there are lots of things we’ve missed, so if there’s something you’d like to know then please get in touch and we will add your question to out list.

We’ve all been there: needing to find somewhere to change a nappy fast. As well as the public loos (see below), our other favourite places to change a nappy are:

  • Boots, 22 Parliament Street, YO1 8RS
  • Jojo Maman Bebe, 81 Low Petergate, YO1 7HY
  • The Spurriergate Centre, St Michael’s Church, Spurriergate, YO1 9QR
  • Marks & Spencer, 9 The Pavement, YO1 2NB and U19 U20 Coppergate, YO1 1NY
  • York Explore Library, Library Square, YO1 7DS
  • York Theatre Royal, St. Leonard’s Place YO1 7HD
  • City Screen,13-17 Coney Street, YO1 9QL

We’re usually so grateful that we buy a cup of tea or something afterwards!

If you’re caught short, the main city centre public loos are at the Coppergate Shopping Sentre, Silver Street and Union Terrace. They each have simple baby change facilities and there’s a charge for entry.
York has a good choice of car parks, but they’re not cheap and they do get busy. The Council website has a list of Council-run car parks in York and current charges. Residents can apply for a residents’ parking badge to display in the windscreen; it means residents can benefit from reduced charges in most car parks (and it’s often free in the evenings for residents too). You could try parking further from town and walking, but many of the streets are residents-only parking or only allow you to park for a while. If it all sounds like a hassle, you could try Park & Ride (see below), cycle or walk.
If you can’t face the search for a free parking space or the fairly steep parking charges, you could try Park &Ride. There are five Park & Ride sites outside the city centre. Park here for free and then take a bus into the city centre. They’re frequent and buggy accessible. Two children under 16 travel free if accompanied by a paying adult, and there are discounts available for frequent users. For more info, see here.
Here are a few places that will happily take your baby’s passport photo:

  • Past Images Photo Studios, 10 Shambles, York YO1 7LZ (01904 676 167)
  • Timpsons Ltd, 15 Newgate Street, York YO1 7LA (01904 651470)
  • Varney Photographers, 24 York Road, York YO24 4LU (01904 797359)
  • York Digital Image, 8 Bridge Street, York YO1 6DD (01904 652 666)

Prices vary, and some places will guarantee that the Passport Office won’t reject the pictures. We’d recommend shopping around to get the best deal; call in advance to check current prices.

York is served by an efficient and comprehensive network of buses. Wherever you want to go, the chances are there will be a bus to take you there. Most buses are fairly buggy-friendly. Daily family tickets (‘All York Family’) are available for five people for £10 in the York area. For more information, see the i-travel York website.
If you’re a York resident and you don’t have a YorkCard, you’re missing out! For just £3 you’ll get a card that entitles you to various discounts for 12 months. Benefits include free entry to the Castle Museum and Yorkshire Museum and discounted entry to various other attractions (such as York’s Chocolate Story on Sundays only (not including bank holidays)). You also get discounted entry at Energise, Yearsley and York Sport. Every family member needs his or her own card, and you can get yours from the library.
The York Pass is a card that gives you entry to over 30 of York’s attractions over one, two or three days. It might not be cheap (a 1 day adult pass is £36, and £20 for a child at the time of writing) but that idea is that it works out cheaper than paying the entry charge at each location. No doubt it does, but we’d recommend that you do work out exactly what you’re planning to see and how much it will come to before you commit. Don’t forget that there’s quite a lot to do in the city for free (or very little). See York For Free for more information. If you do decide to buy the York Pass, check out the YorkPass website for online discounts if you buy in advance.
The JORVIK Group runs the JORVIK Viking Centre, DIG, Barley Hall and Mickegate Bar Museum. If you’re planning to visit more than one of these attractions, it might be worth considering purchasing a Pastport. It enables you to visit all the attractions for a single, discounted price for 12 months. Purchase it from the first of the attractions you visit.

There are various taxi rank locations in the city centre and one at the station. For a list of the current ranks, see the council’s up-to-date list. While there’s the odd London-style cab, most are ordinary saloon cars so buggies will need to be folded down. If you need a cab with more space, call ahead with your requirements. Here’s a selection of taxi numbers:

York Station Taxis 01904 623 332

Ebor Cars 01904 641441

Getaway Cars 01904 622 228

Streamline Taxis 01904 656 565

Fleetways 01904 365 365

Newgate Market (just off Parliament Street) is open every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day from 9am to 4pm (4.30pm at the weekend). As well as fresh fruit and veg, meat and fish there’s an array of other stalls selling all sorts, from clothing to mobile phones and crockery.

Specialist markets, like farmer’s markets and continental markets, run throughout the year. The best way to find out which market is on and when is to check the council website.

You can find Visit York (tourist information) at 1 Museum Street, York YO1 7DT. Don’t forget you can always email us with specific questions and we can try to help.
There are so many classes in York for babies and toddlers that it’s hard to know where to start. It’s something that we want to cover in more detail on Little Vikings in due course, but in the meantime there are certain venues that run regular classes for parents and babies that you could contact for more info. For example, St Clements Hall in Clementhorpe has a baby sensory class; York Theatre Royal holds various storytelling and other groups throughout the year, as well as the ever-popular Youth Theatre Yorkshire drama classes; each of the Council-run swimming pools runs swimming lessons; York Gymnastics Club is very highly regarded (and has a long waiting list!); the libraries run storytelling sessions; DIG! has Saturday morning archaeology-based groups and the Yorkshire and Castle Museums have regular groups too. Don’t forget the baby/toddler cinema sessions at City Screen, too.

If you’re a York resident, get yourself (and every family member) a YorkCard for free entry to various attractions and discounts on leisure. Make sure you’ve got a residents’ car parking sticker for discounts on car park charges too (available from York City Council).

Other tips for saving are:

  • Book tickets to attractions online to benefit any from online-only discounts.
  • If you’re planning to visit one of the JORVIK Group attractions, consider whether it’s worth buying a Pastport.
  • If you think you’ll go to a National Trust, Royal Horticultural Society, English Heritage or Historic Houses Association property more than once in a year, work out whether it’s worth buying annual membership.
  • Take a look at our ideas for what to do in York for free.
The York Hospital, Wiggington Road, York YO31 8HE; (01904) 631313. It has an Accident & Emergency department that now doubles as a walk-in minor injuries clinic.
York is one of the country’s top cycling cities, making it the perfect place to get on your bike. There’s a network of off-road bike paths and on-road cycle lanes as well as plenty of places to park your bike. There are lots of bike shops that hire out bikes by the day or weekend, and have good stocks of trailers for young children.