The ultimate guide to feeling like a main character in York this autumn

Did someone say dark academia?


When you live in a city as beautiful as York, it is hard not to feel like the main character all the time. However, it is during autumn that York really comes into its own. From pottery painting, to beautiful walks around the city, the range of activities available are endless.

And so, here is our ultimate guide to help you become the main character this autumn (minus the Ugg boots and pumpkin spice lattes).

Study at Kings Manor

Who said university degrees had to stop you from becoming the main character? Located in the city centre, Kings Manor is a library all York university students have access to guaranteed to fulfil all of your dark academia needs. Although it can get very cold inside the library (make sure to layer up!) there is no better way to romanticise your degree than pretending you are actually a part of the The Secret History whilst studying in this beautiful space. It is also conveniently located near Brew and Brownie if you desperately need a study break…

Pottery Painting at Bish Bash pot

What better way to spend a chilly autumn day than designing a new hot chocolate mug? Or a Pinterest worthy bowl perfect for some pesto pasta? Located on Walmgate, Bish Bash Pot is a cosy pottery studio offering a range of gorgeous products to choose from, allowing you to show off your creative flare. Whether you go alone or with flatmates, this is definitely an activity guaranteed to make you feel like the main character in the autumn months to come.

Stroll down the Shambles

We can’t talk about being a main character in York without mentioning the Shambles. Famously likened to Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, the Shambles fit almost every requirement to create the ultimate main character vibes. From pop up food stalls, having just hosted York food festival, to unique jewellery stands, there is nothing that can get you feeling like the main character more than having a browse through these gorgeous cobbled streets. Just be sure to avoid the weekend rush, which will definitely kill the “cool and mysterious” vibes you are trying to uphold…

Visit one of York’s many bookshops

Get your autumn playlist on and head into town to browse York’s bookshops. This solo date is guaranteed to make you feel like you have stepped straight out of Notting Hill (sadly minus Hugh Grant). From Minster Gate Bookshop to The Little Apple, these hidden gems will occupy you for hours during a chilly afternoon in the city. The Waterstones in York even has a cafe!

Visit one of York’s many bookshops

Get your autumn playlist on and head into town to browse York’s bookshops. This solo date is guaranteed to make you feel like you have stepped straight out of Notting Hill (sadly minus Hugh Grant). From Minster Gate Bookshop to The Little Apple, these hidden gems will occupy you for hours during a chilly afternoon in the city. The Waterstones in York even has a cafe!

Walk the City Walls

There is truly no better way to appreciate the beauty of York during autumn than by walking the city walls. With stunning views over the Minster, this can be undertaken solo or with friends, and is guaranteed to make you feel like the main character, whilst giving you a tour of the city at the same time. Even better – it costs absolutely nothing. Unless, of course, you are tempted by a coffee en route at Gatehouse Coffee.

Go for a Sunday Roast

Now that it is starting to get colder, you finally have an excuse to bring back the good old British favourite – the Sunday roast. This is the perfect comforting activity for any weekend, and whether you go alone, or for a cosy pub date, a roast in Yorkshire is always a main character experience within itself. If you are feeling fancy, visit The York Roast Co and buy one of their famous Yorkshire pudding wraps, a fan favourite and a must try for all York students. Or, even better, make a roast at home with your flatmates. As long as you have access to some form of roast dinner this autumn, you will be able to live your main character dreams.

Go to a kilo Sale

The perfect main character activity in so many ways, kilo sales in York are one of the best ways to update your autumn wardrobe, whilst making you feel super cool at the same time. The vibes are always immaculate, and you will finally have the chance to find a cable knit sweater that Rory Gilmore would be jealous of. As a head start, on the 21st October, Vintage Vera are hosting a kilo sale in York Methodist Church, charging £20 per kilo. Prepare to stockpile and spend your entire student loan on oversized jumpers you definitely don’t need – just as long as you are willing to fight for the good stuff.

Get your Bake on

In the spirit of the Bake Off, the only acceptable way to finish your day of being a main character in York is to do some baking. Not only will this make your flat smell delicious, but you will also certainly become very popular with your flatmates. I would definitely recommend trying Taylor Swift’s chai sugar cookies recipe which has been going viral on TikTok, and for a good reason; they are the perfect sweet treat to end a cosy autumn day.

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