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Britain > North England > York > St Helen's Square

One of the main junctions in York city centre, containing shops, architecture, history, and the cities most famous Café

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Betty's Tea Room
Mansion House
St Helen's Church
Terrys Name
St. Helen's church was built centuries ago, right in the centre of the city - and for most of that time, its churchyard was a quiet area, covered in grass and plants. Of course, in the years since then it has become completely unrecognisable. The once-calm rectangular slice of land is now a bustling square surrounded by shops, and one of the busiest places in York.

St Helen's Church
The church still stands at the head of the area, and its the first thing to draw the eye. But there are many other impressive sights here, such as Mansion House, home to York's mayors since 1725, and Betty's Tea Rooms, which has been the best Café in the city for so long that it has become a tourist attraction in its own right! It was opened in 1937, with an interior design based on the luxurious Queen Mary cruise ship. It became popular with many foreign pilots stationed in the city, often from America or Canada. Many of these frequent customers scratched their signatures into a mirror, which visitors can still see to this day.

Mansion House

Betty's Tea Rooms

A pile of cakes in Betty's window!
Earlier in the 1900s, there actually used to be a second famous cafe in the square. It belonged to Mr. Terry, the well-known confectioner whose Chocolate Oranges are still popular to this day. Unfortunately, his shop closed in the 80s, after 160 years - but if you look carefully, you can still see his name, carved into the stonework on his old store, just opposite Betty's.
In the present day, St Helen's Square is one of the main junctions of the city centre, and any shopper can't help but pass through. So when you do, make sure to stop a moment, and have a look around. Whether it's the architecture, the history, or the street performers that draws your attention, there's always something to see.
Visitor Information
Betty's Team Room is open daily 9am to 9pm.

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