At first look, this is just an old, partly-cobbled road leading up a low hill out of town towards Micklegate Bar (and on towards the Knavesmire). Its name has its origins in Old Norse, meaning Great Street. The route into the city was largely rebuilt in Georgian times, as some of the grand houses along it still show.
During the day
Micklegate a quiet enough road, with small shops such as the Spellman’s second-hand books, the Oxfam Charity Bookshop and several restaurants and pubs (chip shop, snack bars, Indian, Italian), and it’s the route out in the direction of the Bar Convent.
Tip If you’re walking up this way, it may be an idea to call into Holy Trinity church and take in the free exhibition about the Benedictine Monks who used to call Micklegate home.
But after dark …
It’s then the street undergoes a regular nocturnal transformation, when bars and nightclubs open up here and in the neighbouring streets.
Micklegate then becomes the busy venue for what is known locally as the Micklegate Run, a popular pub and club crawl starting just outside the walls and extending back into town. Winter and summer, crowds of lightly-clad gals and guys, set on a good, boozy night out, spill through the doorways onto the street from the various establishments. York’s Micklegate has also become a destination of choice for stag and hen parties all around the region. You’ll recognise them by their serious collective drinking and celebrating as well as by their attempt at outrageous and provocative fancy-dress.
Tip At night, Micklegate is not for the faint-hearted, and best avoided if you’re not up for serious partying.