Hopefully by now I have convinced you that you need to travel to the charming city that is York. The problem is, it's not the cheapest of places. I'd go as far as saying it is the most expensive city in the North of England.

But never fear, I'm here to provide you with the insider's guide on how to survive York on a tight budget. Here's a run down of a few things you can do in this magnificent city without spending a single penny.

York Minster
Admire the architecture. There are so many beautiful buildings to admire across York. The York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, is one of the greatest architectural gems, but there are plenty of others. Take a wander down The Shambles to see rows of over-hanging, timber-framed buildings, dating back to medieval times. Elsewhere you will find structures built in various time periods, from Elizabethan houses to Georgian mansions.

River Foss
Enjoy the outdoor spaces. There are two rivers running through York; the River Ouse and the River Foss. Between the two of them they provide plenty of beautiful spots along the river banks to relax and enjoy the views. Then there is Rowntree Park and the Museum Gardens, both within walking distance of the city centre. If you're prepared to go a little further out of town, there are plenty more joys to discover, including the landscaped gardens surrounding the university campus.

York Castle Museum
Visit the museums and art galleries. I wouldn't say I'm a big fan of trains, but the National Railway Museum is a great place to spend a couple of hours and is completely free! Here you can see various trains from across the centuries and even go onboard some of them. Unfortunately many of the other museums in York charge a small fortune, but the York Art Gallery is free to enter as is St Mary's, a church turned exhibition space.

The Shambles
Do some window shopping. It might not be easy to do this one without spending a penny, but it is possible! There are so many small, independent shops selling all sorts of trinkets. You can spend hours exploring novelty gift ideas, adorable home decor, locally produced art and much more. Some of the best streets to wander through for independent stores are The Shambles, Walmgate, Petergate and Stonebow.

Clifford's Tower
Enjoy the views. The views in York are rather spectacular. There is some local law that restricts buildings being above a certain height so that the York Minster can be seen from all over the city. As a result the high-rise apartment blocks you would normally expect in a UK city are replaced by spectacular views in all directions. My favourite spot for enjoying the views is from the brow of the hill on which Clifford's Tower is perched. You can pay to go into the actual castle, but the views from the top of the hill are just as good and you can enjoy them without spending a penny.

It is certainly possible to enjoy York whatever your budget. On the opposite end of the scale there are 5* hotels, upmarket restaurants, overpriced shops and expensive museums, but it's really not necessary to drain your bank account!

What's your favourite way to enjoy a city on a budget?

PS. There's plenty to do outside the city walls too; check out these posts on Piglet's Adventure Farm and York Maze.