York is a historic walled city in North Yorkshire, England, and is the traditional county town of Yorkshire to which it gives its name. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events in England throughout much of its two millennia of existence. The city offers a wealth of historic attractions, of which York Minster is the most prominent, and a variety of cultural and sporting activities making it a popular tourist destination for millions.

In the 19th century, York became a hub of the railway network and a confectionery manufacturing centre. In recent decades, the economy of York has moved from being dominated by its confectionery and railway-related industries to one that provides services.

The University of York and health services have become major employers, whilst tourism has become an important element of the local economy.

The city has a wealth of opportunities for business and for tourists and is a very safe and welcoming city.


In general, the British value time-keeping for business arrangements. If you set up a meeting for two o’clock, the chances are your counterparts will arrive on time or just before. Time is valued as an economic resource. It is considered very impolite to arrive late for a business meeting. If your delay is inevitable and you arrive late, it is usually sufficient to excuse yourself with an apology. If, however, you are running more than a few minutes late, you should call ahead to apologise and give an indication of how long you will be; in the case of a longer delay that would compromise the value of attending the meeting, you should consider offering to postpone the meeting to a new time and/or day. The busier people are, the greater the likelihood that they will have to leave for another engagement, so respecting their time is very important.

Attending social events is slightly different, and guests may be expected to arrive about fifteen minutes after the specified time, but this is dependent on the nature of the event and the number of attendees.

Gift Giving is not a usual part of British business etiquette. Some organisations are encouraged not to accept any form of gift and some are prevented from doing so on legal grounds.

There is an expectation that business dress will be worn for meetings. Evening meeting may be less formal if held in a restaurant. It is common for women to wear either trousers or a skirt in an office environment, and head scarves are accepted as part of religious freedom.

There is a thriving restaurant culture as well as many pubs. With two theatres and a number of cinemas there is also a very good arts culture in York.


York is well served by trains from all the major cities. London 1hr 50 mins, Manchester 1 hr 30 mins and Edinburgh 2 hr 30 mins.

The nearest airport is Leeds Bradford with KLM flying to Schiphol 4-5 times a day. The rail link from York goes direct to Manchester airport with direct flights to all continents.

Recommended taxi companies include Station Taxis +44 1904 623332 and Ebor +44 1904 641441

Note most taxis have to be pre booked and cannot be hailed from the roadside. If you need a taxi, the best option is to find a hotel and ask them to book you a taxi or to take one from one of the public taxi ranks near the minster or the station.

dining and bars

The Whippet Inn – great Gin and traditional English food
Rustique – good value French and international food
Ask Italian – great pizza in an amazing setting


Network North  – Hotel du Vin every Wednesday and Thursday morning 7:30-9:00am – informal business networking, very friendly mixed group of small businesses sharing contacts and new business opportunities.


Both the Royal York Hotel and The Grand have beauty and fitness spas
Great Hair dresser – David Wilson Hair


York is a very safe city although it is wise to avoid some of the more lively party areas on Friday and Saturday nights such as Micklegate. Public transport is safe.  There are no legal or cultural restrictions for women


Following a scientific career in research and industry, I moved into business intelligence with Glaxo SmithKline prior to joining the University of York in 1999. At the university I am responsible for the engagement of the University with business with a special focus on the development and delivery of professional development and executive education courses for organisations across the world.

Through my work with UK Trade and Investment, I am involved in promoting the UK Higher Education and Corporate Training sector to overseas governments and corporations and regularly speak to audiences of UK businesses on export and international business.

I am also the Founder and Director of the Training Gateway a FREE brokerage service providing a quick and easy way for any organisation wishing to source corporate, vocational and executive training and educational partnerships from UK universities, colleges and private training providers.

I have worked extensively across the MENA region with both governments and the private sector and regularly take UK education and training trade missions to the region.

In my spare time I run half marathons and the occasional marathon. I enjoy dress making and gardening.

Contact me here or follow me on twitter

Networking: See who is networking in York now

Read the doing business in the UK guide.