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Buying a property to let (or moving to a new area) is always a big decision to make. To help you better understand what York has to offer, we’ve produced a series of location guides that break down York’s amenities. We have plenty of experience in selling and letting property, and we’re known as a student letting agents in York.
In this article, we’ll be looking at York’s South Bank area. Highly popular with students and non-students alike, the South Bank has all the essential amenities and a strong sense of community. You can also check out our previous location guides on the Letting Guides page.
The South Bank area in York is located south of the River Ouse, and is very popular with postgraduate students and mature students. It was originally an agricultural area until the late 19th century, when terraced housing began to spread across the region.
One of the area’s most famous landmarks is the Terry’s chocolate factory, which opened in 1926. The factory produced many different types of confectionery over the years; one of the earliest was Terry’s Chocolate Apple, later replaced by the much more popular Chocolate Orange. The factory closed in 2005, but the premises are due to be revamped into housing, shops and many other buildings.
Several other institutions in York’s South Bank also have a long history. Knavesmire Primary School opened back in 1914, while St Chad’s Greys—the local Scout group—dates back to 1926. Today it’s one of York’s largest scout groups, and even has its own Scout Band. More recent developments, like the 2001 Millennium Bridge, make moving around the South Bank much easier.
For most residents, Bishopthorpe Road (known locally as Bishy Road) is a particular area of interest. It features several independent shops and cafes, which help give the South Bank its distinct character. It was also voted Britain’s best high street back in 2015.
1-bed apartments to rent in this area: £773 pcm
Expect rent to be between £625 and £850
2 bed apartments to rent in this area: £964 pcm
Expect rent to be between £725 and £1,050
1-bed apartments to buy in this area: £181,250
Expect buying prices to be between £145,000 and £220,000
2 bed apartments to buy in this area: £290,653
Expect buying prices to be between £179,000 and £435,000
Houses to rent in this area: £805 pcm
(2 bed terraced house) Expect rent to be between £645 and £900
Houses to buy in this area: £235,000
(2 bed terraced house) Expect buying prices to be between £145,000 and £285,000
Although it’s popular with university students, the South Bank has several primary and secondary schools as well.
Scarcroft Primary School is located on Moss Street in York, and part of the South Bank Academy Trust. It was rated Outstanding in its most recent Ofsted report, and places strong emphasis on the arts. However, the school also offers a robust programme of sports activities. They aim to produce a space where children can be healthy, curious, positive and responsible,
Knavesmire Primary School is part of the South Bank Academy Trust, and the main primary school in its area. Located on Trafalgar Street, the school aims to make education both fun and challenging, while offering safe, secure outside learning environments alongside normal classroom space. The school has also invested in a range of PE equipment, sports clubs and sports kits for their school teams.
Millthorpe School is located on Nunthorpe Avenue, and is part of the South Bank Multi Academy Trust. It offers many different subjects including dance, design technology and ICT, and students can also take the English Baccalaureate qualification. The school offers post-16 guidance for all of its students, including apprenticeships and work experience.
All Saints Roman Catholic School received an Outstanding grade from Ofsted at its most recent inspection. They offer a diverse curriculum of subjects, including modern languages, politics, computing and social care. The lower school can be found on Nunnery Lane, while the Sixth Form is at their Mill Mount building in central York.
The Mount School is a day and boarding school for girls aged 2–18. Located on Dalton Terrace, the school believes its students thrive in an all-girl environment. As well as a wide curriculum of subjects, the school offers a school council and sports committee where students can make their voices heard.
The South Bank has many different shops, services and environments that make day-to-day life highly enjoyable.
The South Bank is famous for its range of independent shops. Several popular shops can be found on Bishopthorpe Road.
The Bishy Weigh sells a variety of foods including grains, cereals, dried fruits and sweet treats. It also promotes a plastic free ethos, and encourages customers to bring their own containers along.
Fruitique is a greengrocer that aims to provide fresh local produce to its community. They sell a range of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as freshly-squeezed orange juice. Like the Bishy Weigh, they are aiming to dramatically reduce their plastic consumption.
M&K Quality Butchers opened in 1970, and is run by brothers Simon and Matthew Kneafsey. They offer a comprehensive range of meat products including beef, lamb, pork and poultry. They also produce several foods onsite, such as cooked meats and pies.
If you require a post office, you can use the Micklegate Post Office near Nunnery Lane. There is also a Sainsbury’s Local on Scarcroft Road.
The South Bank offers many different pubs, restaurants and cafés. Many of them can be found on Bishopthorpe Road; we’ve highlighted some of the most well-known below.
The Winning Post is a family-run pub that’s friendly to both children and dogs. As well as a full food menu, the pub offers a beer garden, comedy club, live music and even a gallery space. There is also a room available to hire for meetings and celebrations.
The Pig and Pastry is a family-run café that opened in 2008. It offers both breakfast and lunch options, as well as home baking and daily specials. It’s also been recognised by several publications, including The Guardian, The Times, The Independent and BBC Good Food Magazine.
Robinsons Café opened in 2016, and prioritises locally-sourced produce on its menu. They offer many different savoury meals, as well as homemade broths and stews during the winter months. The café is also licensed, allowing them to sell alcohol alongside the traditional hot drinks.
Rice Style is a Thai restaurant, first opened in 2013. Their menu features more than 75 Thai dishes, and has received very positive reviews from its customers. They also offer a takeaway service.
Melton’s is a fine dining restaurant on Scarcroft Road. As well as the usual mains and desserts, they offer a tasting menu with the best of their seasonal foods. They can also accommodate parties of up to 35 guests.
Oxo’s Restaurant can be found within The Mount Royale hotel. It offers a fine dining experience, and prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant also offers open-air dining in the summer months.
The Knavesmire Pub is on Albermarle Road, and located near York Racecourse. It offers many different cask ales, lagers, wines and gins, as well as non-alcoholic options. The pub also shows a wide variety of sports on televisions throughout the premises.
If you like to keep active, the South Bank has many great facilities available. There are also several venues for a wider selection of community activities.
Ovington Cricket Club is a small, community-based club located near York Racecourse. People have been playing at the club as far back as 1951, and it welcomes cricket fans of all ages and abilities. The club has several junior teams and runs a variety of social events, including a popular six-a-side tournament.
Stables Yoga Centre on Nunmill Street offers a safe space to practise yoga. There are classes for beginners, as well as pilates classes and special classes for pregnant women. Some of the centre’s yoga teachers are also available for one-on-one sessions.
Clements Hall is a community venue on Nunthorpe Road that hosts several activities. Visitors to the hall can enjoy art classes, developmental classes for babies, beginner’s language sessions and much more. The venue’s various rooms are all available for hire; they include a meeting room, an art room and a fully-functioning kitchen.
Clements Hall also hosts South Bank Community Cinema. This is a grassroots film society that offers a more, relaxed, intimate social venue with ‘cabaret’ style seating. Annual membership is £5, and the cinema aims to show as wide a selection of films as possible.
St Chad’s Greys is the local Scout group, and hosts groups for children aged five and up. It meets on Lorne Street and Bishopthorpe Road; attendees can enjoy activities like camping, skill building and community volunteering. The group also welcomes adult volunteers, who run the activities for the smaller members.
If you ever fall ill or need non-urgent medical attention, there are a few medical practices in the South Bank area.
Clementhorpe Health Centre is located on Cherry Street, and is part of the Priory Medical Group. It offers several different services, including specialised clinics for asthma, diabetes and COPD. There is access for wheelchair users and via public transport.
Jorvik Gillygate Practice has a branch surgery on the Stonebow. It offers childhood immunisations, primary care counselling, minor surgery and many other services. Long-term registrants can book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and consult their medical record online.
A R Dickens Dental Surgery can be found on Nunnery Lane, and offers a range of dental services. It’s also wheelchair accessible.
Scarcroft and District Allotment Association has several locations around York, though the nearest to the South Bank are in Hospital Field and near Scarcroft Road. Hospital Fields Allotments has 53 plots and a relaxed atmosphere, with wide grass paths for ease of access. Scarcroft Allotments has 184 plots over 8.6 acres, as well as a supply shop.
Local residents can grow plants and vegetables on the allotments, while seeing a variety of local wildlife. Scarcroft Allotments in particular is a haven for birds, hedgehogs and frogs. The association also organises social and educational events for members.
Rowntree Park—on Terry Avenue—was gifted to the city of York in 1921, and memorialises Rowntree Cocoa staff killed in the First World War. Covering 30 acres, the park offers a woodland walk, tree trails, an ornamental lake and several sporting facilities. There is also an onsite cafe, where customers can enjoy fresh produce and more than 1,000 books!
Knavesmire—near Knavesmire Road—is a large, grassy area that’s used for both recreation and public events. It’s a popular dog-walking location, with the weekly York Parkrun encircling it every week. Knavesmire also hosts a CAMRA beer festival each September.
Another highlight of the area is Little Knavesmire. This small park and garden is a tranquil area that’s often overlooked by local residents. It even has its own Twitter account, which you can follow here.
Residents can reach the city centre by foot in 20–30 minutes. The Millennium Bridge—opened in 2001—links the South Bank with Fulford. You can access the South Bank end via Butcher Terrace; pedestrians and cyclists may use the bridge, but it’s inaccessible to cars.
The main bus service for the South Bank is the Arriva 26 bus. This stops at Knavesmire, Bishopthorpe Road (outside Fruitique) and York railway station, before terminating at York Piccadilly. However, there is no evening service for this route.
If you require an evening bus, the 11 bus service stops at Knavesmire in the evening. It passes through Bishopthorpe Road, York railway station and Rougier Street before terminating at the Stonebow. The 21 bus also runs from Balmoral Terrace to York Station every two hours.
Although there are no major developments in the South Bank at the moment, there are several surrounding it. Leisure operator Staycity have revealed plans for a new ‘aparthotel’ in Micklegate. Guests will be able to stay in one of 152 apartments, with a kitchenette, smart TV and air conditioning in each one. A decision on the planning application will be made later this year.
Property developer Newby also has plans for several luxury apartments in Piccadilly. Apartments come with open-plan kitchens, underfloor heating and high-quality fittings and furnishings. The complex also offers a concierge service, private allocated parking and lifts to all floors.
The South Bank is one of York’s most vibrant areas, and it’s an excellent place for many people to settle down. If there any questions we haven’t answered, don’t be afraid to get in touch.
Our team at Quantum have built up an in-depth knowledge of the city and its surrounding areas. We pride ourselves on our helpful manner, and we work hard to help landlords and tenants find the right property for them.
If you’re renting as a student, make us your first choice for student letting agents in York. We’re well-informed on student lets and know all about York’s most popular student areas. We’re upfront with all our fees and costs, and we’re happy to answer all of your questions.
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