Tourism in York and Beyond!

Things to do in York


Walk the walls:

York’s medieval City Walls (or “Bar Walls”), a scheduled ancient monument encircling the historic City of York, comprise 3.4km (2 miles) of surviving masonry.

They are the longest town walls in England. They were built mainly in the 13th century of limestone.The Walls offer a splendid elevated walk around the city. You can walk all the way around York, or just a section. Further information:

Visit The Shambles and the medieval streets of York

The Shambles is one of York’s most famous landmarks and one of the best-preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe. With its cobbled streets and overhanging buildings, it is believed to have been the inspiration behind Diagon Alley from the movie adaptation of the Harry Potter series (apparently this is completely untrue, but doesn’t stop thousands of visitors taking photos on the assumption that it is true!).

A fun way to walk around medieval York is to follow the Lucky Cat Trail

Cats have played a part in York’s history and luck has been linked with them since records began. Cats always land on their feet and having nine lives is a piece of luck that we can all relate to. Statues of cats have been placed on buildings in York for around two centuries, although statues since removed or rotted are thought to date from medieval times.

Will cost!

The Minster

One of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe, a beautiful Gothic church, its Great East Window (finished 1408) is the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world. Built in top of the Roman basilica, the remains of which you can tour as part of your visit.

It’s expensive to enter, but a guided tour is included, so it is good value for money and a wonderful building to see.

Jorvik Viking Centre:

Somewhat “high tech” experience of Viking York (Jorvik) built on the site of the Viking shopping centre (and now in the middle of a small modern shopping centre. Worth a visit if you are interested in the Vikings.

Cliffords Tower

Remains of the medieval Norman castle built by William the Conquerer

Castle Museum

Recreations of different time periods. Next to Cliffords Tower

Yorkshire Museum

Many Roman, Viking and medieval artifacts, set in the very pleasant Museum gardens.

Barley Hall

Medieval townhouse. Difficult to find (there are instructions on the website), but definitely worth a visit.

Fairfax House

Georgian townhouse with period furnishings, gives you an idea of the life of an affluent family in 18th century York (just around the corner from the Hilton Hotel)

Things beyond York

The bargain of the century:

A two hour bus ride across the North Yorkshire moors to Whitby, it’s only £2 each way:


Historic town on the Yorkshire Coast. Famous for the ruins of Whitby Abbey and the Captain Cook Memorial Museum (of interest particularly to Australians and New Zealanders!). Also for the place to eat fish and chips (particularly at the Magpie Café).

Castle Howard

Magnificent country house and gardens, still owned by the Howard family (if you remember “Brideshead Revisited” the television series, it was Brideshead Castle in that series). 15 miles east of York. There is a bus service from York:

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Beautiful country area to the west of York. Famous for its moors (e.g. Ilkley Moor), Malham Cove and waterfalls. Lots of walking, lots of sheep.

North Yorkshire Moors National Park

Another beautiful country area to the north of York. More moors! Great walking.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden Ruins of a magnificent abbey (with many buildings) and a later extraordinary garden. Very limited bus service from York (