Join us for this half-day walking tour of York, which gives you a great overview of this beautiful city in Yorkshire. This walled city has so much to offer, from Roman history, through the Vikings, to the Chocolate merchants and Harry Potter. Maybe you’re passing through the area, but if not it’s just a 2-hour train ride from London, it’s easily reachable for a day trip.
Starting from York’s magnificent 19th-century train station, we make our way towards the walled city. Whilst not much remains of the original Roman walls, the refurbished sections let us stroll in safety whilst enjoying a privileged view.
Once inside the walls we cross the River Ouse, then enter the Museum gardens, giving us the chance to look around St Mary’s Abbey. Historically this grand building was a very rich monastery, originally built in the 11th century home to the Benedictine Monks, it was dissolved in the 16th century. Only a few walls remain; however, you can still see the Abbots house and its various styles owing to years of change. Maybe your guide can point out the window belonging to the room where Henry VIII stayed!
Continuing through the city, we pass the Jorvik center, home to one of the most famous discoveries in modern archaeology. Your guide will explain how the Vikings first came to York, using its location on the rivers Ouse and Foss to establish a prosperous trading port.
As if by magic we get to the start of The Shambles, the medieval shopping street. Even though none of Harry Potter was filmed here, you can just imagine walking down Diagon Alley, now’s your chance to pick up a wand or broom! If you have children in your group, they might catch a glimpse of one the many sculpted cats lurking here and all over the city.
Like many other towns and cities, York also has a castle. Built-in the traditional method as a motte and bailey castle by the Normans, it hides some particularly disturbing history about the Jewish community in the 12th century. Only Clifford’s tower is intact today and is open to climb for stunning views of the city
York has always been a center of commerce, early residents in need of a venue for charity, worship, and business commissioned the construction of the Merchant Adventurers Hall. Originally built in the 14th century, it has undergone several changes over the years but remains in use to this day. This beautiful building is widely regarded as one of the best-preserved medieval guildhalls in the world.
Like something from a fairytale, we wind our way through the quirky little alleyways. Stick with your guide and mind your head, you won’t have to worry about getting lost. Eventually, we approach the magnificent structure of York Minster, the largest Gothic Cathedral north of the Alps. With your guide, you will explore both the past and the present of this grand building. There’s plenty of opportunities to admire the architecture, stained glass windows, contemporary art, and much more as we stop to pause & admire our surroundings. We stay just over an hour at Minster before finishing our tour. Your guide will help with any necessary information and suggestions to make the most of your stay whilst in York.