York Minster
Sightseeing Walking Tours

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Our most recommended York Minster Sightseeing Walking Tours

York: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

1. York: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

Join a characterful witch-guide to discover York's history and unearth the secrets of the Shambles on a walking tour, with the option to participate in potion-making. Tread lightly as you walk through York Minster, Petergate, and Stonegate—the very grounds on which these mysterious events occurred. Meet your guide and begin your walking tour. Hear historical tales and legends that focus on witchcraft. Explore the Shambles, as you step back in time and discover the unpleasant origins of this now picturesque street. Watch out on the cobbles as you lend your ear to terrible tales of the witches of Yorkshire. Walk to Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, the smallest street with possibly the longest name in York. It is said the name means "What a street." Then, view the remains of the St Crux Church, originally the largest medieval parish church in York. Continue to King's Square, learning more about the area and hearing the tale of the magical tree with a witchy connection. Next, follow your guide through the old quarter of York, the Minster Quarter, where you pass the vibrant shopping area of the city. Stroll through Low Petergate and High Petergate and listen in awe at the fascinating and chilling stories of the past. Marvel at the grandeur of the world's most magnificent and iconic cathedrals, York Minster. Right opposite that, see the St Michael Le Belfrey Church. Hear some more spooky and witchery tales and a name that might spark some recognition. Gaze at the architecture of medieval buildings, gorgeous Georgian townhouses, and other period styles in Stonegate, one of York's most historic roads. Discover the alleys, ginnels, and snickets of the city and walk through York's longest snickelway (narrow alleys running between York's streets). Feel the chills in the air in the hidden courtyard of Barley Hall. Back to where it all began, this spellbinding old town walking tour lets you discover the wicked history of medieval York. In addition to exploring York, you can also opt to enter the Potions Cauldron for an immersive potion-making experience. Uncover the secret room and get lost in another world as special effects take you on a quest to make the perfect potion.

York: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

2. York: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

Contained within a ring of medieval stone walls, York concentrates 2000 years of history into a remarkably small area. This ninety-minute tour begins at Bootham Bar, the city’s northern entrance, from which every period of York’s development is visible, from Roman times to the present day. You’ll then enter the tranquil, green oasis of the Museum Gardens - a Victorian botanic garden which contains an 18th Century observatory, the remains of a Roman fortress and the spectacular ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. From here it is a short walk to the Minster - the largest medieval gothic cathedral in the country - which has dominated the city’s skyline for over 900 years. The Minster lies at the heart of a warren of ancient streets whose layout is Viking in origin. You’ll hear tales of Viking invasion while delving deep into the maze of secret passages known as ‘Snickelways’; passing an unhappy mermaid and a little red devil as well as catching a glimpse of a 15th Century banqueting hall. Finally you’ll emerge into the Shambles,York’s best-known cobbled street - once a row of butchers, now instantly recognisable to Harry Potter fans as the inspiration for Diagon Alley.

York: 1-Hour Small Group Evening Walking Tour

3. York: 1-Hour Small Group Evening Walking Tour

Early evening is the most atmospheric time to experience York, the shops have closed, the tourist hordes have departed, the ancient streets lie at your disposal. This hour-long walking tour is for anyone seeking a concise, informal and entertaining introduction to York in the company of an expert local guide. Discover why the Minster is known as a Minster rather than a cathedral, why all the streets in York are called Gates and all the gates are called Bars. Start your tour in Exhibition Square, and see 2000 years of history simply by turning in a circle. Take in all the must-see sights including the Minster, the medieval walls and the Shambles, the inspiration for Diagon Alley. Take the opportunity to enter the maze of ancient cut-throughs and back-passages, or Snickelways as they are known locally.  Although this isn't a ghost tour there are plenty of gruesome true stories to be heard. By the end of the walk you will be ready for your dinner reservation having tasted the full flavour of a city which still has Viking mud on its boots and a tang of cocoa in the air.

York: Romans, Vikings, and Medieval Marvels Audio Tour

4. York: Romans, Vikings, and Medieval Marvels Audio Tour

See York and some of its iconic sites without joining a tour group with this affordable walking tour that lets you explore at your own pace. York is a city that has been at many defining historical crossroads. On this is self-guided walk, you'll hear the extraordinary 2,000 years of history that made the city into what it is today. You'll experience Roman, Viking and medieval York, and you'll see the city's great sights and some of it's lesser ones too. And as you walk you'll learn the history of this great City and the central role it has played in the history of England. From its humble beginnings as a riverside Roman settlement, to its turbulent takeover by the Vikings, and on to its thriving medieval period of commerce - let's uncover some of the great figures and lesser known characters that have shaped this beautiful city by the Ouse River.

York: Private Bespoke History Walking Tour

5. York: Private Bespoke History Walking Tour

Walk through the streets of York which feels like taking a tour through the history of England. The Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans all remade the city to their own purposes. The Tudors and the Stuarts made themselves at home here. The Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War left their mark as well. Experience the history of one of the most fascinating cities in Britain. For 2,000 years, York has been at the heart of the nation’s affairs. Listen to your guide that will bring its history to life as you are walking through lush parks and narrow lanes, pass grand churches, and palaces to ruined castles and abbeys. Enjoy this tour that offers a private experience for larger groups or families who would prefer the personal touch. The tour takes in all the main sights of the city and provides an in-depth look at the history behind them. Your guide will happily customize the tour to your requirements, depending on what you would like to see.  Receive the services of your own personal professional guide and benefit from their local knowledge.

York: Self-Guided City Sightseeing Treasure Hunt

6. York: Self-Guided City Sightseeing Treasure Hunt

Embark on a self-guided treasure hunt for a fun and unique way to explore York outdoors at your own pace. Get clues sent to your phone and search your surroundings for the answers as you are led on a beautiful route through fabulous places. Start your treasure hunt in the fabulous Museum Gardens in the center of York. Play using your phones, on which you’ll meet Captain Bess, a snarky pirate who’s testing out new recruits to join her ship. Receive beautiful treasure maps leading you from one spot to the next. Find yourselves sneaking through a series of small streets and footpaths, passing medieval churches, and guildhalls. Use the sent clues to search for your surroundings. When you get the right answer, move on to the next place. Don’t worry, if you get stuck you can ask for a hint to help you on your way. Learn some interesting facts and stories along the way about the things you're spotting and get a better understanding of the history of York.

York: Private Socially Distanced Guided Walking Tour

7. York: Private Socially Distanced Guided Walking Tour

The story of York is the story of England in wood, stone and chocolate. Constantine the Great became emperor here. Viking raiders left their chaotic street plan. Quaker confectioners invented the KitKat. No wonder it can be hard to know where to begin. How about the spot where it is possible to take in 2000 years of history simply by turning in a circle? And you don't have to walk much further to see how York was shaped by Romans, Normans and Tudors; as it is all laid out within the grounds of a Victorian botanic garden. Only in York can you be transported from a legionary fortress to a ruined abbey and a medieval hospital by crossing a lawn. Who needs a Tardis?  Ever wondered why the Minster is known as a Minster rather than a cathedral? Puzzled why all the streets in York are called Gates (and all the gates are called Bars)? This entertaining and informative walk provides the answers while taking in all the key sights including the Minster, the medieval walls and the Shambles - the precariously crooked street that provided the inspiration for Diagon Alley. A true highlight, in every sense, is the elevated walkway running around the city wall (don't worry, there are safety railings, but this part is not obligatory if you suffer from vertigo). The route will also veer off the beaten path and into the maze of ancient cut-throughs and back-passages known locally as ’Snickelways’. These tiny, winding streets are the life-blood of the city and the side of York you would never be able to experience from an open-topped bus.

Frequently asked questions about York Minster Sightseeing Walking Tours

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What people are saying about York Minster

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 57 reviews

Sarah was a brilliant guide for our group of 5. We learnt an enormous amount in our 90 minutes and saw things we'd never have seen without her. Booking and the reminder system are all very easy and efficient. We wholeheartedly recommend the tours.

Fab experience, well worth it. The potion making was really fun & a walk around the city with all of the info was great too - we would definitely recommend others to give it a go. Allegra was a fabulous tour guide witch ‍♀️

Our guide was excellent. It was a great way to spend an afternoon. We gained a fascinating and entertaining insight into York's history.

Allegro was absolutely hilarious witty and entertaining. Recommend this tour Well worth the money

We had an amaizng tour and learnt loads about york and the history of witches.