Walk York City Walls

The York city walls is one of those bucket list worthy things to do when you next visit York. With the best views of York, along with plenty of great local history, you will love walking the walls.

You can do the whole York walls like we have done or hop on and off and just do a section of it and of course, get plenty of perfect pictures of the minster whilst walking around.

Walk York City Walls

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York City Walls

We were having a picnic in the park right next to York Minster after doing the Hole In Wand Golf and said to Dom, totally on a whim, lets walk the York city walls.

I had never done it and it was between the walls and a trip to the Railway Museum and he pointed out as a kid it was way too far for him and our kids wouldn’t possibly manage it.

Though I convinced him that they might, if not we can finish it early. Then they can sleep in the car on the way home.

 We packed up our picnic and then headed off to do the York City Walls.

York City Walls Map

I recommend taking a look at York City Walls map first and then maybe like we did, take a picture of it on your phone and then you can see where you are and do your best not to get lost.

You see parts of York city walls are not there anymore, so you are not constantly on the walls and have some main roads to go on in between before re-joining it.

York City Walls Map
From the map you can see the full circle of the city walls. You will see the map at different locations as you go around the walls and it will always tell you where your current location is.

Can You Walk The York Wall For Free?

Yes, you can walk the York wall for free. Its among what many consider to be the best thing to do in York for free. Though the Harry Potter fans out there, will actually say that would be visiting The Shambles.

Because there is so many different things to do in York, we found that it wasn’t that busy when we went to walk the walls and it was a great option for something to do on a day trip to York.

Where Do You Park To Walk York Walls?

Okay, York City Centre is busy and I highly recommend that you park your car at one of York’s park and ride facilities because they are so good and it saves you the stress of worrying about where to park or what lane to get into as you approach the city centre.

We have put together a great guide on the park and ride in York and we recommend you check it out.

Where Do I Start The York Walls?

The good thing here, is that you have a lot of great starts for your York walls adventure. I find it easier to follow the map around in a clockwise direction, but you might prefer it the other way around.

Plus, judging by other wall walkers we met, people were going in both directions.

We were at York Minster Gardens when we wanted to do the city of York walls, so we then entered at Bootham Bar then as we were going clockwise started following it in the direction of Monk Bar. We also noticed many also hopped on at Monk Bar so these two places seemed to be the popular start for the walls walk.

Starting The York Wall Walk

We hopped on the York walls and started with a few stairs to climb. Throughout the York walls you will notice quite a few stairs and some of them are rather steep so not good for people with walking difficulties.

Then even after the first few steps you already have a great view of York Minster and it feels like as you walk the walls and make your way around, that you are following the minster and getting a different angle.

The View Of Walls On The Walk The Walls York
This is one of the first views that we saw after just walking for about 5 minutes. You could also see a lot of the restaurants and the houses as you started your wall and felt like the perfect viewing point for photos.
York Walls With Kids
Sofia loved checking out the views as we walked around. For kids they were all getting into what they could see in between walking and handled it rather well. We even saw some 3 year olds walking the walls.
York City Walls With 6YO
Though at 6 years old Jorge was not quite tall enough for some of the view points. But it didn’t stop him from trying and we lifted him up a few times so that he could see the views.

Just Keep Walking

So, once you have started walking York city walls, there is no stopping you. I don’t think we did more than 10 minutes of walking before taking a photo and admiring the view.

York City Wall and York Minister
This is the best photo we took during the York walls walk of the York Minster. Dom took it and it just shows off what a great view you have.

You will find that you will come off the walls for a non-walls section and that it will be easy to re-join.

How To Re-Join The York City Walls
Jorge pointing to one of the sections where you come off the wall and then you follow a bit of road before you re-join it later. At first you get a little nervous that you will get lost, but its easier than you think and adds to the fun.

I think the most important thing is to be observant of other people because there are some thin bits to walk down and people are walking in both directions, so its like a walking traffic jam at times. But still, plenty of fun and plenty of space for everyone to enjoy their time and get lots of photos.

York Walls Narrow Paths
This is one of the narrow pathways that you have to breath in for to let people past on the other side of you. Though even for a sunny day it was not that busy.

Though if you are doing the city walls with kids, do note there are sections without a railing. This is alright for us and having a 6 and 8 year old, but if your kids are smaller, I recommend having the kids to the wall and then you walk to the no railing edge so that they don’t have the chance to fall off in their overexcitement. 

The York Walls With No Railing
This is the worst part of the no-railing part of the walls. Though the kids were more worried about falling than I was. Though worst bit is when people want to go past you at this section.

Plus, if you are starting to feel tired there are a few areas where you can sit for a few minutes. Or we saw several just sat on the floor when it was getting a bit much for them.

Taking A Rest At The City Walls
This is one of the chill out sections. It was the busiest we ever saw the walls and I think most people were aiming to stop here, take some pictures and sit down for 5 minutes.
Selfie At York Walls
I followed the lead of everyone else and used it as an opportunity to take a selfie and admire the great view we currently had.

Then before we knew it, we had reached the halfway mark and couldn’t believe we had been walking the walls for over an hour already and how the kids were still surviving.

Halfway Around The Walls Of York

Sometimes you are having a good time and don’t realise how far you have come. That was the feeling when we realised, we had hit the halfway around the walls feeling, though it was a little over halfway.

Halfway Around The Walls Of York
This is the York walls map that shows we are at just over halfway around the walls. Jorge is very proud of how far he has come.

Though of course, now is the hard part. A bit like the movie with Simon Pegg and you have hit your wall and have to encourage each other to go on.

In parenting, I believe we call this bribery.

As in if you carry on being good that by the end you can have an ice cream or a cookie!

The Steps At York City Walls
The kids did do very well though, as there was a lot of steps that they had to do like this. And they were buzzing 2 days later when they got to tell the teachers that they walked York city walls.
The View From York City Walls
They were rewarded with a sit down and another great view though. You just can’t believe the views that you get when you walk the walls and I cant believe it has taken me this long to do.

York History + Views + 100% Free

When you do the city walls York you get 3 things. You get the history of York with plenty of information of the history of the York walls, you also get the most amazing views of York and then when you remember that it is 100% free you realise you have got something really special here.

Roman Walls York
Roman Walls York – learn all about what the York roman walls are all about and read it with your little kids so that they can learn the history behind it.
Foss Islands York
Foss Islands – another board tells you all about the foss islands and the 19th century history surrounding it. Its nice to have the back story to where you are walking and learn more about the history of York.

York City Wall Review

We just LOVED experiencing the York walls walk and I’m sure you can see by the photos and everything I have mentioned, why it should be on your must do York bucket list.

Whilst some of the walls are no longer there, its not a problem as you can walk down a bit of road and re-join. Plus, the gaps give you a get out option, if you don’t have the fitness or the interest in doing the whole walk.

You will love the views of York Minster as you walk the walls. You will also love learning about the history and all the other beautiful parts of York that you can see from the walls.

York City Wall Visitor Information

  • Where is the York walls? The York walls are in York city centre. When you walk around the walls it feels like you are walking the outline of the city and can see it at different viewpoints. The easiest way to find the York Walls is to follow signs for York Minster and join it from there like we did.
  • York Parking. We highly recommend the park and ride service for York as its so busy in York and it’s a cheap way to get in and out of the city for a day trip.
  • How long does it take to walk York walls? We checked out phone and did a time stamp for how long we were walking the walls and it took us just over 2 hours and 30 minutes. But we had a few stops for the kids, so it depends how much you stop for a photo.
  • York City Walls Walk Distance. The walking distance for the York city walls walk is 2 miles. Though because there is quite a lot of stairs it feels like its more.
  • How do you get onto the walls in York? There is steps up onto the walls from all the main points on the map. You can join the walls at any of these points and you don’t have to start in a specific area. Some prefer just to do bootham bar to monk bar and then back again.
  • When is city walls York open? The York walls are open all year apart from Christmas Day and open at 8am through until dusk. Then they lock the gates so make sure you don’t get stuck inside and stay there too late!
  • Does city walls York have toilets? Yes, there are toilets. We used the toilets at the entrance at bootham bar. We also noticed that you can come off at many points and many of these points have pubs where of course you could take a rest, have a drink and use the toilet facilities.

Pin The Wall York For Later!

Well, that’s a wrap, do you have any questions then do ask below and if you want to refer back, to this later for planning your walls walk in York then don’t forget to pin it to your travel board or days out board on Pinterest.

Our Day Out At York Walls

You Should Plan A Trip To York Walls
About the author

Run by Sam, Dom, Kyle, Sofia & Jorge it documents our family’s love for eating out, day trips, road trips and great holidays.

We just love a trip, we love to travel, and here we will show you with a little planning, how to have a great adventure and create new memories along the way!

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