York City Walls

Price guide: Free

City Centre, York

Price guide: Free

One of the many stretches of York's historic city walls (www.visityork.org).
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By David Cawley, your York expert

I write for Britain Magazine, Heritage .... Read more
#9 of 20
expert-rated things to do in York
Expert overall rating:4.3 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Couples, First-time travellers, Singles, Travellers with pets, Design and architecture, Escaping the crowds, Great views / scenery, History, Sightseeing

Expert review of York City Walls

A free and excellent way to see the city and get your bearings.

England’s longest town walls all beautifully preserved, the current medieval structure surrounding the centre of York loosely follow the defences once erected by the Romans. There’s 2,000 years of history in these corseting ramparts, towers and gateways, with a walk along the top of them not only a rewarding way to get the best free views of the city below, but also to learn a little more about its history from the information boards scattered along its 3.4km (2.1 miles). A complete circumnavigation on foot should take around 70 minutes at a gentle pace, though there are a number of on and off points along its length if it all gets too much. There are also sections where the wall is missing. Read the information boards to uncover why in particular  William the Conqueror didn’t need a stone wall in one stretch to the east. When the walls stop, simply follow the street signs in the gaps to the next section.

Expert tips: 
Not suitable for those with limited mobility.
Be sure to include the Multangular Tower in the Museum Gardens to get a glimpse of the original Roman structure.
There are two small and cheap to enter museums on the walls, one covering the trial of Richard III at Monk Bar, the other at Micklegate Bar offering a more general historic view of the area.

More information on York City Walls:

Price guide:
Historic site, Landmark / monument, Viewpoint
City Centre, York
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Daily 8am-dusk.
Free tags / Keywords:
Walking, Castle, Norman's

Have you been to York City Walls? Would you recommended it?