York City Walls

Address: City Centre, York, England

- Free


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.

Value for money

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.

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Couples
  • First-time travellers
  • Singles
  • Travellers with pets
  • Escaping the crowds
  • Great views / scenery
  • Sightseeing
  • History
  • Design and architecture