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York City Walls
York City Walls

York City Walls

York, North Yorkshire

The Basics

York City Walls—interchangeably known as the Bar Walls or Roman Walls—form an essential part of the fabric of York and are a must for visitors of all ages. Explore them on your own time and enjoy the exceptional views over striking city attractions, such as York Minster. Some travelers may prefer to stop by the York City Walls as part of a convenient and flexible hop-on, hop-off bus tour, although history fans who want a more in-depth look at York’s medieval past should consider private, customizable packages—or even themed tours—instead.

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Guided Bike Tour in York
Guided Bike Tour in York
$33.98 per adult
Traveler Favorite
York Cycle Tours
Huge thanks to Cecil for leading our group of 6 safely through the streets of York, and to share his extensive knowledge and insight. We had a lovely cycle tour and would recommend this guided bike tour without hesitation. Thank you Cecil for an enjoyable morning.
Stephen_Y, Sep 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in York

star-5
Walls of York
G_J, Nov 2021
York Walls Private Walking Tour
The overall intertwining of history and setting in place a few myths. Taking us into little known back streets and explaining life through the different eras. All superb and John is an excellent communicator and narrator.
star-5
OUTSTANDING, EXCELLENT AFTERNOON!!!
Jenna_A, Nov 2021
York Walls Private Walking Tour
John was an incredible tour guide!!! So detailed and informative and engaging!!! He answered every question we had so patiently and thoroughly and filled us in on the history of not only York and its Walls, but he included so much Roman and British History as well!!! Truly spectacular afternoon. We were just sad it had to end! We’ll be back and we’ll book this tour again for even more of the story!!! Outstanding afternoon!
star-5
Thoroughly Lovely York
William_B, Aug 2021
York Walls Private Walking Tour
Dave was extraordinarily knowledgeable and I really appreciated the detail he provided. He painted some wonderful historical scenes and did his best to make it an immersive experience.
star-5
Excellent tour and guide, loved every moment!
Janine_C, Jun 2021
York Walls Private Walking Tour
John is an incredible tour guide. He made this tour so interesting and informative, the time literally flew by. His knowledge and ability to make it so accessible, both with his entertaining descriptions and analogies and the use of great visual representations showing how the Roman city walls looked nearly 2000 years ago really brought everything alive! We discovered some really interesting parts of the city we wouldn’t have visited and heard some great historical stories we would never have known. We didn’t want the tour to end and thought it was fantastic value for money. John made sure we did everything we wanted to do and answered any questions we had, personalising the tour brilliantly whilst expertly guiding us all over the city. We cannot recommend this tour highly enough, it will really enhance your visit to York!
star-5
Brilliant
Jacqueline_B, Oct 2020
York Walls Private Walking Tour
It was most enlightening and entertaining. Also educational I really enjoyed it thank you very much so did my partner....
star-5
Wonderful personable guide
Trek707247, Oct 2019
York Walls Private Walking Tour
We loved him. We were exhausted and he walked us around with such energy and personality that we were energized. He was easy to work with and flexible as our train was late and he allowed us to start later. He was knowledgeable, sweet and excited to impart his vast depth of history to us! Do it...he’s great!
star-5
Historic and fun!
Cheryl T, Oct 2019
York Walls Private Walking Tour
John was an excellent tour guide. Gave us historical facts in an entertaining and enthusiastic way. Very enjoyable and interesting tour.
star-5
Excellent Tour!!
Chelsea_Z, Sep 2019
York Walls Private Walking Tour
We had such a great time on this tour! John was a fantastic guide. He was funny and engaging and he taught us a lot about the long history of York. We really enjoyed having the chance to walk around the city and learn about some of the most highlighted places! Would highly recommend this tour!
star-5
Amazing
debbiepearce2017, Aug 2019
York Walls Private Walking Tour
John was amazing, knew so much history of York, very Interesting ! was a private walking tour, would recommend .
star-5
Walking the Walls
Linda S, Jun 2019
York Walls Private Walking Tour
John was extremely knowledgeable and tailored the walk to our slower pace. Because we knew some of the history and were very interested he went into more depth of detail. Very personable and enjoyed the tour and his company.
star-5
Awesome tour of York history
Carol_B, Dec 2019
York Walls Private Walking Tour
This tour exceeded all expectations. John led us through the history of the British Isles through York’s history. He brought history alive with knowledge and humor, especially York under the Romans and Vikings. We literally saw layers of York history from the ground up as each successive culture built on their predecessors. We recreated Viking shield battles, walked the walls and discussed how history has influenced the politics of the present day. I highly recommend our tour guide John. Ask him about the video game about York that he is working on! There was no place to choose the type of our visit so I will state here that we are a family of three with a 20 something post college son who was a history major.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Narrow paths and steep steps mean York City Walls may prove difficult for travelers with mobility issues to navigate.
  • Sensible shoes should be worn when wandering the uneven paths of York City Walls.
  • York City Walls provide an excellent starting point for a broader exploration of the city.
  • Travelers who want to learn more about the walls should consider exploring them as part of an organized tour.
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How to Get There

York City Walls, as the name implies, circle the once-Roman periphery of the city and there are several staircase access points for travelers to choose from, most notably Bootham Bar, Monk Bar, Micklegate Bar, or Walmgate Bar. The full loop takes around two hours. Meanwhile, York itself can be reached most readily by train. Travelers should depart at York Station.

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When to Get There

York City Walls are open year-round, but given their slippery, exposed nature, exploring them on rainy, snowy, and blustery days isn’t recommended and they often close in such conditions anyway. Instead, stop by when it's sunny—between 8am and roughly dusk—and make the most of the elevated vantage points for photo opportunities.

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Wildcard

Explore other Roman remnants in York York City Walls aren’t the only reminders of Roman influence in York and interested travelers should make a point to stop by the Yorkshire Museum if they want to learn more about this period. There, you can see a number of Roman relics, while the impressive Roman Multangular Tower still stands in the Museum Gardens.

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