York
Churches & Cathedrals

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Our most recommended York Churches & Cathedrals

York: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

1. 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.

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York City Pass: Access 20 Attractions for One Great Price

2. York City Pass: Access 20 Attractions for One Great Price

York is a city with over 2000 years of history to explore, choose your own adventure in this amazing city. After purchase, your York City Pass gives you free entry to over 20 attractions in York.  Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in York and see the best of the city. You can visit JORVIK Viking Centre, York Dungeon, York Minster, Barley Hall, and more. You can also hop on the City Sightseeing Bus or the York City Cruises. With a variety of different options of things to do in see, you can thoroughly explore York. The York Pass also gives you discounts on taxi fares, BOBH day trips from York, Mountain Goat Tours, City Cruises Evening Tour, York Cycling Tour, escape rooms, and ghost walks. Inclusions: • Pizza or pasta at ASK Italian (terms and conditions apply) • The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre • Barley Hall • Bedern Hall • Beningbrough Hall • Clifford’s Tower • Castle Howard • DIG • Fairfax House • Golden Tours York 24-hour ticket • JORVIK Viking Centre • Mansion House • Merchant Adventurers’ Hall • Railway Museum Road Train • Roman Bath • Treasurer’s House • Van Gogh Experience • York Army Museum • York City Cruises • York City Sightseeing 24-hour ticket • York Dungeon • York Minster • Yorkshire Air Museum

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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.

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York: Private Socially Distanced Guided Walking Tour

4. 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.

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From York: Steam Train, Whitby, and North York Moors

5. From York: Steam Train, Whitby, and North York Moors

Depart York and travel through the quaint villages of North Yorkshire as you make your way to the medieval market town of Helmsley. Pass through the idyllic village of Hutton-le-Hole, and then enter North York Moors National Park. Learn the history of the people and natural surroundings as you travel up and down the hills. Go for a stroll amongst the heather and get breathtaking views across Rosedale. Arrive at the seaside town of Whitby, where Captain Cook learned to sail. Get about two hours to explore the ruins of Whitby Abbey and enjoy a fish and chips lunch. Take a boat trip from Whitby harbor to discover the town's vampire connections. Next, visit Goathland, where the TV series Heartbeat was filmed, and treat yourself to a drink in the pub that serves as the fictional Aidensfield Arms. Continue to Goathland railway station – Hogsmeade Station from the Harry Potter films – and board a steam train for a magical journey on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Board the minibus upon arrival in Pickering and journey back to York. Follow a scenic route through the countryside and stop to take photos of Kirkham Priory along the way.

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Other Sightseeing Options in York

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What people are saying about York

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 193 reviews

City pass was an excellent purchase and saved us a lot of money on the activities we wanted to do. One tip I’d advise is any activity you want to do once you get your city pass is book a time slot for that activity as some of the attractions can get busy.

Sarah was an informative and passionate guide. She was more than willing to drop in extra tidbits that catered to our own interests - be that ghosts stories, cats or the Stuarts!

Lovely tour. Sarah was really friendly and knowledgeable. We got to see all the sites and was just the right amount of time.

Sarah was our guide and she made sure that the tour was quite interesting and funny. Would definitely recommend

This was an excellent tour. Albert was very knowledgeable. We really enjoyed it.