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York Minster

York Minster: Our most recommended tours and activities

York City Pass: Access 20 Attractions for One Great Price

1. 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, with purchases (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 • The Hilt Axe Experience • 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 • Yorkshire Museum • York Castle Museum

York: The Dark Chronicles of York Guided Walking Tour

2. York: The Dark Chronicles of York Guided Walking Tour

Unearth the grim stories and the untold truths of York's dark past on this walking tour. Join your guide to explore secrets long forgotten, and journey back almost 2000 years to the roots of Eboracum. See York Minster and Shambles Market from a new perspective. Learn what happened to the criminals of this city, what happened to the innocent, and what really happens in the shadows of York's mysterious alleyways and streets. Meet your guide outside The Hilt on Goodramgate and travel through the city, passing by iconic landmarks such as Shambles Market and York Minster. You will also discover lesser-known spots such as St. Andrewgate street.

York: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

3. York: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

Join a characterful witch-guide to discover York's history and unearth the secrets of the Shambles on a walking tour, with the option to participate in potion-making. Tread lightly as you walk through York Minster, Petergate, and Stonegate—the very grounds on which these mysterious events occurred. Meet your guide and begin your walking tour. Hear historical tales and legends that focus on witchcraft. Explore the Shambles, as you step back in time and discover the unpleasant origins of this now picturesque street. Watch out on the cobbles as you lend your ear to terrible tales of the witches of Yorkshire. Walk to Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, the smallest street with possibly the longest name in York. It is said the name means "What a street." Then, view the remains of the St Crux Church, originally the largest medieval parish church in York. Continue to King's Square, learning more about the area and hearing the tale of the magical tree with a witchy connection. Next, follow your guide through the old quarter of York, the Minster Quarter, where you pass the vibrant shopping area of the city. Stroll through Low Petergate and High Petergate and listen in awe at the fascinating and chilling stories of the past. Marvel at the grandeur of the world's most magnificent and iconic cathedrals, York Minster. Right opposite that, see the St Michael Le Belfrey Church. Hear some more spooky and witchery tales and a name that might spark some recognition. Gaze at the architecture of medieval buildings, gorgeous Georgian townhouses, and other period styles in Stonegate, one of York's most historic roads. Discover the alleys, ginnels, and snickets of the city and walk through York's longest snickelway (narrow alleys running between York's streets). Feel the chills in the air in the hidden courtyard of Barley Hall. Back to where it all began, this spellbinding old town walking tour lets you discover the wicked history of medieval York. In addition to exploring York, you can also opt to enter the Potions Cauldron for an immersive potion-making experience. Uncover the secret room and get lost in another world as special effects take you on a quest to make the perfect potion.

York: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

4. 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.

York: Guided Medieval Walking Tour in the Shambles

5. York: Guided Medieval Walking Tour in the Shambles

Europes largest Medieval Gothic Cathedral is the starting point, taking in the City's ancient walled defences, Churches with their mysterious Devils Door, then onto the street of Butchered, the famous Shambles and past the Merchant Adventurers Guild hall. Enjoy a 90 minute exploration of York, a city founded by the Roman Empire, a city that would attract some of the first warriors in history , Saxons, Vikings and Normans! walk the medieval wall and find out how the defences were developed and how they made York the finest medieval walled city in the UK. You'll walk the medieval shambles, once butchers shops and be amazed by Yorks Castle ruin and prisons. Learn about the people who have influenced York, from. Guy Fawkes and his Gun powder plot, Evil Highway men and their fate, walk in the footsteps of every British Monarch and see how they influent York, once Englands second City. You'll walk by Yorks Guild Halls and discover how they influenced the city and the whole of Europe before passing York Castle, Jorvik, the heart of the Viking city. Our tour concludes at All Saints Pavement Church with it's famous lantern tower and one of the more unique church services in Britain.

York: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

6. York: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Enjoy a day of city-sightseeing in York in the comfort of a hop-on hop-off open-top bus. See the city’s most famous monuments and buildings from great vantage points and learn about the city’s history from a live guide on board. Sit back and relax as your hear fascinating information about York Minster, Micklegate Bar, Clifford’s Tower, and much more. Benefit from a 24-hour pass that offers you the flexibility to hop-on or hop-off anytime at any of the 20 stops along the tour route.

York: 1-Hour Small Group Evening Walking Tour

7. 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.

York: Romans, Vikings, and Medieval Marvels Audio Guide

8. York: Romans, Vikings, and Medieval Marvels Audio Guide

See York and its most iconic sights without the expense or time constraints of a group tour with this affordable audio guide. Stroll past the city's most iconic landmarks, including the Shambles and York Minster. Start at York Art Gallery and travel back in time through 2000 years of history as you stroll. Experience Roman, Viking, and medieval York, and see the city's great sights as well as its hidden gems. Learn the history of this city and the central role it has played in the history of England. Continue past iconic sights like the Shambles, one of the world's best-preserved medieval streets, and spot the story of Adam and Eve carved into York Minster’s Great West Door. Uncover some of the most important characters in York's development along the way, from its humble beginnings as a riverside Roman settlement, to its turbulent takeover by the Vikings, and on to its thriving medieval period of commerce. Feel free to start, pause, or restart at any time and complete your visit at your own pace. If your travel plans change, you can use the audio guide at any date of your choice or use the virtual in-app option for an at-home experience.

York: Self-Guided City Sightseeing Treasure Hunt

9. York: Self-Guided City Sightseeing Treasure Hunt

Embark on a self-guided treasure hunt for a fun and unique way to explore York outdoors at your own pace. Get clues sent to your phone and search your surroundings for the answers as you are led on a beautiful route through fabulous places. Start your treasure hunt in the fabulous Museum Gardens in the center of York. Play using your phones, on which you’ll meet Captain Bess, a snarky pirate who’s testing out new recruits to join her ship. Receive beautiful treasure maps leading you from one spot to the next. Find yourselves sneaking through a series of small streets and footpaths, passing medieval churches, and guildhalls. Use the sent clues to search for your surroundings. When you get the right answer, move on to the next place. Don’t worry, if you get stuck you can ask for a hint to help you on your way. Learn some interesting facts and stories along the way about the things you're spotting and get a better understanding of the history of York.

Heart of England, North Wales and Yorkshire 5-Day Tour

10. Heart of England, North Wales and Yorkshire 5-Day Tour

Discover the Heart of England on a scenic 5-day tour that also crosses the border into North Wales, where you’ll see the magnificent mountains of Snowdonia. Visit some of England’s oldest cities, including the cathedral city of York, the university city of Cambridge, and the medieval town of Chester. Go to Shakespeare’s birthplace, and vist Anne Hathaway’s tudor cottage. Travel by small minicoach, with accommodations in characterful bed and breakfasts for a more intimate experience. Day 1: Depart London and head north to Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare and home to the Tudor thatched cottage and gardens of his wife, Anne Hathaway. There will be time to explore the quaint town center, and enjoy lunch at leisure, before driving to the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge close to the Welsh border. Set in a stunning gorge of the River Severn, the historic valley boasts the world’s first bridge made of iron, as well as a host of other attractions. Then, travel to the beautiful town of Shrewsbury to check in to your accommodation for the next 2 nights. Day 2: Today, you will head into the heart of North Wales and visit the picture book castle of Conwy, built by Edward I in the late 13th century. Marvel at the mountain scenery of Snowdonia National Park, including the huge Dinorwic slate quarries and the dramatic Pass of Llanberis in the shadows of the highest mountain peak in Wales. Hear tales of Owain Glyndwr and the Welsh struggles for independence before traveling back through the borderlands into England. Day 3: Leave Shrewsbury and drive to the hills of the Peak District National Park, where you will discover a mix of beautiful villages and rolling moors. Take a scenic route through the park to the village of Castleton. In the afternoon, visit the famous grouds and mansion house of Chatsworth, home to the Duke of Devonshire and often named the UK’s favourite country house. Inside, you’ll find one of the finest collections of furniture and paintings by Old Masters, as well as Neoclassical sculptures. Continue to the historic City of York, your base for the next 2 nights. Day 4: Today you have the option to spend the day at leisure exploring the medieval heart of York. Wander the streets of a city with a rich history that dates back to the time of the Romans, Vikings, and Normans. Visit some of York’s fascinating museums, and the stunning York Minster, or just lose yourself in the maze of narrow streets. Alternatively, join your guide on a half-day excursion into the Yorkshire Dales to visit the pretty market towns of Knaresborough or Ripon. Continue your scenic drive of the remote valleys and rugged scenery of the Eastern Dales, before returning to York for a free afternoon. Day 5: Depart the fair city of York in the morning, stopping in the town of Lincoln, famed for its beautiful historic center and delicious Lincolnshire sausages. Continue to the university City of Cambridge, where you can stroll the medieval streets in the shadow of the dreamy spires of historic colleges, including the famous Kings College Chapel. Walk along the banks of the River Cam, where you might see punters out for the day. Continue to London for an estimated arrival time of approximately 19:30.

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What people are saying about York Minster

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 649 reviews

Amazing tour , really good history and lovely tour guide . The lady was talkative and a good laugh . Will definitely recommend

Good local guide obviously proud of her city. She happy to deal with lots of questions !

Our guide Damien was very funny and informative, incredible experience!

Incredible experience. Educated, funny and so much fun

The York pass is one of the best things to visit York!