Guided tour

York: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

Activity provider: Yorktour

York: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

Activity provider: Yorktour
Likely to sell out

From US$ 22 per person

Likely to sell out

A 90-minute small group walking tour from the dawn of Christianity to the birth of the Kit Kat. Find out why York is still a city with Viking mud on its boots and a taste of cocoa in the air.

About this activity

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Covid-19 precautions
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Duration 1.5 hours
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Live tour guide
Wheelchair accessible
Small group
Limited to 6 participants


  • Explore the labyrinth of medieval streets and snickelways in a small group
  • Discover a Roman fortress and ruined abbey within a Victorian botanic garden
  • Wander through the Shambles - the original Diagon Alley
  • Find out how the Minster grew to become the country's largest gothic cathedral
  • Locate the point where it is possible to see two thousand years of history - while turning on the spot
Full description
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.
  • Guided Walking Tour

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    Meeting point

    Meet in the square outside the Central Library (York Explore Library and Archive) YO1 7DS. The guide will have a sign with the names of all participants on the tour.

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    Important information

    Know before you go

    • Comfortable shoes are recommended as you will be on your feet though York is forgivingly flat.
    • Suitable for all ages - family groups especially welcome
    • Please note this is a walking tour of the city - admission to the Minster is not included
    Customer reviews

    Overall rating

    4.9 /5

    based on 341 reviews

    Review summary

    • Guide
    • Value for money
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    One of the most enjoyable small scale tours I’ve had. Covering all the history in a nutshell with the biggest events pulled out. Super knowledgable guide that could answer all our questions. We left feeling we knew more about York, it’s timeline and it made us appreciate more about the York of today, and help us jell with it.

    December 1, 2022

    My husband and I had a wonderful historical tour of York with Sarah from YorkTours. She was very enjoyable to listen to, answered any questions we had, knew the history of the area as well as the country and offered interesting great tidbits along the way. Would definitely recommend her and use her again when in the area!

    November 8, 2022

    We have visited York before but this is the first time we have had a guide and it was definitely worth it! We learnt a lot more about the history and saw things that we hadn't noticed on previous visits. Sarah was very knowledgeable and friendly and we thoroughly enjoyed our tour. Thank you Sarah.

    October 21, 2022

    Product ID: 169987