1. United Kingdom
  2. Yorkshire and The Humber
  3. York

The Best of York on Foot

Product ID: 169987
A 90-minute 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
Duration: 90 minutes
Check availability to see starting times.
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Wheelchair accessible
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

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  • Explore the labyrinth of medieval streets and snickelways
  • 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.
  • Professional, experienced and fully-qualified tour guide

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Meet by the fountains outside York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW.

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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.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

5 / 5

based on 101 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    5 / 5
  • Organization
    5 / 5
  • Value for money
    4.9 / 5
  • Safety
    5 / 5
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The overall tour was very interesting. Our tour guide was extremely friendly and knowledgeable and we felt he was a big part of why we enjoyed the tour so much. The tour was a nice way to learn the highlights of York and I am confident that our tour guide was an expert on this topic! Our whole group would highly recommend this tour, especially if your Tour Guide is Alfred--- he's the best!

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February 21, 2020

Brilliant - book now.

We can not recommend Alfred highly enough. We had a brilliant guided tour of York taking in everything from Viking history through to the history of chocolate bars and everything in between. My 11 year ole niece just loved it as did her 74 year old grandmother. There really is something for everyone.

October 12, 2019

John is a wonderful docent who managed to pack thousands of years of fascinating history (Roman (York is the site of the famous 6th Legion, and also of Constantine’s coronation) as well as Viking, Middle Ages, etc) woven into a historic saga during a three hour walking tour. Thank you, John! We loved our time in York.

October 9, 2019

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Product ID: 169987