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York, England Activities

Our most recommended York, England Activities

Comedy Horror Show: York Ghost Bus Tour

1. Comedy Horror Show: York Ghost Bus Tour

Let the darker side of York's history send a chill down your spine as you discover the city’s dark and terrible secrets. Board the Necrobus and get ready to embark on a 75-minute theatrical sightseeing tour. Enjoy a comedy horror journey around York's seedier past as your creepy conductor shows you the sights from a classic 1960s Routemaster bus. The on-board actors and eerily decorated bus will ensure you have the spookiest ride in town. Learn about the sinister side of many of York's most famous landmarks including Clifford’s Tower, York Minster, and Dick Turpin's grave. Let your imagination run wild as you hear about the ghosts that reside within the medieval walls of one of England's spookiest cities.

York: River Ouse City Cruise

2. York: River Ouse City Cruise

The York City Cruise provides an entertaining and informative tour of the historic city as seen from the River Ouse. Enjoy the sights from a different perspective as a friendly and knowledgeable team guides you leisurely up and downstream. Your cruise departs from the King's Staith landing. Admire the scenery from the comfort of the enclosed saloon or the upper deck and treat yourself to a refreshing drink from the bar. The duration of the cruise is either 45 minutes or 1 hour and is determined by the weather on the day and by demand. Your ticket will be valid for whatever duration is offered on the day of your visit. Typically the 1-hour cruise follows a route that heads upstream to Clifton Bridge on the northern outskirts of York city and then downstream as far as the Millennium Bridge on the city’s southern outskirts, before returning back upstream to the original landing stage. The 45-minute cruise operates in the same area without going quite as far in either direction, passing through the center of the walled city. During the cruise, the captain will keep you entertained with live commentary about the sites you pass. Learn about York’s history of flooding and its prosperity as an inland port, as you sail along the river that brought the Romans and the Vikings to this site. You’ll sail on a vessel that features an enclosed and heated saloon, restrooms, and a fully stocked bar serving beers, wines, spirits, soft drinks, hot drinks, and snacks.

York: The York Dungeon Entry Ticket

3. York: The York Dungeon Entry Ticket

Journey through 2,000 years of York's eerie history with an entry ticket to the York Dungeon. Immerse yourself in the city's dark past with ten live shows and encounter unsettling historical characters as you stroll through specially-designed immersive sets. Start at the beginning as the dreaded Vikings invade and conquer York. Uncover the details of Guy Fawkes' infamous Gunpowder Plot and what really happened that November night. Step inside the carriage to the Knavesmire, where one of history's most notorious Highwaymen returned. Embark on a journey brimming with terrifying characters and feel a chill as you walk through immersive 360-degree sets with thrilling special effects. Learn about real events and people that shaped the city in a unique and exciting way.

York: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour

4. York: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour

Get sorted, play quizzes and games, and experience some fantastic costumed re-enactments on this guided walking tour in York. Learn about the Harry Potter universe and history of York. See sights like Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express platform. Set off on your journey around town, enjoying Harry Potter trivia quizzes from your guide along the way to earn points for your house. Stay engaged with an animated scoreboard, video clips of movie scenes, costume pieces, and reenactments. Have the chance to use your spell knowledge to outwit members of other houses. Marvel at locations, such as the fictional Diagon Alley, and the platform for the Hogwarts Express. Soak in the views from the city walls. Explore the fantastic Harry Potter shop and uncover some of York's hidden gems.

York's Chocolate Story: Guided Tour

5. York's Chocolate Story: Guided Tour

Make your way to York’s Chocolate Story in the historic heart of York. Meet the guide and spend 1 hour and 15 minutes on an entertaining tour of the attraction. Discover the secrets of making delicious chocolate as you explore the facility’s 3 floors filled with interactive exhibitions. Join a guided tour to explore the history of chocolate, from the discovery of the cocoa bean thousands of years ago to the world famous chocolate-making families of York. Listen as your knowledgeable guide brings the process to life, and hands out the occasional taster, of course. Towards the end of your visit you’ll have a chance to make your own chocolate creation and watch a chocolatier at work, perfect for adults and children alike. At the end of the guided tour, visit the cafe and gift shop, bursting with artisan chocolate and other delicious creations.

York: River Ouse Early Evening Cruise

6. York: River Ouse Early Evening Cruise

This 1-hour Early Evening Cruise is an entertaining and informative tour of historic York from the River Ouse. Enjoy the city from a different perspective as a friendly and knowledgeable team guides you leisurely up and downstream. During the cruise, the captain will keep you entertained with live commentary about the sites you pass. Learn about York’s history of flooding and its prosperity as an inland port, as you sail along the river that brought the Romans and the Vikings to this site. You’ll sail on a vessel that features an enclosed and heated saloon, rest rooms and a fully stocked bar serving beers, wines, spirits, soft drinks, hot drinks and snacks.

York City Pass: Access 20 Attractions for One Great Price

7. 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: • The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre • Barley Hall • Bedern Hall • Beningbrough Hall • Clifford’s Tower • 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 • The City Walls 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 Photo Walks

York: Self-Steer Boat Rental

8. York: Self-Steer Boat Rental

Enjoy a leisurely one hour hire, exploring York from the helm of your own self-steer motorboat. Become a captain and explore the sites of York’s riverside in style. Your private boat can accommodate up to 8 people and will provide plenty of room for you all to head out on your own aquatic adventure, exploring the same river that brought the Vikings to this beautiful city. You will receive full instructions on how to operate your motor boat along with safety and river rules, whilst life jackets will be provided for any children. Your boat operating area is along a route that will along you to take in the whole city from the river within the one hour. Additionally, on a half hour hire you can operate within this area and will be able to take in most of the built up section of the Ouse, or make your way down stream to the Millennium Bridge and back to the moorings again. Please note that the boats cannot be taken past Clifton Bridge or the Millennium Bridge. You are not allowed to moor the boat up and disembark at any point on the river other than at the at King’s Staith (where your hire first began).

York: Party Cruise with Welcome Drink, Dinner, and DJ Music

9. York: Party Cruise with Welcome Drink, Dinner, and DJ Music

Make your a celebration perfect or have a special night out with this riverboat cruise. Warm up with a welcome fizz and hit the dance floor as the DJ cranks up the hottest music. Eat your fill with a delicious buffet dinner and get free access to Revolution York (subject to their availability).  Hop aboard a comfortable and spacious boat be welcomed by the crew. Pick up your welcome prosecco as you board. There'll be a reserved table where you can tuck into some mouth-watering party food crafted by the onboard chef. Purchase drinks from the fully-stocked bar. Let the on-board DJ keep you on the dance floor with hit after hit and don’t hesitate to request your favorite floor fillers during the cruise. Take in the city sites from the water as they light up for the night. Return to your meeting point at the end of the cruise. After the cruise, get free entry to Revolution York which is approximately a 5-Minute walk from the Lendal Bridge landing and boarding point. 

York: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

10. 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.

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Frequently asked questions about York, England

What top attractions are a must-see in York, England?

What are the best day trips and excursions from York, England?

The best day trips and excursions from York, England are:

Whitby

What are the most popular museums and exhibitions in York, England?

Other Sightseeing Options in York, England

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What people are saying about York, England

The cruise was excellent and the staff were fantastic. The fish was excellent quality, though the chips weren’t great. Only real issue was we went in February 2023 so the bulk of the cruise was in the dark.

Tom was so nice and very knowledgeable we had a great day met some good people. Will defo do again!

Very informative interesting trip. A lovely way to see the beautiful scenery.

Excellent. Interesting tour, engaging guide. Highly recommend!

Fantastic evening trip but be warned…..WRAP UP ITS COLD!!!