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York Town Walls

Visited September 2019

Location York, Yorkshire
Entrance Fee Varies
Railway Station Nearby York
Parking City Car Parks
Facilities City facilities


The city of York boasts some of the best city walls in the UK. Mainly medieval, they are set into earthen ramparts. There is a section of the walls in Museum Gardens which is Roman in origin, with medieval walling on the top. They can be walked in a circuit, this takes about two hours, but longer if you stop off at attractions along the way. Parts of the wall walks are open one one side in places so small children need to be supervised, and getting pushchairs up there is difficult. With an older child though they make a great place to visit as the views are fantastic and the walkways are constantly changing to provide variety to the pedestrian.







The good things about the York walls is that you can get on and off at many different points, and in the inner city area you are never far from a part of the wall. Although medieval in origin, they have been repaired and maintained so that they are all in good condition today. There are four main bars, or fortified gateways and one postern gate (a secondary entrance).


We started our walk at the Micklegate Bar, which contains the Henry VII exhibition. We followed the wall as far as the site of Baille Hill, which incorporates the remains of the motte of York's second castle, now all but disappeared. We then crossed the River and took a look at the Fishergate Postern Tower, which was luckily open as it was Heritage Open Weekend. The Tower is not always open, so check before you go if you want to see it. Inside there are some very narrow spiral staircases to the upper level, and a garderobe (old toilet) to view. This was popular with the many kids who were visiting that day. On the top floor the roof beautiful roof beams are on display.


Fishergate Postern is just a stone's throw from Fishergate Bar, which was actually bricked up in the 15th century following extensive damage during an attack in 1489. It stayed bricked up for 340 years, but today is open again for pedestrians and cyclists. If you take a slight detour at this point it is worth walking for a few minutes to St George's Graveyard to see the tomb of notorious highwayman Dick Turpin who went to the gallows in York in 1739. Whether or not Turpin is actually buried there is a matter of debate, but it is an interesting little diversion.





Having then visited nearby Clifford's Tower, we walked along the part of the wall that took us to Monk Bar which hosts the Richard III exhibition. As Mum is very much a fan of R3 we spent some time in here, looking around the exhibition and the inside of the bar. There is lots of information on R3 and the Battle of Bosworth, it is well worth a look.





York has many attractions, too many to mention here, but check out our reviews of Clifford's TowerEboracum Roman Fort and St Mary's Abbey, York.  We also enjoyed walking along the Shambles, a medieval street, and visiting the fantastically named Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma Gate, which is the shortest street in York (the street sign is virtually longer than the street)  This is just a selection of things that can be done in York, but walking the walls is a great way of getting to see the city and best of all it is free! 




More info:  York City Walls

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