Getting out and stretching your legs is a great way to stay active and get a little healthy exercise. The fresh air and activity can also be a real boost to your mental wellbeing, allowing you to escape life’s stresses and strains and perhaps feel a little better.
York is a great city for walking in. The compact and beautiful centre provides numerous interesting, and sometimes hidden, sites that are all easily reached and seen on foot. Inspired by Welcome to Yorkshire’s #Walkshire campaign, we’ve got a few suggestions of ways to see the city while taking a stroll. Take a look at our Love Walking hub for more more suggestions.
Little Vikings I Spy Trail
Little Vikings have put together the brand new I Spy Trail. This family friendly walking trail is the perfect way to explore York with kids. The map highlights 22 fascinating features of York, for you and your little ones to look out for as you walk around the city, and it is beautifully colour coded which makes it super easy to follow. There are all sorts of things to look out for, from a terrifying devil, to a cute little cat. What will you discover? The I Spy Trail map can be downloaded from our website, and printed copies are available for collection from our Visitor Information Centre at 21 Parliament Street, York. YO1 8SG
York Chocolate Trail
Modern York was built on the chocolate industry, and home to famous names like Rowntree and Terry. This rich, chocolatey heritage has left its mark all around the city. Our Chocolate Trail showcases the landmarks and businesses who have a strong link to the confectionery industry, and the families which built it, covering hundreds of years of York’s history. There’s plenty to see outside, from the birth place of Joseph Rowntree to a stunning Terry’s shopfront, and the good news is that York's chocolatey establishments have started to reopen too. Check online to see what is open and when, so you don't miss out on getting your chocolate fix.
The City Walls
One of York’s defining features, the city walls, make for a brilliant walk. At 3.4 kilometres long, these beautifully preserved structures are the longest medieval town walls in England. A walk around the entirety of the remaining walls takes about two hours, and there is a great deal to see along the way, including the four main bars, two lesser bars, the postern, the Roman Multangular Tower, and fascinating details like arrow slits, musket loops, sculptures and masons' marks. The city walls provide stunning cityscape views of York, as well as sight of the city’s wondrous and varied architecture. This includes both the current and former railway stations, York Art Gallery, King’s Manor, a glimpse of Holgate’s five sailed windmill, and a distant Terry’s factory.
Treasure Hunt York
If you would like an extra mental challenge on your walk, try the Treasure Hunt York game, which will present you with cryptic clues to crack, and a treasure map to follow, as you work your way around the city. It's quick and easy to access on your phone, and entirely self-guided, meaning you can go at your own pace, and stop off for tea and cake along the way as often as you like. The game is designed for adults, but also suitable for children 8+, although they may need a little help.
Exploring York and wildlife trails
Delve into the collection of Exploring York and wildlife walks which have been curated by City of York Council and iTravel. Their routes and trails are ready and waiting for you to stretch your legs around the city, and beyond. With unique walks, taking in different sights and of varying lengths, there's something for everyone. You may also want to explore the wildlife sites around York, as the city and surrounding area supports a wide variety of species and habitats, many of which are of national, regional or local conservation importance. Will you spot a rare tansy beetle?
For more things to see in York on foot, the Visit York Visitor Information Centre and eShop have a wonderful collection of books on walking in York, exposing even more delights and secret gems. Don't forget the excellent selection of regular guided walks and ghost tours across the city too.
If spending time in York and the surrounding area, please be considerate of others and keep a safe distance.