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York's City Walls

Historic Site

YORK, North Yorkshire, YO1 9AF
York's City Walls

About

About

NOTE that after the COVID 19 closures York's City Walls have now re-opened daily from 4th July   BUT in a CLOCKWISE direction ONLY.  Information about the new one way system, including an “annotated zoomable map” is available at =  www.york.gov.uk/CityWalls     See below for further access restrictions information.

York's city centre is surrounded by historic walls, which are free to access on foot throughout the year. No visit to York would be complete without a walk around the City Walls. At 3.4 kilometres long, the beautifully preserved walls are the longest medieval town walls in England. The Friends of York Walls provide an online guide to York's City Walls Trail which covers the location of the walls, access points and many maps and pictures.

York’s old City Walls are the most complete in England. They were built mainly in the 13th century on top of older earth banks. There are a few bits of dry moat left around the banks. The slopes are well known for their daffodils in March and April. At other times they are grassy or covered with wild flowers.

A walk all round the walls [going up on the wall-walk, or just using the pavement outside them] takes about 2 hours. It will take longer if you pause much to look at things like the four main ‘bars’ (these are fortified gateways), the 2 lesser ‘bars’, the postern (this is a small gateway defended by a tower), the many other towers and details like arrow slits, musket loops, sculptures and masons' marks. There are also good views of many interesting buildings from up on the walls.

York's City Walls are managed and maintained by the City of York Council  (CYC).  The wall-walk is usually open from 8.00am and closes at dusk, a time which obviously changes through the year. In cold weather the walls are inspected at 7.00am; a second inspection may then be carried out at 11.00am. CYC will open the walls if it's safe to do so. The walls are closed on 25 December and in icy or slippery conditions. Take care when walking on the walls, particularly on sections where there are no railings on one side.  Young children should be supervised at all times.

For more details see the CYC web site page  https://www.york.gov.uk/info/20114/york_city_centre/1340/the_city_walls

Dogs are not allowed on the City Walls, except for assistance dogs. Wheelchairs and pushchairs are not practical up on the narrow wall-walk but they are fine in the Museum Gardens where you can see York's best Roman walls. These include the Multangular Tower which is topped with a row of arrow-slits from the time it was made a part of the city walls.  Also here are the ruins of St Mary's Abbey; - including England’s best abbey-defending walls. 

A detailed guidebook to the Walls is sold at VisitYork - "A Walking Guide to York's City Walls"  ISBN 9780992900205   For those who cannot climb up onto the medieval walls [they are not wheelchair accessible] there is a guide map provided free at VisitYork.

For more general information on York's City Walls and City Walls Trail visit the Friends of York Walls website at - http://www.yorkwalls.org.uk/ 

Fishergate Postern Tower, at the end of Piccadilly, is opened by FOYW volunteers on selected dates during the year. See the Friends of York Walls page for more information on opening times, etc..

 

Access restrictions information

ONE WAY - ENTRY and EXIT points for the Elevated Wall Walk sections are as follows =

BOOTHAM BAR = ENTRY ONLY towards Monk Bar

MONK BAR internal steps = NO ENTRY / EXIT from Bootham Bar direction (except for access to Richard III Museum)

MONK BAR external steps = ENTRY ONLY towards Layerthorpe Bridge

LAYERTHORPE BRIDGE = NO ENTRY / EXIT from Monk Bar direction

RED TOWER = ENTRY ONLY towards Walmgate Bar

WALMGATE BAR north side = NO ENTRY / EXIT from Red Tower direction

WALMGATE BAR south side = ENTRY ONLY towards Fishergate Bar

FISHERGATE BAR east side = NO ENTRY / EXIT from Walmgate Bar direction

FISHERGATE BAR west side = ENTRY ONLY towards Fishergate Postern Tower

FISHERGATE POSTERN TOWER = NO ENTRY / EXIT from Fishergate Bar direction.

BAILE HILL = ENTRY ONLY towards Victoria Bar / Micklegate Bar

VICTORIA BAR = NO ENTRY / EXIT ONLY

MICKLEGATE BAR (SE side) = ENTRY ONLY towards Lendal Bridge (and access to Henry VII Museum)

MICKLEGATE BAR (NW side Bar Lane) = NO ENTRY / EXIT from Victoria Bar / Micklegate Bar direction

STATION RISE = NO ENTRY / EXIT ONLY

LENDAL BRIDGE / BARKER TOWER = NO ENTRY / EXIT ONLY from Micklegate Bar direction.

This system is being undertaken as a trial, and will be monitor for comprehension and compliance,  with revision if necessary.

Book Tickets Online

Road Directions

Walls access points are now restricted to ONE WAY ONLY & CLOCKWISE with ENTRY and EXIT points as listed above. This is being undertaken as a trial, and will be monitored for comprehension and compliance, with revision if necessary.

 

Public Transport Directions

Park & Ride: With six cleverly located sites surrounding the city centre getting into York has never been easier. www.yorkparkandride.co.uk   The nearest railway station is York, which is 0.2  miles away from access to the City walls.

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