Our standard 2-hour tour* starts by the fountains in Exhibition Square and ends in Whip-ma-what-ma-gate after passing through York’s most famous street, Shambles.
We set off into the Museum Gardens, observing part of the late 1st century Roman fortifications (the Multangular Tower) and the ruins of the North’s largest medieval abbey, St. Mary’s Abbey, which, during August 2012, was the venue for York’s world-famous Mystery Plays.
We also normally visit the King’s Manor, originally the Abbots House then the headquarters of Henry VIII’s Council of the North and now part of the University of York.
Your tour may also take in an additional section which includes the ‘Edible Wood’ (a garden of edible plants and flowers) and the ‘Walk-on Geological Map’ (which depicts the work of geologist William Smith in the 1800s) in the recently-opened public space behind York Art Gallery.
We will either climb the steps up to Bootham Bar, walking along the City Walls with amazing views of York Minster and other fine buildings within its precinct, to Monk Bar, then through Goodramgate, toward York Minster, Treasurer’s House and Holy Trinity Church, if open.
Or, we will enter the walled City through Bootham Bar, (Roman gateway, Porta Dextra) one of the four major medieval gateways into the City onto High Petergate through a ‘snickleway’ into Precentor’s Court giving amazing views of York Minster, the jewel in York’s crown.
We will then pass the statue of Constantine the Great, St. William’s College with its hidden carving of the Madonna and Child and much-haunted Treasurer’s House. (Towards the end of the tour, some guides may show you another hidden gem, Bedern Hall, the home of the medieval Vicars Choral.)
The final part of the tour takes us to Kings Square and Shambles, Yorks famous medieval street, ending through another passageway to Whip-ma-what-ma-gate.
* Please note that there is some flexibility in the tour route; while all of our guides are thoroughly trained in the route above, their local expert knowledge may result in the tour taking in other sites and/or occasionally omitting some of the above. We may also need to amend the tour route depending on the weather or other local conditions.