Our standard tour* starts by the fountains in Exhibition Square and ends in York’s most famous street, the 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, 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.
Depending on the conditions, we will enter via Bootham Bar, one of the four major medieval gateways into the City and take a walk along part of its ancient Bar Walls**, giving amazing views of York Minster, the jewel in York’s crown, exiting at Monk Bar.
We will then pass the much-haunted Treasurer’s House and St. William’s College with its hidden carving of the Madonna and Child. Towards the end of the tour, on days when the church is open, we will also visit Holy Trinity Church Goodramgate, a hidden medieval gem with 15th Century stained glass and Jacobean box pews.
The final part of the tour takes us to York’s oldest street, the Shambles.
* 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.
**The walk along the walls involves climbing and descending stone steps and our guides will be pleased to suggest an alternative pavement-level walk to visitors who may find this part of the route difficult. While we take every care to ensure the safety of our groups, individuals participating in the tour do so at their own risk.