York audio tour: The Battlements of History: A Tour of York’s City Walls

The Battlements of History: A Tour of York’s City Walls

Walking Tour

120 mins

About the Tour

You’ll find the country’s most complete city walls encircling York, and this walking tour takes you on a complete circuit of them. Along the way, you’ll hear the extraordinary history of this magical city, and find out about the Romans, Vikings, Normans and medieval citizens of York who built, defended, attacked and sometimes died here, on and around these ancient walls.

On this tour, you’ll see and hear about:

• The magnificent cathedral of York Minster
• The four impressive city gates, each with its own story
• The dominating remains of York Castle
• The last remains of the Roman occupation of York

Tour Producer


James Easton

A York resident, passionate about the history and present of this extraordinary city.

Major Landmarks

  • The ancient walls of the City of York and many of the historic buildings contained within them

Directions to Starting Point

At the main entrance to the Yorkshire Museum in the museum gardens, just off Museum Street in the centre of the city

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

If you want a coffee or a drink there are lots of cafes and pubs near each of the four main gates we pass through - so those are probably the easiest places to break your walk. There are public toilets at Bootham Bar early on in the walk, At St George's Field, off to the left across the road as you walk between FIshergate Postern and York castle just over half way around, and at the top of Nunnery Lane near Micklegate Bar about three quarters of the way around the walls.

Best time of day

The City Walls are only open in the daylight hours, so make sure you have got time to finish the walk before dusk.


You cannot take dogs onto the walls. There are some places where there are drops without railings on one side of the walls - the drops are not too high and onto grass - but you might want to keep an eye on children. During COVID you can only walk clockwise around the walls but this is the route the walk takes so will not be a problem.


Very enjoyable and informative tour for history enthusiasts. I went on an early August morning and mostly encountered runners on the wall. I am glad though that I went without my husband who is afraid of heights. Some parts of the walkway are a bit narrow and slope away from the wall itself and could be uncomfortable to the so inclined. Also lots of stairs. But if you love walking and history like I do, I highly recommend this tour for you! I also purchased “Romans, Vikings and Medieval Marvels” by James Easton that partly overlaps with this tour, but it still gave a lot of new information. Would purchase both again.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 5 months ago

Excellent paced tour with great insights into historic York. Fantastic narration from James and a great platform for history enthusiasts

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 9 months ago

So glad you enjoyed it and thanks for posting the comment

Posted by James , 9 months ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
The Battlements of History: A Tour of York’s City Walls