The City of York England
A Phill James Production
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Top City of York Attractions

todoinyork.com City of York England

Top City of York Attractions​

There are many Top City of York Attractions to choose from and we have collated our favourite city centre attractions together with a link for booking your visit!

Introduction

Top Visitor Attractions in the City of York England

Owing to York's mind-blowing history from before the Roman era through to modern day, the City of York has many attractions and things to do as a result. Visitors come from far and wide to experience the museums and other attractions that York offers. There is something here for everyone, so sit back , relax, as we present York's top attractions for you. The slides will advance automatically, but you can also use the arrows to skip to the next slide.

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Clifford's Tower

Clifford's Tower (York Castle)

Clifford's Tower is the remnants of one of two York Castle's built opposite each other with the River Ouse running in between. It is the Castle Keep and has recently had a new roof and walkways installed to enhance your experience. You can also expect to receive a 360 view of York from the top!

Cliffords Tower York Castle
York Castle Museum

York Castle Museum

York Castle Museum is award winning consisting of over 400 years of history. Kirkgate is a victorian street that was reconstructed brick by brick inside the museum. You can also view exhibitions as well as York Castle Prison. It stands facing the Eye of York and Clifford's Tower.

York Castle Museum
Jorvik Viking Museum

Jorvik Viking Centre

The Jorvik Viking Centre is situated in Coppergate where excavations revealed thousands of Viking artefacts, many on display at the Jorvik Viking Centre. It is here where you can explore Viking settlements using your senses while travelling back in time. A truly amazing experience!

Jorvik Viking Centre
York Minster

York Minster

York Minster is officially known as Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York. York Minster is the only cathedral that has an accreddited museum in its undercroft that includes the Viking horn of Ulf. We recommend visiting the Chapter House and do not miss the organ screen containing past rulers of England!

York Minster Deangate
Roman Column Minster Yard York

Roman Column Deangate York

Thje Roman Column you find next to the Minster is thought to be one of sixteen free standing columns. It was discovered beneath the Minster in 1969, a erected in its current position a few years later. It is 25 metres tall and made out of magnesium limestone.

Roman Column Minster Yard York
National Railway Museum

National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum in York is home to some famous iconic locomotives and rolling stock. This includes Sir Nigel Gresley's Mallard, Class 55 Delitc, the only Bullet train outside of Japan, the Coronation Scott, historic royal trains and so much more! You can also watch locomotives being repaired in the workshop from an elevated platform.

National Railway Museum
Yorkshire Museum

Yorkshire Museum

The Yorkshire Museum opened in 1830 and one of the first purpose built museums in England. The museum contains local artefacts and set out in mind-blowing exhibitions such as The Ryedale Hoard, Yorkshire's Jurassic World, Medieval York, Ritual or Disguise, Roman York, The Map that Changed the World, and more.

Yorkshire Museum York
York Chocolate Story

York Chocolate Story

If there is one product that York is famous for it has to be Chocolate! York Chocolate Story delves into the sweet history of three York families who became successful in producing chocolate for everyone to enjoy, Rowntree's, Terry's and of course Craven's! It is certainly a must for all chocolate lovers!

York Chocolate Story Kings Square
York Dungeon

The York Dungeon

York Dungeon is not simply a museum but a theatrical experience with real actors, stages and special effects that relate 2000 years of York's gruesome past! You will find York Minster, Vengeance of the Vikings, York Plague House, Golden Fleece Pub, Guy Fawkes, The Torture Chamber, The Courtroom, Execution, Curse of the Witch as well as Dick Turpin - a truly entertaining experience!

York Dungeon
York Art Gallery

York Art Gallery

York Art Gallery contains a vast collection of paintings pertaining to over 600 years including 14th century Italian panels, 17th century Dutch masterpieces as well as Victorian narrative paintings and much much more! The art gallery has recently undergone refurbishment and really is a must to visit!

York Art Gallery Exhibition Square
Merchant Adventurers Hall

Merchant Adventurers Hall

The Merchant Adventurers Hall is one of the finest guildhalls in the world. This amazing medieval timber framed building is open to visitors as well as hireable for events. There is also a popular Merchants Coffee House open to all. The Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York are celebrating over 650 years of enterprise that has helped to put York on the map!

Merchant Adventurers Hall York
Barley Hall

Barley Hall

Barley Hall is an amazing discovery back in the 1980's when the demolition of a facade uncovered this medieval structure. Barley Hall was once home to the Priors of Nostell as well as a the Mayor of York. This amazing timber framed townhouse has been restored and opened to the public. It may even posses the only 'horn window' in the country.

Barley Hall
Treasurers House

Treasurers House

The Treasurer's House is a rapidly converted show home by Frank Green for the visit of Edward VII. The building was purchased by Frank Green in 1897 who was the grandson of a wealthy industrialist. Today the building is owned by the National Trust and it has some stunning, award winning gardens with fantastic views of the Minster and Chapter House.

Treasurers House York
Fairfax House

Fairfax House

Fairfax House is a Georgian townhouse open to the public and was originally the winter home of Viscount Fairfax. It's architect is John Carr who was renown in his day. A must see is the fantastic stucco ceilings as well as the stunning furnishings that reflects the culture of the time the house was constructed. This amazing attraction certainly carries a 'wow-factor' and is simply a must visit.

Fairfax House Castlegate York
The Bar Convent

The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre

Founded in 1686, The Bar Convent is the oldest living convent in England, spanning over three centuries. The Bar Convent is Grade I listed and is open to the public of all faiths. It also consists of exhibitions, a garden, meeting rooms, a guesthouse, cafe and gift shop.

Bar Convent Blossom Street
York Cold War Bunker

York Cold War Bunker

York Cold War Bunker is actually one of English Heritage's most modern properties and kind of the most eerie too! It was active been the sixties through to the nineties and was created to monitor fallout from a nuclear attack. You can expect to receive a short introductory film, a guided tour, a view of the decontamination room as well as a visit to the gift shop!

York Cold War Bunker
Web Adventure Park

The Web Adventure Park

The Web Adventure Park consists of impressive outdoor and indoor play parks as well as a sensory area. The adventure park is out of town close to Clifton Moor Shopping Park. They are also a venue for parties and events and have a fantastic cafe here too.

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Goddards

Goddards

Goddards is under the care of the National Trust and the house features as their regional offices. However, the idyllic gardens are open to the public including vibrant borders, vegetable garden, wildlife as well as a glasshouse. The house was the former home of the Terry family famous for the Chocolate Orange. In fact, you can see the clock tower of the former Terry's Chocolate Factory from the gardens.

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Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park

Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park

Just outside the city you will find Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park, a small zoological collection that is under the care of Askham Bryan College. It is a great place to see Meerkats, tortoise, otter and primates as well as goats and alpacas. There are also avaries too!

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York Mansion House

The Mansion House

The Mansion House has been the home of York's Lord Mayors and it was constructed for entertaining royalty. It is the oldest purpose built home for a Lord Mayor in England and you can learn about the history that this superb building has witnessed.

York Mansion House St Helen's Square
York Army Museum

York Army Museum

At the York Army Museum you will find collections pertaining to the Royal Dragoon Guards that span over 300 years of history. It also features a collection of the modern Yorkshire Regiment too. It is easy to find, just next door to Clifford's Tower.

York Army Museum Royal Dragoon Guards
St Mary's Church

St Mary's Church

St Mary's Church is the home of York's tallest spier (not to be confused with towers). This no ordinary church as the works of Van Gogh are projected around the interior walls in a truly immersive way. Not only is this church a place of worship and a local landmark, but also a fine art exhibition too!

St Mary's Church Castlegate
Holgate Windmill

Holgate Windmill

Holgate Windmill can be found on Windmill Rise not far from the York Cold War Bunker. It is the oldest five sail windmill in England and is more than capable of producing stone ground flour! It is sadly York's only surviving windmill and it has open days, alternatively you can simply go to see this fantastic historic structure close up!

Holgate Windmill York
Murton Park

Murton Park (Farming Museum)

Murton Park is just outside the city at Murton featuring a museum, Animals and a playground. It also features the Derwent Valley Light Railway that runs along a portion of the former Blackberry Line. Undoubtedly, there is something for everyone at Murton Park!

York Art Gallery
The Hole in Wand

The Hole in Wand Wizard Mini Golf

The Hole in Wand Mini Golf can be found in York's Coppergate Shopping Centre, central to the city. There are nine magical holes as well as bubbling cauldrons, magical portals, enormous picture frame as well as cast a light spell so that you can find your way!

The Hole in Wand Coppergate York
York City Walls Experience

City of Walls Experience (Micklegate Bar)

The City Walls Experience is a new attraction open between April and October, operated by The Jorvik Group. You can explore the history of the city walls and Micklegate, a Royal entrance to the City of York owing to its south facing position. Walking tours around the walls are included!

York Art Gallery
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York Museums

Top City of York Attractions

In this section we have put together some highly recommended and fun museums to visit in the City of York. Not only are they bristling with fascinating exhibits, but they also expand your knowledge and inspire you.

The Yorkshire Museum

Situated in the heart of York, The Yorkshire Museum contains artefacts and exhibitions from pre Roman times up to the more relatively modern era.

Yorkshire Museum

The Castle Museum

Opposite York's castle keep Clifford's Tower you will find the award winning and popular Castle Museum. It features local exhibits from varying era's as well as a rebuilt Victorian Street, Kirkgate!

York Castle Museum

York Art Gallery

Located in Exhibition Square is York Art Gallery containing some fantastic historic paintings as well as pottery and other crafts. Be inspired!

The Undercroft Museum

York Minster is the only cathedral with an accredited museum in its undercroft, and its not all about religion. You will also discover a Viking horn, the Horn of Ulf!

York Army Museum

The official collection of the Prince of Wales own regiment Royal Dragoon Guards consisting of 300 years of history!

York Army Museum Royal Dragoon Guards

Jorvik Viking Centre

The Jorvik Viking Centre is time travel with a difference. Use your senses to recreate experiences of York's Viking past!

Jorvik Viking Centre

National Railway Museum

York has had an enormous railway history since the railways began. The NRM is free entry and contains iconic locomotives such as the Coronation Scott, Mallard, and the only Bullet train outside of Japan!

York Chocolate Story

York Chocolate Story draws on the experience of three York families who pioneered their way in confectionary. Welcome to York's mouthwatering past!

Bar Convent

The Bar Convent is one of the oldest convents in the country and features an 18th century hidden chapel, one of the finest in Europe. You can also hire the guesthouse too!

Cliffords Tower
York Minister Central Tower 2
Monk Bar Upper Rooms
Inside the Barbican York City Walls

York Stately Homes

Top City of York Attractions.

On the same lines as York's museums are some historic town houses to visit such as the Mansion House, Treasurer's House, Fairfax House and Barley Hall, all featuring a plethora of fine historic interiors and many decorations that leave you in awe!

Treasurer's House

Situated neatly behind the Minster and Chapter House is this fine home that was quickly turned into a fine town house to impress Edward VII. Simply a must visit.

Treasurers House York

Fairfax House

Fairfax House is a stunning Georgian town house that is open to the public. It was the winter home of Viscount Fairfax and this town house is simply awe inspiring!

Fairfax House Castlegate York

The Mansion House

York Mansion House has been the official residence of the Lord Mayor since 1732 and as you can imagine, this is no ordinary home!

Barley Hall

Barley Hall was discovered after demolition of an office block in the eighties. This hidden gem has been restored and open to the public, once home to the Prior's of Nostell and a former Lord Mayor of York.

Visit. Enjoy. Learn.

Some more of our favourites...

Top City of York Attractions

The attractions below are not museums or stunning town houses, but draw visitors from all over the world. These five star attractions come strongly recommended by todoinyork.com!

York Dungeon

York Dungeon is truly amazing as it features some of York's gory past. With professional actors, special effects and stage, York Dungeon really brings historic York to life!

York Dungeon

St Mary's Church Van Gogh Experience

This is somewhat of a unique experience when you see an immersive light show of Van Gogh's work projected upon the historic walls of St Mary's Church (which incidentally has York's tallest spire).

St Mary's Church Van Gogh Experience

The Roman Bath

Ok, this may appear to be your average public house, but it also has Roman Bath's situated underneath that are open to the public (although not for bathing!). You could also immerse yourself in a refreshing beverage after your visit!

York Cold War Bunker

York Cold War Bunker is actually one of English Heritage's most modern properties and kind of the most eerie too! It was active been the sixties through to the nineties and was created to monitor fallout from a nuclear attack. You can expect to receive a short introductory film, a guided tour, a view of the decontamination room as well as a visit to the gift shop!

York Cold War Bunker

Holgate Windmill

Holgate Windmill can be found on Windmill Rise not far from the York Cold War Bunker. It is the oldest five sail windmill in England and is more than capable of producing stone ground flour! It is sadly York's only surviving windmill and it has open days, alternatively you can simply go to see this fantastic historic structure close up!

Holgate Windmill York

Tours, tours and more tours

Top City of York Attractions

As well as our free smartphone tours, you may prefer to be professionally guided around historic York with some amazing tour guides by foot, boat and open top bus!

York City Sightseeing (Bus)

Quite a pleasant way to explore York (and less intrusive on the feet) are the open top buses that traverse the city's famous landmarks. You can sit on the open top deck when its not raining and down below when it is!

York City Cruises

A very relaxing method of learning more about York is the boating adventures on York City Cruises. They set sail upon the River Ouse where you can enjoy the top open deck or down below for a refreshing drink!

The York Tour Guide

The York Tour Guide offers bespoke walking tours lasting 2-3 hours. It is operated by former police officers who have patrolled the area for over 30 years!

Minster Gates

White Rose York Tours

White Rose York Tours are conducted by professional history guru's who will take you around the city in a 2 hour tour. Tours can be arranged in English, Spanish, German and French when necessary. Please check their website for details.

Golden Tours (Open Top Bus)

Golden Tours are an additional tour bus operator providing open top buses. With a live guide, the bus takes you around the city admiring the historic landmarks. All of the open top buses are hop on and off as much as you like!

York Dungeon City Walking Tours

A further feature that has recently been introduced to York is the York Dungeon walking tour. Be taken around the city by a sarcastic Black Jester as well as a smelly peasant Smedley!

Dick Turpin

Ghost Keeper Tour of York

The Ghost Keeper of York takes you through York's Streets in the evenings relating some hair-stiffening stories en route! Are you brave enough? More you than us!

The Shambles York's Historic Streets Part One

The Bloody Tour of York

The Bloody Tour of York is in fact an award winner for York Culture Award for Performing Artist 2016. Mad Alice takes you through York's streets and snickleways relating stories that will make you hair stand on end. If you have any left!

Lady Pecketts

The Ghost Bus Tour

This is a comedy ghost tour around the city using an historic 1960's bus. The journey lasts for around 75 minutes but the experience will be told for an eternity!

Dick Turpin's Grave York City Walls

York's Parks and Gardens

Top City of York Attractions

Undoubtedly, York has plenty of historic features contained within its medieval city walls. Did you know that York also features some amazing gardens and parks too!

Rowntree's Park

Rowntree's Park is an historic park featured with courts for skateboarding, basketball, tennis, children's play area as well some outstanding gardens! It also features a popular cafe too!

Museum Gardens

The Museum Gardens features an attractive botanical park as well as the Yorkshire Museum, St Mary's Abbey, the Multangular Tower, the Hospitium, York Observatory and a story telling area. The RSPB often visit with birds of prey and you can often see an ice-cream van here too!

Homestead Park

Homestead Park is a large park and children's play area just outside of York in the suburb of Clifton. It's in the care of the Joseph Rowntree's Housing Trust and features 14 acres of gardens. It was opened in 1904 by the son of Joseph Rowntree. Homestead House was his dwelling but today stands as the head office for the trust.

Memorial Gardens

The Memorial Gardens can be found near the Railway Station between the Ouse, Station Rise and Leeman Road. It features gardens with the First World War Memorial made from Portland stone and designed by Edwin Lutyens. It's an idyllic place to sit and eat your lunch.

Tower Gardens

Tower Gardens is situated next to Clifford's Tower and the River Ouse at Skeldergate Bridge. This is a small garden that features seating areas as well as great views of the castle and the River Ouse.

Knavesmire

The Knavesmire may look very attractive today but it was also the place were criminals were executed in days gone. It is the location of York Races but also features an enormous green space, excellent for exercising either yourself, your dog or even both!

Knavesmire (York Racecourse)

Dean's Park

Dean's Park is situated behind the North transept of York Minster. It stretches the entire length of the cathedral and is located in York City Centre. It is part of the Minster's grounds and is a delightful place to sit and eat you lunch.

Dean Park Great War Memorial
Quick Links

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York Civic Trust

Friends of York Walls

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© Photography and Video by Phill James

Imagery shot with a Nikon Z50

Content authored by Phill James

© Phill James 2022 todoinyork.com