Walking York

I love walled towns and cities; ancient walls define a place so well. Inside a walled town, things are generally more historic, well preserved, expensive, touristy, and interesting. York is no exception to this general rule. In the height of summer, York’s main historic streets, especially around the Shambles area, can be jam packed. While this part of York is pedestrianised, making walking a breeze, the crowded narrow streets can be overwhelming, especially on the weekends and any day between 10 am and 5 pm when bus loads of tourists arrive for the day. The best time to see old York is outside these peak hours or in months other than July and August.

Why are these people queuing? York’s Harry Potter shop!!
The Shambles- an old quarter in Central York and extremely busy in the day time.
Mr T and JA, walking the pedestrian friendly streets of York. So much to catch up on.

Walking the walls is a great way to escape the busy pedestrian traffic, offering an excellent view of the city below. The walls can be divided into three sections, each with a Bar or gate. You can ascend the walls at these Bars and if thirst should intrude upon your exercise, simply descend at the next gate for a refreshing ale. Some walls look down directly into inviting beer gardens or onto old pubs, making this option highly probable. Other wall walks offer views into the backyards of fine homes and hotels, especially around the Minster. A good way to approach this walk is to you choose one section at a time, followed by an on ground exploration. Layerthorp Bridge to Monk Bar and on to Bootham Bar is the best section. The Micklegate bar section looks out onto an interesting industrial view along the railway side, then ends at the delightful York Museum Gardens, a 10 hectare park situated in the grounds of St Mary’s Abbey and the remains of a Roman tower.

St Mary’s abbey, Museum Gardens
Views from the wall near the Minster.

Another acquired map, though the distances can be deceptive. Courtesy of Friends of York Walls CIO, an invaluable website to study before the walk.

26 thoughts on “Walking York”

  1. So glad to see that the York map is guided and pinpointed by so many bars – centuries old but contemporarily placed for those who visiting ancestors wishing to step and sup and pray upon the hallowed grounds of forebearers indulging in the sacramental offerings that have been in our bloodlines, hence dispersed globally over the millenniums. Each corner of the Earth may claim a Yorkshireman but none other than the York tradition of piss & prayer.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. A warm clap and laugh for the conversation! ‘Piss and Prayer’ . . . who would ever forget those three words ! Nor that of ‘British fruit salad’ !!! Hate to think what I could be called !!!

          Liked by 1 person

              1. No, I would say you and Peter and both a very vibrant and amusing presence here. I love reading your snippets from your colourful past- always adding layers of history to this little blog that often digs up the past. Just love your comments Eha.


  2. I regret having been MIA, more renovations taking too much time and being way too disruptive! These travel post are reminiscent of my big trip in 2011, York has a grip on the other branch of my family tree, for as far back as we can find evidence, 400+ years, but during the Victorian era, in the slums of Mickelgate. If those old wall could talk….


    1. Ah yes, Sandra. If only. Those slums of Micklegate are much sought after now, like inner city spots anywhere in the world. You must have felt the strong pull of your ancestors during that trip.
      Hope that the renos are going well and that you see your way out of the dust soon.


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