Walking Tours in York – Because York is such a compact city and much of the city streets are pedestrianised a walking tour is an absolutely perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening. 

You can really get up close and personal on York’s lesser known snickets and alleyways and learn so many interesting facts with a fun and entertaining guide.

walking tours York


1. The Wizard Walk of York

best walking tour of york

Click here to book tickets for The Wizard Walk of York.

The Magic Hatter is bringing his award-winning entertainment to the streets, with his Wizard Walk of York.

“Magic, mystery, comedy and excitement plus a dash of York’s history…the ingredients for a truly unforgettable experience for all the family!”

Public tours are running on selected evenings, starting from the bottom of The Shambles opposite The Golden Fleece. Pre-booking required.  Private tours are available for birthdays, school groups, brownies, cubs and more. A wonderfully whimsical tour that wizard fans will go Potty for!

Wizard Wand Kits are also available, subject to availability. A handcrafted wand and instructions for seven tricks that young witches and wizards can learn at home. Plus a FREE printable certificate!  To check days, times and book online visit the wizarding website at www.wizardwalkofyork.com.

** Note from Nikki: If you have younger kids with you, there is no better tour for you.  We have seen The Magic Hatter many, many times when the kids were little and wholeheartedly recommend him. ** 


2. Mad Alice and The Bloody Tour of York

walking tour of york

Click here to book tickets for The Bloody Tour of York.

Join Mad Alice on The Bloody Tour of York as you wander “the streets and snickleways to historic landmarks.  With 2000 years of history, York has fascinating stories of the macabre and the extraordinary.  Uncover the tales of the Romans, the Viking invasion and the Plague amongst tales of torture and execution.

The history of the city is brought to life in this award-winning  90 minute tour which is suitable for gruesome little ones.  Learn about the city’s most famous son Guy Fawkes and what really drove him to want to blow up the houses of Parliament in 1605.  Dick Turpin, the famous Highwayman was hanged at York in 1739 but he was caught by sheer luck.  Margaret Clitherow, martyr and Saint lived amongst the entrailed and blood-soaked Shambles in the 1580’s.”

Accessibility: Suitable for all ages and fully accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The walk takes a steady pace around the city. If there are any mobility issues, please talk to Mad Alice at the beginning of the tour who will tailor the tour to be more comfortable.  Accompanying carers are invited onto the tour free of charge.

Tour Start Location

St. Williams College, College Street, YO1 7JF

When is the Tour?

January 18:00 (Saturdays only)
February/March – 18:00
April to October – 18:00 & 20:00
November – 18:00
December – 18:00 (Saturdays only)

How long does the Tour last?

90 minutes

How much is the Tour?

£12 adults and £6 children (under 5’s are free)

Click here to book tickets for The Bloody Tour of York.


3. Sceptred Isle Chronicles – History walking tour of York

guided walking tours york

Click here to book tickets for Sceptred Isle Chronicles

Join us on a relaxed journey through history, myths, legends and architecture. Discover how the medieval city thrived and developed to become the city we all love today. Our guides deliver a fun and unique take on York mixing history, sightseeing and exploration to offer a unique insight into York, passing the largest medieval gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe, old cobbled streets, Guild Halls, scenic views of our rivers, devils doors and so much more.

We cover all the important landmarks of York and go off the beaten track to places you may not think of going. We are all stories in the end, write yours with us!

Read more about Sceptred Isle Chronicles – History walking tour of York.


4. York Walls Private Walking Tour

guided tours of york


Book tickets for York Walls Private Walking Tour

Uncover the medieval marvels of historic York on a bespoke walking tour with a private guide. Learn about York’s rich history as you walk around the centuries-old walls, pose for photos with a backdrop of the city or visit the wall museums (not included). Your private tour is yours to customize as you please, so you could also pay a visit to York Castle, stroll down the atmospheric The Shambles or take a peek inside the magnificent York Minster.

Bespoke walking tour of York’s city walls Walk the medieval walls of York and enjoy spectacular views of the city Customise your tour to include a visit to The Shambles, York Minster or York Castle Bespoke tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off This private tour can be customized to your interests and ensures you’ll receive personalized attention from your guide

Read more about York Walls Private Walking Tour.


5. York Small-Group Evening Walking Tour with Guide

evening walking tour of york

Book tickets for Small Group Evening Walking Tour

Experience York at its most atmospheric around sundown, after the tourist hordes have departed but before the night begins. This evening stroll hits the highlights, including York Minster, the City Walls and Shambles, but also takes you deep into the “Snickelways”, a medieval warren of secret passages, shortcuts and hidden alleys.

Guides carry iPads with multimedia to bring the tour to life, while you’ll take home a map of York. Experience York’s medieval centre by twilight on an evening walking tour Follow in the footsteps of Henry VIII and see 2,000 years of history Guide provides lively commentary, with multimedia input from an iPad Great start to a stay in York—includes a complimentary map to explore more

Read more about York Small-Group Evening Walking Tour with Guide.


6. York Witches and History Walking Tour with Cauldron Experience

witches tour of york

Book tickets for York Witches and History Tour

See a different side of York with this spellbinding tour that features stories of witches, mysteries, and spooky events that don’t usually feature on traditional sightseeing tours. Walk past famous historical sites—such as the York Minster and the Shambles—and enjoy entertaining commentary from a character guide.

A highlight is a visit to the Potions Cauldron—a magical drinks emporium, where you can take part in a potion-making experience. Hear tales about the witches of Yorkshire on this guided walking tour Find out sinister and spooky tales as you walk past medieval Old Town sights Enjoy special perks—such as a potion-making experience and a surprise g

Read more about York Witches and History Walking Tour with Cauldron Experience.


7. Shared 3 Hours Hidden Gems Foodie Tour of York

foodie tours of york

Book tickets for 3 Hour Foodie Tour of York.


“Discover the places to eat around York, and learn about the city’s culinary scene during this half-day walking tour. You’ll learn where to go for food that’s local or from faraway, suss out the places away from the tourist trail, and try an eclectic mix of flavors as you go.

Nice touch: The tour is capped at just eight people per group for a more sociable and intimate experience. Book a popular York food tour online and get instant confirmation. Visit a carefully selected assortment of eateries around York.  Find locales that you’ll want to revisit later during your vacation.  Meet local food producers and learn about artisan food trades

Read more about Shared 3 Hours Hidden Gems Foodie Tour of York”. 


8. Guided Historic Pub Tour of York

walking tour york

Book tickets for Guided Historic Pub Tour of York.

“A guided pub crawl through York’s medieval snickelways, following in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and Papist plotters, Royalists and Roundheads, Whigs, Wool Traders, and Dick Turpin to boot.

Walking just three-quarters of a mile and stopping at up to 7 of York’s most historic pubs you will hear tales of execution and murder, local saints and Irish giants. And if you like spirits, there are plenty, and not just the bottled variety. Join us and drink in York’s fascinating history!”

Read more about Guided Historic Pub Tour in York.


  • Distance: 0.63 miles / 1 km
  • Steps: 1,312

“From the Brontë sisters, to Bram Stoker and Ted Hughes, Yorkshire has long been associated with celebrated authors who have drawn inspiration from the desolate beauty of its rugged moors and ruined abbeys. The city of York itself has a rich literary history, and has been known for producing books since the eight century when famous scholar Alcuin’s internationally renowned collection was destroyed by Viking invaders. Daniel Defoe and Charles Dickens were regular visitors, with the latter referencing the Minster in Nicholas Nickleby.

And, of course, Harry Potter fans couldn’t visit York without a trip to ‘The Shop That Must Not Be Named’ on the Shambles.This whistle-stop tour of literary York lasts between 30-60 minutes and covers two-thirds of a mile. Starting on Stonegate, you’ll pass by the Minster, through Dean’s Park and finish on the grand terraced-lined streets of Bootham. On the way you’ll also go by some of York’s specialist bookshops, a grand library, and other literary landmarks.”

Learn more about this literary tour here.


10. The Original Ghost Walk of York

The Original Ghost Walk of York is “believed to be the first exclusive Ghost Walk in the World! Established in 1973, we have decades of practice when it comes to providing you with a legendary and disturbing experience. We offer a night of history and mystery in York, promising to capture your imagination and inspire the mind. The Original Ghost Walk of York is famous for being genuine, authentic, and magical, exploring the haunted spots of York. We take pride in our excellent reputation, allowing you to face your fears and encounter genuinely mysterious experiences, all from one of the most famous pubs in Britain. Find out why!”

Ghost Tour Start Location

The Kings Arms Pub, 3 King’s Staith, York YO1 9SN

When is the Ghost Tour?

6.30pm and 8pm every night except 24th, 25th and 26th December

How long does the Ghost Tour last?

75-90 minutes

How much is the Ghost Tour?

£7.50 adults and £5 children

best york walking tour
The King’s Arms

11. White Rose York Tours

“What’s On The Free Tour?

On the White Rose free tour of York you will see and hear the history of one of the most fascinating cities in Britain or anywhere else in the world. The tour lasts three hours, and this includes a break for refreshments just after half way. If you do not feel like you can last the full tour, please feel free to come with us for the first half, and then see how you feel! Our free tour includes:

  • York Minster and the Liberty of St Peter
  • The City Walls* and Gatehouses
  • St Mary’s Abbey and the Museum Gardens
  • The Shambles
  • York Castle
  • Roman and Viking Invasions
  • Catholic Saints and Martyrs
  • English Kings and Queens
  • Dick Turpin and the truth about the Moonlight Ride

The tour commences every morning (year round) at 11am and every afternoon from April to October at 3pm. Also, additional tours run Fridays and Saturdays at 1pm November to March. All our tours start outside the West Entrance of York Minster.”

walking tours of york


Click here to see more ghost walks on this post.

Write A Comment