Free Things to do in York  – There are loads of brilliant things to do in York  and we have made a whole list of them, but everything costs money and sometimes it is nice to have a day out that does not break the bank.  So, we have compiled a list of some fabulous things to do in York for free!  Why not combine a few of the below suggestions for a full day out?

The Bar Walls

The Bar Walls are the thick stone walls that circle the city. They are not entirely complete but are a great (free!) activity to do with older children. There are steps to climb and not all of the walls are fenced (meaning a drop to one side) so bear that in mind if there are accessibility issues or wild toddlers! You get a view of the city and The Minster from the walls that you just don’t get to see otherwise.

cheap things to do in York


Dean Park

There is a large park behind The Minster which is a perfect place to sit quietly and escape the York crowds or you take the kids for a runaround to burn off some energy. When we visited last year there were chalkboards to entertain the kids too. You could also enjoy a relaxed picnic here, or bring chips from Petergate fisheries for a treat!

Free things to do in York

Treasurer’s House Garden

In front of The Treasurer’s House, just behind the Minster you will find The Treasurer’s House garden. It’s absolutely free to enter their garden which is beautifully landscaped. There are lots of benches as well as a large lawn to sit on. In the summer they have lawn games for the children, like oversized Jenga.

You get some stunning views of the back of The Minster from here too. Plus if you have a National Trust Card you can get into the house free too!

The Museum Gardens

Museum Gardens, York

The National Railway Museum

National Railway Museum - Free Entry

Free walking tour

There are several free walking tours in York that can last up to three hours.  A knowledgeable guide will take you on a tour of the city – there are so many interesting places to look at.  It’s the done thing to tip at the end of a tour so I think this does not make it truly free, but you can pay according to your budget and the value you feel you have gained.

free things to do in York

Attend a Festival

York has so many festivals all year round from the Viking Festival early on in the year to the Christmas Festival at the end. While you might need to pay for some things whatever festival you attend, you don’t have to and it’s lovely just to wander and soak up the atmosphere.  If you are a York resident then make sure you take full advantage of the York Resident’s Festival.

free things to do in York
York Viking Festival

Rowntree’s Park – Free Things to do in York

Rowntree Park has a river-side location to the south of the city centre. It was given to the people of York by Rowntree and Company at the close of the First World War as a memorial to all those members of the Company’s staff who lost their lives or suffered during the War. The wrought iron gates at the Terry Avenue entrance were given by the Company in 1954 as a Second World War memorial.


Check out our huge list of everything to do in York.



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