Walking York’s Historic City Walls

King George VI once said: “The history of York is the history of England.” From the Romans and Vikings to the Victorians and Georgians, remnants of past eras are everywhere in this beautiful city. During a recent weekend visit to York, there were plenty of opportunities to appreciate the historic surroundings and walking along the incredibly well-preserved city walls is a must-do activity. 

With an impressive 3.4 km route still surrounding the city, York City Walls are the longest medieval city walls in England. While most of what remains today was built between the 12th and 14th centuries, there are parts dating all of the way back to the Roman times. Walking the walls is the perfect way to enjoy panoramic views and it is absolutely free! It was an odd feeling strolling along these ancient, weathered walls that, in parts, passed through starkly-contrasting modern residential areas. There are a number of towers located along the way that form easy access points. This includes Monk Bar – one of the best preserved parts – that is home to the fantastic Richard III Museum

As somebody who can easily get bored in museums, this is perfect for those with a short attention span. This museum is very small and compact, yet it is brimming with a concentration of captivating displays and intriguing information about one of England’s most infamous and possibly gravely misrepresented kings in history. Did Richard III really murder the ‘Princes in the Tower’? How accurate, or rather inaccurate, is Shakespeare’s portrayal of him? These were the kind of questions discussed and I was fascinated. 

It was interesting to read that around 2.5 million people walk along York’s walls every year – some taking in the whole circuit and others picking smaller sections. It takes around 2 hours to complete the whole route in one go, but we opted to take a more leisurely pace and chose different segments to discover over a couple of days. 

York city walls

York city walls

York city walls

richard III museum in york

york city walls

map of York city walls

York city walls

York city walls

York city walls

york city walls

 Have you been to York? Did you walk along the city walls? 

 

9 Comments

  1. August 1, 2013 / 05:39

    I love York and walking the city walls is a must. I may have mentioned that I got married in York a few years ago. I consider it my adopted city. I haven’t been to the Richard III museum yet so I must next tiem I visit.That is a very nice picture of you by the walls BTW.

    • August 16, 2013 / 22:42

      Awww yes I remember you saying you got married in York :-)

    • August 16, 2013 / 22:43

      Thank you :-)

  2. August 1, 2013 / 20:29

    Been to England a few times, but not York. Seeing your photos, I’ll be sure to go next time I visit England. Lovely photographs!

  3. August 7, 2013 / 14:52

    I love seeing places so familiar through a visitors eyes. We live only about 10 miles from York and I think I’ve stopped appreciating how lovely it is due to its familiarity. Lovely photos Alison
    Maddie recently posted..A holiday at homeMy Profile

    • August 16, 2013 / 22:32

      That’s a nice ‘day trip’ distance away. York is fab, loved it!

  4. July 23, 2014 / 10:20

    A great adventure in York City Walls with the whole family sounds interesting and fun. My kids always love to see beautiful places that are new to them and this place is perfect. I can also see in your photos how wonderful it is to set foot on that place and appreciate these great walls. Thanks for sharing!