03/07/2017

A walk around the historic York City Walls with great views of York Minister

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
The best view and much photographed point on this York City Walls walk with the walls leading your eye all the way to an impressive view of York Minister



For any visitor to York, a historic walled city in England with a long and rich heritage from Roman times through to Viking times and beyond, a walk around the City Walls is a must. York has more intact historic walls than any other city in England, which give stunning views of the city and York Minister from a vantage point not many tourists actually see. All you need to have is a spare 1.5 hours or so to leisurely walk this 2.6 mile route above the city and you will see some of the best views York has to offer.

Map of the York City Walls Walking route


York city walls map, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
I think this is the clearest map of York City Walls to show you the full route and the parts you actually walk on the walls and where you should walk where there is no wall still standing. The best place to start I think is from the Art gallery to the North East of the Museum Gardens - where you will walk up onto the walls at Bootham Bar and then walk around the walls in a clockwise direction. By starting here you will instantly get really upclose to York Minister. On visiting York I also always park at Marygate Car Park which is the closest car park to Bootham Bar. Whilst I didn't actually use the audio tracks also featured on the above map - it would be useful for those wanting a bit more history of the walls http://www.tourist-tracks.com/tours/york.html


This map clearly shows all the particular defences along the York City Walls and I will cross-reference where I can in my photos below


York City Walls map, route, photos, best view


Photos of the full York City Walls walking route so you know exactly what to expect



York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
So this is where I started my York City Walls walk at Bootham Bar (the city walls have four main gatehouses or 'bars' along them - Bootham Bar, Monk Bar, Walmgate Bar and Micklegate Bar - and in medieval times were used to restrict traffic and extract tolls). In this photo you can just make out York Minister behind it, and you will soon se we get quite close to York Minister at the start of this walk once you climb up the steps and onto the wall.

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
The footpath along the York City Walls is quite wide and flat and you feel very safe

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
My first view of York Minister

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
Looking back along the first section of the York City Wall we have just walked

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
Many properties backgardens lead onto the York City Walls so you get views that you wouldn't normally see 

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
This particular place is called Robin Hood's Tower and is good for a little stop

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
Approaching Monk Bar
Tip: Take a detour to come off the city walls for a bit to view Monk Bar in all it's glory 

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
We're really up close to the rooftops here!

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour

So on this walk we don't always walk on the York City Walls - and after we drop down from the walls at Laythorpe tower - you have to walk along Foss Island Road (keeping the river Foss on your right) until you get to the Red Tower. The reason there is no wall here is because originally this area of land was flooded and formed the 'Kings Fishpond' - a more natural form of York's ancient defences 

Keep an eye on the signs - they are sometime snot the clearest

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
Now we are at Red Tower and we get back onto the York City Walls!

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour

At this section we are approaching Fishergate Bar

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
When you come down off the walls at Fishergate Bar - you leave the walls for a little while. You need to keep the Travel Lodge on your right and walk along Tower Street and straight over the bridge over the river Foss. 

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
Whilst we take a detour from the walls - we head over to take a look at York Castle or Cliffords Tower - which was built originally in 1068 by the orders of William I to try and dominate these Viking lands. As you can see from the brooding clouds a rain shower was on it's way so it was time to take cover :-)

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
Crossing over the River Ouse once the rain shower had passed

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
Getting back up onto the Walls at the Skeldergate access tower

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
The view from Micklegate Bar
Tip: Come down off the walls again to see the full view of Micklegate Bar

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
Once back up on the city walls - the wall walk now takes us past York Railway station on the left

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
One of the best views on the York City Wall walk as the wall leads you eye all the way to York Minister in the distance. This spot is a very popular spot for photographers wanting that quintessential photo of York

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
This seems to be the busiest part of the wall too

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour

York city walls, walk, map, route, York Minister, distance, guide, tour
Now we are approaching the end of the opportunity to walk along the city walls at North Street Postern before we get to the River Ouse again. You can see Barker Tower to the right and Lendal Tower at the other end of the bridge. Once over the bridge you can go and get a well deserved drink in one of the many coffee shops and pubs/bars - or enter the Museum Gardens near where you started the walk and take a look at the Multangular Tower.

Tip: Take some time out to view the Multangular Tower in the museum gardens - the best example of standing Roman remains in York - which probably date from the early third century.



So there you go - quite a few photos of what to expect on a walk around the historic York City Walls and some of my best views of York. I hope the blog post inspires you to want to take a tour of the York City Walls (its only 2.6 miles :-) and discover a little more about one of my favourite cities in England. Any questions - just ask!





Blog Post by Stuart Hodgson, 'The Hiking Photographer'


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