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Top Historical Sights in York

Top Historical Sights in York

Founded in AD 71 as the Roman capital of northern England, York has a long and tumultuous history. Today, the city is renowned as one of the grandest in the UK. Here are a few highlights to explore during your visit to the north of England.

York Minster

With its striking gothic edifice, the 13th-century York Minster is widely considered to be Yorkshire’s most famous medieval building and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Highlights include the mighty towers dominating the western flank of the minster and the beautiful stained glass windows.

Castle Howard

Constructed in the 17th century, Castle Howard is a beautiful stately home hidden in the countryside northeast of York. Although not technically a castle, it looks more like a palace than a stately home. Make a stop to admire the impressive baroque facade, and don’t miss the chance to take a walk through the landscaped gardens.

York City Walls

The majority of York’s top historic sites date back to the medieval period, but few enthrall travelers the way the 13th- and 14th-century city walls do. The ancient walls were built to prevent attacks from present-day Europe and today shine a light on the former layout of the city. The well-preserved remains of the walls include four ancient gatehouses—including the monumental Micklegate Bar and the Monk Bar, which now houses the Richard III Museum.

Clifford’s Tower

Overlooking York and the Ouse River, the 13th-century Clifford’s Tower was once part of the now-destroyed York Castle. With such a central location, it’s the perfect place from which to start exploring the city. Visit the mighty towers, walk along the top of the fortified walls, and learn of the unfortunate prisoners held captive here over the centuries—including infamous highwayman Dick Turpin.

Jorvik Viking Centre

The Jorvik Viking Centre is named after the Old Norse name for York—Jorvik—and tells tales of Viking activity in the United Kingdom during the ninth century. Learn about fearsome Viking invaders including Ivar the Boneless and King Halfden, and see ancient jewelry and treasures from this turbulent time in York’s history.

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5 Tours and Activities

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Private 2-Hour York Walking Tour

Private 2-Hour York Walking Tour

star-5
10
See York the way you want on a private, fully customizable walking tour of the history-steeped city. With your private guide, tailor your itinerary from start to finish according to your interests. Admire York Minster, the City Gates, and Clifford’s Tower; stroll around ruined St. Mary’s Abbey; or delve into the cobbled lanes to absorb the landmarks on route and learn their stories and secrets.
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  • 2 hours
From
$111.24
Price varies by group size
From
$111.24
Price varies by group size

York Walls Private Walking Tour

York Walls Private Walking Tour

star-5
72
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.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$76.48
Price varies by group size
From
$76.48
Price varies by group size

York Walking Tour including York Minster

York Walking Tour including York Minster

star-5
17
Delve into England’s colorful history and admire architecture dating back to the Middle Ages on this morning or afternoon York walking tour. Follow a guide through the streets of York and discover landmarks including Bedern Hall, Clifford’s Tower, Fairfax House, King’s Manor, the Multangular Tower, St. Mary’s Abbey, Stonegate, and St. William’s College. Hear how Emperor Constantine, Guy Fawkes, and Richard III shaped modern York, and learn of the English Reformation as you explore York Minster.
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  • 2 hours
From
$27.62
From
$27.62

City Sightseeing York Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing York Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

star-4.5
192
Journey back in time on a hop-on hop-off bus tour of York, England’s quintessential medieval town. Your flexible 24-hour ticket enables you build a custom itinerary of York’s main attractions such as The Stonebow, Clifford’s Tower, Museum Gardens and more. With unobstructed views from the open-top viewing deck and 20 possible stops around town, you have the best of the city at your fingertips.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$22.25
From
$22.25
Taking safety measures

Castle Howard and Fountains Abbey Private Day Trip from York

Castle Howard and Fountains Abbey Private Day Trip from York

star-5
2
Visiting Castle Howard and Fountains Abbey in a day from York is near-impossible without car rental. This private tour makes it easy, with private transport and a driver-guide to take you via scenic routes and introduce sights and photo ops along the way. Visit Castle Howard before exploring UNESCO-listed Fountains Abbey and the adjoining water gardens of Studley Royal Park, all at your own pace. Entrance fees at own expense.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$549.29
per group
From
$549.29
per group