A walk around the old streets of York

This easy circular walk around York city centre takes you to some of its hidden places. On the way, you’ll see some of York’s most popular places from a different angle as well as explore some of the old streets and “Snickelways”. The total distance travelled is about three miles on footpaths.

1. Entrance to Museum Gardens. The walk starts and ends at the lodge entrance to the Museum Gardens on Museum Street. From the entrance, turn left and head up Museum Street towards York Minster. Turn almost immediately left towards the library and then turn left at the Library and follow the path which runs around the side of the building. Walk towards the steps in front of you and the gate through the wall. The ruins to your left are the back of the Roman Multangular Tower in the Museum Gardens.

2. Gate in Wall. Walk through the gate in the wall and down the slope on the other side. Turn right and follow the old Abbey Wall until you reach Exhibition Square. Cross over the road and walk through Bootham Bar, one of the Medieval entrances to York.

Deans Park

3. Hole in the Wall – Passage. On the left-hand side, next to the Hole in the Wall pub there is a passageway. Follow this and then turn right onto Precentor’s Court. Look upwards and admire York Minster towering high above you. Once you arrive at the Minster turn left and through a gate into Dean’s Park. Follow the path to the left to walk past the York Minster Library. Follow the path around to the right and leave the park by the gate. Turn Right.

4. Dean’s Park exit. Walk along Minster Yard past the Treasurer’s House and turn left when you see the red post box. Walk down Chapter House Street, which bends right and becomes Ogleforth. At the crossroads turn right onto Goodramgate.

5. Ogleforth / Goodramgate. Walk along Goodramgate until you see an archway on the left, opposite the National Trust cafe. Turn down here onto Bedern and then then right onto Bartle Garth which bends around to the left. At the T-junction turn right onto St. Andrewgate and then turn left down Spen Lane.

Spen Lane

6. Spen Lane. Walk along Spen Lane until you reach Hilary House and turn right along St Saviourgate. At the end of St Saviourgate at the T-junction turn left. Look for the street sign on the right, Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, York’s smallest Street.

7. Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate. Turn right at the Crossroads and walk towards Marks and Spencers. On your left is a passageway, Lady Peckett’s Yard. Go under the buildings and then turn left towards Fossgate. Turn right onto Fossgate and cross the bridge over the River Foss. Turn right onto Merchantgate.

8. Merchantgate. At the end of Merchantgate at the T-junction cross the road and take the walkway beside the bridge. This leads to the “Castle Area” and the car park by Clifford’s Tower, one of York’s most popular attractions.

9. Clifford’s Tower Car Park. Bear round to the right and stay right of the Hilton Hotel to walk down Castlegate. Once you have passed the church on the right, turn left down Friargate.

Clifford Street

10. Friargate / Clifford Street. At the T-junction turn right, cross the road and turn left by the York Dungeon onto Cumberland Street, this leads down to Kings Staith on the riverbank. Turn right on the riverbank and climb the steps at the side of Ouse Bridge.

11. Ouse Bridge. At the top of the steps turn right and cross the road. Turn left down Church Lane before the Church and follow the lane round to the right. Once on Coney Street turn left. Then turn right onto Market Street.

12. Market Street. Head up Market Street and take the left-hand fork onto Feasegate. Carry straight on to cross Parliament Street and walk past St Sampson’s Church. Stop at the crossroads.

If it’s between 11:00am and 3:00pm on any day except Monday and Tuesday, then read step 13, otherwise read step 13a.

Church Street

13. Church Street / King’s Square. Go straight ahead onto Goodramgate. After about 50 yards, go left through an archway into the churchyard of Holy Trinity. If you have time visit the old church. Then exit by a passageway to the left of the tower to Low Petergate. Turn right and walk up to Grape Lane.

13a.Church Street / King’s Square. Turn left to walk up Low Petergate. Walk up to Grape Lane.

14. Grape Lane. Turn left onto Grape Lane. Where it bends to the left, turn right into the narrow Coffee Yard. Follow this to exit onto Stonegate.

15. Stonegate. Turn left onto Stonegate, towards St. Helen’s Square. Walk across the Square and turn right onto Lendal. At the end of Lendal cross the road to the Museum Gardens, where you started your walk.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your walk, why not explore the Museum Gardens now you’re here.

Other things to do in York


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A Walk around Old York

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