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Bootham Bar: Our most recommended tours and activities

York: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

1. York: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

Why follow the crowds? At Yorktour we believe a great tour should also be a fun conversation, which is why we guarantee there will be no more than eight participants so everyone can ask questions and no-one needs to worry about being left at the back! This family-friendly walking tour includes all the key sights - including the exterior of the Minster and the celebrated Shambles - though we will also lead you deep into the medieval maze of ‘Snickelways’ to follow in the footsteps of the Romans and Vikings who created York. Hidden behind the starting point of the central library we enter the tranquil, green oasis of the Museum Gardens - a Victorian botanic landscape which contains the remains of the Roman fortress, a Saxon-era tower and the spectacular ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. From here it is a short walk to the Minster - the largest medieval gothic cathedral in the country - which has dominated the city’s skyline for over 900 years (please note admission to the Minster isn't included, but we'll give you all the details from the outside). The Minster lies at the heart of a warren of ancient streets whose layout is Viking in origin. You’ll hear tales of Nordic invasion while delving deep into the maze of secret passages known as ‘Snickelways’; passing an unhappy mermaid and a little red devil as well as catching a glimpse of a 15th Century banqueting hall. Finally you’ll emerge into the Shambles, York’s best-known cobbled street - once a row of butchers, now instantly recognisable to Harry Potter fans as the inspiration for Diagon Alley.

York: Romans, Vikings, and Medieval Marvels Audio Guide

2. York: Romans, Vikings, and Medieval Marvels Audio Guide

See York and its most iconic sights without the expense or time constraints of a group tour with this affordable audio guide. Stroll past the city's most iconic landmarks, including the Shambles and York Minster. Start at York Art Gallery and travel back in time through 2000 years of history as you stroll. Experience Roman, Viking, and medieval York, and see the city's great sights as well as its hidden gems. Learn the history of this city and the central role it has played in the history of England. Continue past iconic sights like the Shambles, one of the world's best-preserved medieval streets, and spot the story of Adam and Eve carved into York Minster’s Great West Door. Uncover some of the most important characters in York's development along the way, from its humble beginnings as a riverside Roman settlement, to its turbulent takeover by the Vikings, and on to its thriving medieval period of commerce. Feel free to start, pause, or restart at any time and complete your visit at your own pace. If your travel plans change, you can use the audio guide at any date of your choice or use the virtual in-app option for an at-home experience.

York: Self-Guided City Sightseeing Treasure Hunt

3. York: Self-Guided City Sightseeing Treasure Hunt

Embark on a self-guided treasure hunt for a fun and unique way to explore York outdoors at your own pace. Get clues sent to your phone and search your surroundings for the answers as you are led on a beautiful route through fabulous places. Start your treasure hunt in the fabulous Museum Gardens in the center of York. Play using your phones, on which you’ll meet Captain Bess, a snarky pirate who’s testing out new recruits to join her ship. Receive beautiful treasure maps leading you from one spot to the next. Find yourselves sneaking through a series of small streets and footpaths, passing medieval churches, and guildhalls. Use the sent clues to search for your surroundings. When you get the right answer, move on to the next place. Don’t worry, if you get stuck you can ask for a hint to help you on your way. Learn some interesting facts and stories along the way about the things you're spotting and get a better understanding of the history of York.

York: Vikings, Romans, and Normans Guided Walking Tour

4. York: Vikings, Romans, and Normans Guided Walking Tour

Join a guided walking tour in York and discover the city's historical sights as you learn about its greatest invaders. Hear about how the Romans, Vikings, and Normans tried to conquer the city, leaving behind a treasure trove for anyone who loves history. Begin your tour at the York Minster Cathedral and set out to discover the fascinating past of England's Viking capital. Step back in time as you listen to stories about the city's invaders. Walk along the city walls, remnants of the defense structures built as far back as Roman times, and see the Roman Column that stands in Minster Yard. Learn about the Vikings who conquered York and hear stories about the thriving Viking settlement as you stand above the remnants of a Viking city. Listen as your guide regales you with tales of the Norman conquest of England and find out how York was ultimately rebuilt in the invaders' image after being razed by Norman forces. Leave your walking tour with a deeper understanding of York's rich and complicated past and appreciate the layers of history right beneath your feet as you continue to explore the city on your own.

York: Smartphone Guide with Riddles and Discovery Walk

5. York: Smartphone Guide with Riddles and Discovery Walk

Embark on an interactive discovery experience as you explore the charming city of York. Open the web app and start the challenge from the York Art Gallery. Stories and riddles will guide you through the history of the town, give you and inside in the sweet traditions of the town and will bring you to places where the Vikings settled. Curious facts: Get to know more about the city, discover the secrets of the main attractions, and learn about curious facts that you won't read elsewhere. Find monuments and hidden secrets: Our local creator created an interactive walk through the city. Cryptic indications make you wind through the cities streets, inviting you to pay attention to details which you usually won't notice. Once you've arrived at the next stop, you will have to solve a question: open your eyes and mind and use your location to find the right answer! Enjoy: While doing this discovery trail, you will get to know the city from another point of view. Even locals discover new facts while doing secret city trails! Solve 12 riddles created by our local creators. Sharpen your senses and appreciate the most wonderful (and little) details around you. Whether you know York or have just started exploring here, get a perspective on the discovery that will inspire your curiosity wherever you go next.

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What people are saying about Bootham Bar

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 423 reviews

Excellent tour. We had Alfred, a real intellectual who knew everything about York. He was so friendly as well, and we had great fun seeing all the best of the city. At the end, he also recommended a few nice places for lunch which were really good. Couldn't have been better, highly recommend this tour!

I would really recommend this walking tour! Alfred was great at bringing together the origins of the city right up to modern day and showing us all the wonderful details that we would never have seen or discovered by ourselves. We could have spent all day walking around with him! Fab city and fab tour

Sarah did it amazing, pretty interesting about York history, and how they became what they are now, she is so kind and all set to provide all the answers. Thank you.

It was a great experience and Ferah our guide was fantastic. Love to to attend again with more of my friends.

Excellent tour. Our guide, Alfred, was knowledgeable and interesting.