St Mary's Abbey, York

St Mary's Abbey, York: 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: Private Bespoke History Walking Tour

3. York: Private Bespoke History Walking Tour

Walk through the streets of York which feels like taking a tour through the history of England. The Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans all remade the city to their own purposes. The Tudors and the Stuarts made themselves at home here. The Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War left their mark as well. Experience the history of one of the most fascinating cities in Britain. For 2,000 years, York has been at the heart of the nation’s affairs. Listen to your guide that will bring its history to life as you are walking through lush parks and narrow lanes, pass grand churches, and palaces to ruined castles and abbeys. Enjoy this tour that offers a private experience for larger groups or families who would prefer the personal touch. The tour takes in all the main sights of the city and provides an in-depth look at the history behind them. Your guide will happily customize the tour to your requirements, depending on what you would like to see.  Receive the services of your own personal professional guide and benefit from their local knowledge.

York: Self-Guided City Walk & Interactive Treasure Hunt

4. York: Self-Guided City Walk & Interactive Treasure Hunt

Explore the streets of York's city centre and unlock a hidden trail by finding clues, solving puzzles & completing challenges, earning points along the way all self-guided through the Go Quest Adventures app. See the area's highlights, explore it's hidden gems and learn some insider history and fun facts along the way (even locals will discover something new!). Famous for its Roman walls, Viking heritage, medieval splendour and of course the beautiful and grand Minster, York has over 2000 years of history and a city abundant in character and experiences.  Although small in size it’s a city full of old traditions, quirky details and lasting charm which makes it the perfection destination to explore. As the Quest is self guided you can: * Start your Quest whenever you want, get instant access with nothing to print off from home * Go as fast as you want and try to top the leaderboard, or go at your own pace, stopping for rest breaks along the way. Your Quest will begin in the beautiful Museum Gardens with the incredible remains of St. Mary’s abbey, then winds you through the city’s historic walls, in and out of its unique snickelways, down the famous Shambles and back to the iconic Minster. During your Quest you might discover York’s secret cats, learn about a quirky collector and where Roald Dahl received some inspiration and, as one of the most haunted places in Europe, hear a ghost story or two!  So grab your Viking helmet put on some comfy shoes, and get ready to explore the sights, discover hidden gems and ultimately, conquer your York  Quest! This is an ideal outdoor activity for couples, families, groups of friends, school groups and can be the perfect team building or corporate activity. Customised Quests and group packages are available by emailing hello@goquestadventures.com. Get Questing today!

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What people are saying about St Mary's Abbey, York

Overall rating

5.0
(8 reviews)

The tour was very interesting. Within quite a small area size-wise we visited a lot of locations, some of them I would never find on my own. The guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Recommend this tour.

Alfred enthusiastically shared his knowledge of York's history - social, economic and political - weaving in some philosophy of life, as well. The small group made it easy to hear, and to ask questions too.

Alfred was very knowledgeable and was able to share the information in a light heated and easy going manner. Thank you very much Alfred!

This tour was very enjoyable and our guide, Alfred, was just fantastic. Thank you for an absolutely wonderful experience.

Our tour guide Alfred was very knowledgable and brought the history of York alive!