York: How to Create Your Own Itinerary

Getting the most out of a York visit

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Individual interests and enthusiasms of visitors vary, as does the amount of time available. What grabs one visitor’s imagination may bore the pants off another. The York experience is most successful when your itinerary takes personal inclinations into account.

You’ll find a selection of highlighted experiences, some free, in our Top Fives Guide.  Given the number of places of interest, it’s too easy to plan to do too much, leading to mental over-stimulation and physical exhaustion. This guide will attempt to help you in making your choices and putting together an itinerary that will suit you best.

Here are some general thoughts to help:

There are a few sights or attractions in York that you will need to allow 2 hours or more for. These include: The Minster, The Castle Museum, The National Railway Museum, The full Walls Walk, York’s Chocolate Story, Fairfax House. Two of these in one day is probably enough for most visitors.

Your choice of which of these places you want to visit should perhaps be your starting point. Then you can coordinate this with other stops of interest. (The short Points of Interest guides include an indication of what else is nearby.)

===> Explore more local itineraries via the RELATED links below.

Are you happiest planning your own self-guided tour? Or would you like to incorporate guided tours in your visit? York offers many different kinds of guided tours, as this tours itinerary shows. If you do want to join a tour group, you will need to fit your other activities around it.

One of the delights of York is simply strolling round the city, discovering the layers of history superimposed on one another. Exploring the Shambles, Stonegate, the Walls, discovering hidden Snickelways as you move around the city, stopping in a historic pub will all divert you from an over-full itinerary. Allow time in your itinerary for serendipity.

Whilst York is relatively compact, it will help you get a feel for the geography. Then you can visit nearby attractions in groups, rather than zig-zagging across town. Think of the city centre in terms of three general geographic areas (with some overlap).

Around the Minster
The Minster – Stonegate – Barley Hall – Grape Lane – Art Gallery – Bootham Bar – York Walls
Section 3 – York Assembly Rooms – (Information Office) – Holy Trinity Goodramgate – Monk Bar – (Museum Gardens) – (Library)

Around the Station
(Museum Gardens) – (Library) – Walls Walk
Section 1 – National Railway Museum – Railway Station – Micklegate Bar – Micklegate – Monks of Micklegate – York Brewery

Around the Castle
Castle Museum – Cliffords Tower – Fairfax House – Jorvik Viking Centre – York Dungeon  – DIG – Shambles – Whipmwhopmagate – Margaret Clitherow Shrine – Markets  Fossgate – Boat Tours – Fishergate Postern – Walmgate Bar

• Don’t forget that Minster admission tickets,  Pastport tickets (combo tickets for Jorvik, DIG, Barley Hall, Richard III experience, Henry VII experience) and YMT Cards (York Museums Trust combined tickets for Castle Museum, Yorkshire Museum, Art Gallery) give unlimited admission for a year, so you can spread your visit over more than one day, if you wish.

But if, in the end, you’d like a suggested itinerary, check out our One Day Itinerary and Two Day Itinerary pages.

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