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12 things to do in York

  • family-friendly
  • holidays
  • places to visit
July 11, 2022 · 15 MIN READ

York is a beautiful walled city that has plenty of things to do for everyone.

Whether you are wanting to uncover the history of York or you just want to try something different and learn about chocolate there is plenty for you to do here. So much so that we thought the best way for you to figure out what you wanted to do would be to put a list together of 12 things to do in York. In the list below you will find a range of things suitable for people of all ages. Have a read and see which ones you are going to add to your next trip to York and why not use our Kilnwick Percy Resort & Golf Club as your base for exploring?

1. York City Walls

York, YO1 7LJ

The York city walls were mainly built in the 13th century and there are around 3.4km of surviving masonry that you can walk around. The walls circle the city of York and provide an amazing elevated walk around the city. Each day they are open from around 8am until dusk and a free to explore. Along the walls you will find fortified gateways, towers, arrow slits, sculptures and more so they are definitely worth a visit if you want to know more about York’s history.

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2. York’s Chocolate Story

3-4 King’s Sq, York, YO1 7LD

This is a popular attractions for everyone that comes to explore York. York’s Chocolate Story shows the history of chocolate making in York more specifically the Rowntree’s factory which opened in 1890. Within the tour you go through the process of how chocolate is made from the very beginning and then at the end you get to decorate your own chocolate and watch how truffles are made. It’s a great experience for people of all ages.

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3. The Shambles

York, YO1 7LX

Probably one of the most famous streets in York and one that everyone has to go down if they are in the city. The Shambles is full of overhanging timber-framed buildings some of which date back to the 14th century. Most of the buildings were used for butchers and the big shelves you see were where they displayed the meat. The Shambles is said to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter so there are some Harry Potter themed shops along this street.

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4. National Railway Museum York

Leeman Rd, York, YO26 4XJ

Learn all about the story of rail transport in Britain and the impact it has had on society at the National Railway Museum in York. Some of the most iconic locomotives are housed here and you can just wander around and learn all about everything. The world’s fastest steam locomotive, Mallard is at this museum too. In 2022 they achieved Best Family Attraction in York in the Little Vikings Awards 2022.

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5. York Minster

Deangate, York, YO1 7HH

One of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals and has been the centre of Christianity in the north of England since the 7th century. Although commonly known as the York Minster its actual name is The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York. The gothic architecture is fascinating and standing 72 metres high it is hard to miss as you explore the city.

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6. Clifford’s Tower

Tower St, York, YO1 9SA

Explore one of the most iconic sites in York and enjoy the views you will see across the city from the top. Clifford’s Tower has over 1000 years of history and was burnt down during the worst event in history for the Tower – the massacre of the Jews in 1190. Since it has been restored with a new roof deck where you can enjoy views over the historic city whilst learning more about the history of the tower.

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7. York Maze

Elvington Lane, York, YO19 5LT

The largest maze in the UK and an award-winning fun filled family day out for everyone. It’s around a 15 minute drive out of the centre but definitely worth a trip if you want to entertain everyone. With 5 different mazes, plenty of attractions, rides and shows you will be spoilt for choice on how to spend your day. You’ll be able to refuel at The Kernel’s Kitchen, the coffee shop of the refreshment stalls dotted around the park too.

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8. York Castle Museum

Tower St, York, YO1 9RY

Located on the site of York Castle, the York Castle Museum is an award-winning museum and is the perfect day out for the whole family. Learn all about over 400 years of York’s history with interactive and immersive galleries. From a Victorian street that has been brought to life to a Georgian Prison. And whilst you are there you can take a 2 minute walk over to the castle (Clifford’s Tower).

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9. The Wizard Walk of York

The Shambles, York, YO1 7LX

For all the Harry Potter fans, The Wizard Walk of York is inspired by Harry Potter and the wizarding world. During the tour you will be searching for magical creatures with plenty of magic, illusion, comedy and wizard fun. Perfect if you are after something for children ages 5-10 in particular but it’s one that the whole family will love along with it being a little bit different to the many ghost walks around the city.

see why Harry Potter fans need to visit York

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10. The York Dungeon

12 Clifford St, York, YO1 9RD

The Dungeons are always worth visiting no matter what city you are in. The York Dungeon will take you through 10 live actor shows as they inform you of over 2000 years of dark history within York. Using special effects, displays, models and objects you will learn all about Vikings, Isabella Billington, the plague and Guy Fawkes. The tour lasts around 60 minutes and is a unique way to find out about York’s past.

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11. GR8escape York

4a Colliergate, York, YO1 8BP

Test your logic, skills and team work as you work together to figure out codes and complete puzzles to escape from your chosen themed room within an hour. Inside GR8escape York there are 3 themed rooms which vary in difficulty. Return from Wonderland where you have to go against the Queen of Hearts to escape your dreams. Lost Treasure of Atlantic where you have to find the treasure. Or Ministry of Wizards where you have to prove you are a real wizard!

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12. Yorkshire Museum

Museum Gardens, Museum Street, York, YO1 7FR

The Yorkshire Museum has various collections, five of them are permanent and cover things like biology, archaeology and astronomy. One of the most popular exhibitions at the moment is Yorkshire’s Jurassic World where you can journey back 150 million years. Some of the other exhibitions are Medieval York: Capital of the North, After the Ice: Yorkshire’s Prehistoric People and Roman York – Meet the People of the Empire to name a few.

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fancy a trip to Yorkshire this year?
our Kilnwick Percy Resort & Golf club in Pocklington is just a 30 minute drive from York
find out more about Kilnwick Percy