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10 Fun and Free Things to do in York

York is a charming city in the north of England, with a rich history and plenty of things to do and see. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, there are plenty of fun and free things to do in York that won’t break the bank. From exploring old buildings and monuments to discovering local art and culture, there’s something for everyone. Read on for our list of 10 fun and free things to do in York.

Explore the City Walls

York’s City Walls are one of the oldest and most complete in the country. Dating back to the Roman era, the walls run for 2.5 miles around the city, with four main gates and numerous towers along the way. It’s a great way to explore the city, with stunning views from the ramparts. You’ll also find some of York’s most famous attractions, such as Clifford’s Tower and the Minster, along the route.

Entry to the walls is free of charge, and it’s open all year round. There’s no better way to get a feel for the city than to take a stroll along the walls and admire the views. You can also pick up a map from the tourist information centre to help you explore.

Visit York Minster

York Minster is one of the most famous and impressive attractions in the city. This magnificent Gothic cathedral is the largest in Northern Europe and dates back to the 12th century. The cathedral is free to visit, and you can take in the stunning architecture and artwork as you wander around. There are also regular guided tours to help you learn more about the history of the building.

You can also take a tour of the Minster’s tower, for a small fee. From the top of the tower, you can get a bird’s eye view of the city and admire the stunning cityscape. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

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Explore the Shambles

The Shambles is one of the best-preserved medieval streets in England and one of the most iconic sights in York. It’s a narrow street lined with quaint, old buildings and shops, giving it a unique and charming atmosphere. It’s a great place to wander around, and you can explore the street’s history as you go. You’ll also find plenty of independent shops and cafes, so you can pick up a souvenir or enjoy a bite to eat.

The Shambles is also home to the famous ‘heart of York’ sculpture, which is a replica of the city’s coat of arms. It’s a great photo opportunity, and a must-see if you’re in the area.

Take a Stroll Along the River Ouse

The River Ouse is a peaceful spot in the centre of York, and a great place to take a stroll. You’ll find plenty of parks and green spaces to explore, as well as plenty of cafes and restaurants for a pit stop. It’s also a great spot for wildlife watching, with ducks and swans to spot along the way.

The river is also home to the famous King’s Staith, a timber walkway that dates back to the 14th century. It’s a great spot to admire the river views and get a feel for the city’s history.

Visit the National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum is one of the most popular attractions in York. The museum is free to enter, and you can explore the history of the railways and learn about the development of locomotives over the years. There are also plenty of interactive exhibits, so you can get hands-on with the displays.

The museum is also home to a collection of Royal trains, which have been used by the British Royal Family over the years. You can also take a ride on the miniature train, which is a great way to explore the museum.

Explore the Yorkshire Museum

The Yorkshire Museum is a great place to explore the history of the county. The museum is free to enter and has a wide range of exhibits, from Roman artefacts to fossils and ancient Egyptian relics. You can also explore the museum’s gardens and discover the remains of a Roman fortress.

The museum also hosts regular events and activities, so there’s always something new to explore. It’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for a fun and educational day out.

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Go Shopping in the Shambles Market

The Shambles Market is a great place to pick up souvenirs, local produce and other unique items. The market is open every day, and you can find everything from handmade crafts to antiques and vintage clothes. It’s a great place to explore and you’re sure to find something special.

The market is also home to a range of food stalls, so you can grab a bite to eat while you’re there. It’s a great way to sample some of the local cuisine and find out more about York’s food culture.

Visit the York Castle Museum

The York Castle Museum is a great place to explore the history of York. The museum is free to enter and has a range of interactive exhibits, from recreated Victorian streets to a display of the city’s history. You can also explore the museum’s gardens and take a stroll around the old prison.

The museum is also home to a range of educational programmes and activities, so there’s plenty to do for all ages. It’s a great way to learn about the city and its past.

Enjoy a Picnic in the Museum Gardens

The Museum Gardens are a great spot for a peaceful picnic. The gardens are free to enter, and you can enjoy beautiful views of the river and the city. The gardens are also home to a range of sculptures and monuments, so you can explore the history of the city as you wander around.

The gardens are also a great spot for wildlife watching, with plenty of ducks and swans to spot in the river. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Discover the Art Galleries and Museums

York is home to a range of art galleries and museums, from the York Art Gallery to the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall. Most of these attractions are free to visit, and you can explore the collections and discover the city’s culture and history. It’s a great way to learn more about the city and its past.

The galleries and museums also host regular events and exhibitions, so there’s always something new to explore. It’s a great way to discover the art and culture of York.

Take a Tour of the City

If you’re looking for a more structured way to explore the city, why not take a guided tour? There are plenty of tours to choose from, from walking tours to bus and boat tours. Most of the tours are free to join, and you can learn more about the city’s history and culture as you go. It’s a great way to get a feel for the city and find out more about its past.

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If you’re looking for more of an adventure, there are also plenty of walking and cycling tours to choose from. It’s a great way to explore the city at your own pace and discover the hidden gems of York.

Summary

York is a charming city with plenty of things to do and see. From exploring the old city walls to discovering the art galleries and museums, there are plenty of fun and free things to do in York. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful city. So why not take a stroll around the city walls, explore the Shambles or take a guided tour of the city? There’s plenty to do in York, and you’re sure to find something to enjoy.