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Why VisitYork

The story of York is the story of England in wood, stone and chocolate. Western Christianity was born here, so was the KitKat. No other place in Britain preserves so much of the country's past in such a small and walkable area. From the Romans to the Vikings to the railway builders, the streets of York are a living picture book of the past 2000 years.

YORKTOUR is the city’s longest-established walking tour company and has been welcoming visitors to the city for over 40 years. We’re the personal recommendation of US travel guru Rick Steves, and offer daily tours - including evenings - to suit all tastes and requirements. Choose one of our three standard itineraries, or contact us to arrange your own.

Yorktour is a great choice for families and all children under 16 go free

Our Itineraries:

The Story of York

Our most popular introduction to the city - 2000 years of history from the arrival of the Romans to the birth of the KitKat. The route includes all the key sights, including the Minster, the Shambles and St Mary’s Abbey; though we will also lead you deep into the medieval maze to reveal secret corners you might otherwise have missed.

Tours depart daily from Exhibition Square YO1 7EW at 14.00. Language: English. Duration: 90 minutes Children under 16 free.

Yorktour Evening Express

In town on business? Only free after 6pm? York appears at its most magical around sundown, and though there are many ghost-walk options, the truth is far more compelling. This tour offers a compact introduction to the city's key sights, while the pre-dinner start-time is perfect for working up an appetite. Authoritative, engaging and 100% phantom-free!

Tours depart daily from Exhibition Square YO1 7EW at 18.00 Language: English Duration: One hour Children under 16 free.

Exclusive York - Private Walking Tour

Why follow the crowds? Explore York at your own pace in the company of one of our expert, fully qualified and licensed guides. Delve deep into the medieval maze and discover secret corners few other visitors get to see.

This is an entirely personal service - once you have made your booking we will get in touch to arrange where to come and meet you (such as any city centre landmark or hotel). This two-hour tour will ensure you don't miss any of the highlights - including the world-famous Minster* city walls and Shambles - but if you have any particular areas of interest, please get in touch. It's your tour and we want you to see York your way!

*We are accredited Minster guides and can include a tour of the interior of the cathedral if required - though please note this will be subject to the Minster's opening hours and separate admission fee.

Private group of up to 8 people £90.00. Language: English. Duration: 2 hours. Starting time: 10.00am - we will contact you to arrange a meeting point


YORKTOUR is the longest-established walking tour company in York and has been welcoming visitors to the city for over forty years. We are the personal recommendation of US travel guru Rick Steves and our friendly, informal guides aim to assist you with their local knowledge rather than bombard you with facts. We can provide a range of languages including French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian. All Yorktour guides are qualified to take visitors into the cathedral.

We’re not lecturers - we’re locals!

All Yorktour guides live in the city. Most of us were born here. We are passionate about the place, and all our tours are designed to reflect this. With Yorktour, you don’t just get the services of a historian, you get the company of a friendly inhabitant who loves showing visitors round town.

Never mind the history, where are the shops?

York has its full complement of high street stores and chain restaurants. Anybody can find those. But the incredible array of specialist, independent shops is what gives the place its character. And because we live here, we know where they are.

The true delight of York is that you don’t have to make a choice between history or shopping - it’s all in the same place. Some of the city’s most quirky medieval buildings are also its finest fashion stores. Even the Shambles is full of some highly recommendable craft stores and tea rooms. Along this crooked, cobbled street is a shop still selling the best pork pies and sausages in York. The kids may recognise it as the place where Harry Potter bought his wand. Remarkably, it’s a real street rather than a tourist trap, where local people actually do their shopping. And to buy a pound of sausages from the medieval street of butchers - what could be more historically authentic than that?

Can I see the Minster?

Of course! All Yorktour itineraries include an introduction to our most famous building and the view from outside. If you are booking a private, group or schools tour and wish to go inside, we are accredited Minster guides and qualified to take you round. Please note that this is subject to the Minster’s opening times (it sometimes closes for special services) and separate admission fee.

We can offer private tours of the Minster alone if desired - please enquire for details.

Groups and Schools

Visiting York with a group? Please get in touch with your dates, number of participants and requirements and we can provide a tour to suit.

We are the most experienced and trusted tour company in York for educational visits, providing tours for students of all ages in a variety of international languages. If you are planning to bring a school or college group to York, please get in touch for our special educational rates


Please click on a question to see the answer.

  • Q: What time are the tours?
    The Story of York runs daily at 2.00 pm. Yorktour Evening Express starts at 6.00 pm. Exclusive York starts at 10.00 am - but if you wish to book a private tour at a different time please contact us to discuss your requirements.
  • Q: How long is the average tour?
    The Story of York lasts 90 minutes. Yorktour Evening Express is one hour in duration. Exclusive York lasts two hours - but we can provide longer half-day or full-day tours if required. Please contact us with any special requests
  • Q: How far will I have to walk?
    York is a compact city and forgivingly flat! You can easily walk from one side to the other in under half an hour. The Evening Express route is less than a mile. Other routes cover approximately a mile-and-a-half at a very gentle pace.
  • Q: Are the tours wheelchair accessible?
    Absolutely - all the standard itineraries are fully wheelchair-accessible; and York has the great advantage of being small and step-free. Strollers and buggies are also welcome.
  • Q: What if it rains?
    Bring an umbrella! We never cancel due to adverse weather conditions. The extremes of British climate have been known to make the experience more memorable. (Please note, however, that access to the city walls may be limited if it becomes icy)
  • Q: Are other languages available?
    We can provide guides who speak French, German, Russian, Italian, Turkish and Mandarin - for other languages please enquire [insert contact button]. We are also experienced at running tours in clear, uncomplicated English ideal for language students and those for whom English is not their first language.
  • Q: Are admission fees included?
    There are no additional extras for any of the sites visited on the standard tours. If you wish to include the Minster as part of a private or group booking there is an entrance fee, currently £11.00 per person/£10.00 seniors (or £9.50 for groups of ten or above) which needs to be paid by cash or card on entry. All of our guides have completed the Minster’s training course and are qualified to take visitors round the cathedral.
  • Q: How long do I need to see the Minster?
    You could easily spend a life-time: though more realistically we’d recommend an hour to an hour-and-a-half.
  • Q: Can pets come too?
    Of course, we’d love to meet them!
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‘The tour was beyond excellent - thank you so much…’ Northleach Decorative and Fine Arts Society

 'Bringing over seventy international students to any new city is always a challenge. However York Tours took the stress away and gave our students a wonderful insight into their beautiful city. Thank you and see you next year'. Neil Bullett Social Officer, University of East Anglia

 Your tour was really enjoyable, genuinely interesting, coherent and funny at the same time with everything coming nicely together. Despite the rather adverse weather all the guests loved it and have asked me to pass on their thanks. So, once again many thanks for a very special experience and please rest assured that myself and my colleagues will have no reservations in recommending your company wholeheartedly….’ Department of Health Sciences, University of York

 ‘It was great meeting you, everybody thoroughly enjoyed the tour and we had a great day in York. Thank you so much for making the day memorable’. Lincoln University History Society

 ‘Gave a real sense of the whole city - we will have to come back!’ Babel Language School, Perugia, Italy

 ‘You were a very nice talking man’ RK Travel Group (Sweden)


York Tour Guide Book

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Registered office: 18 Fetter Lane, York, Yorkshire, YO16EH

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