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Top 8 Hidden Gems in York to visit

Updated: Mar 11

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring off-the-beaten track locations scattered across York.


York is known for being a quirky small city with loads of ancient history behind it - and it absolutely is! Thousands of tourists flock to York each year to visit the famous landmark 'The Shackles', however most don't realise the hidden beauties which are scattered across York.


In this article, we share the top 10 hidden gems in York which you need to add to your York bucket list this year. We hope you enjoy!




1) Clifford's Tower


An amazing piece of history located in central York - what more could you ask for! Heads up though, it is a very steep climb up to it, and there are some stairs to climb inside too. The views from the top are breath-taking so if you ever in York you should definitely check out Clifford's Tower!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Clifford's Tower


1) Where is Clifford's Tower located?

Clifford's Tower is situated in the historic city of York, North Yorkshire, England. It stands prominently on a mound overlooking the River Ouse and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.


2) How much does it cost to visit Clifford's Tower?

Admission fees to Clifford's Tower vary depending on age and visitor status. Discounts are often available for seniors, students, and families. It's advisable to check the current ticket prices and any special offers before planning your visit.


3) Is Clifford's Tower suitable for children and families?

Clifford's Tower is a family-friendly attraction with plenty to explore and learn about. However, due to its historical nature and the presence of steps and uneven surfaces, parents should supervise children closely during their visit. Additionally, there are interactive exhibits and educational materials available to enhance the experience for younger visitors.




2) Fishergate Postern Tower


Visitors can enjoy 3 levels of this cool tower which is only open 21 days of the year! So if you are interested in visiting Fishergate Postern Tower, we recommend checking out when the next open days are! The tower is run by volunteers and is free to enter (donations are kindly asked).


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Fishergate Postern Tower


1) Where is Fishergate Postern Tower located?

Fishergate Postern Tower is situated in the historic city of York, North Yorkshire, England. It is located near the junction of Fishergate and Piccadilly, close to the city center and within walking distance of other notable landmarks.


2) Can visitors climb Fishergate Postern Tower?

Yes, visitors can climb Fishergate Postern Tower to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. The tower offers a unique perspective of York's medieval city walls and the River Foss. However, please note that access to the tower may be limited during adverse weather conditions or for maintenance purposes.


3) Is Fishergate Postern Tower wheelchair accessible?

Unfortunately, Fishergate Postern Tower is not wheelchair accessible due to its historical nature and the presence of narrow staircases. However, there are various other accessible attractions and sites to explore in York, and visitors with mobility concerns can still enjoy the city's rich history and culture.



3) Rowntree Park


An unexpected gem which you wouldn't expect to find in York. It's best to be admired on a hot sunny day with many amenities to choose from. Visitors can admire the wildlife surrounding the ponds as well as the trees/statues.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Rowntree Park


1) Where is Rowntree Park located?

Rowntree Park is situated in the city of York, North Yorkshire, England. It is located on Terry Avenue, just south of the city center, and is easily accessible by foot, bicycle, or public transportation.


2) Is Rowntree Park dog friendly?

Yes, Rowntree Park is dog friendly, and dogs are welcome to accompany their owners throughout the park. However, visitors are kindly asked to keep their dogs on a leash and to clean up after them to ensure the enjoyment of all park users.


3) Are there any facilities available at Rowntree Park?

Yes, Rowntree Park offers various facilities for visitors to enjoy. These include playgrounds for children, tennis courts, a skate park, and beautifully landscaped gardens. Additionally, there are public toilets, seating areas, and a cafe where visitors can relax and refresh themselves during their visit to the park.




4) St Martin le Grand


Described as a haven of peace amongst the busy bustle of York by some, St Martin le Grand should definitely be at the top of your York bucket list. For those who love history, this church was bombed during the war but thankfully was rebuilt.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting St Martin le Grand


1) Where is St Martin le Grand located in York?

St Martin le Grand is a historic church located in the city of York, North Yorkshire, England. It is situated on Coney Street, near the River Ouse, in the heart of the city center.


2) What is the history of St Martin le Grand?

St Martin le Grand is one of York's oldest churches, with a history dating back to the Norman era. The church has undergone several renovations and restorations over the centuries, but parts of the current building date back to the 12th century.


3) Is St Martin le Grand open to the public?

Yes, St Martin le Grand is open to the public for worship, exploration, and guided tours. Visitors can admire the church's impressive architecture, stained glass windows, and historical artifacts while learning about its rich history and significance to the local community.



5) Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate


It's supposed to be the shortest street in the whole of England, and takes a whopping total of 10 seconds to walk its entire length! As well as it's short length, the unique name also stands out - perfect for that unusual photo opportunity. You'll be surprised at how many times this street gets missed due to being at the beginning of The Shambles.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate


1) What is Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate in York?

Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate is a quirky street in York, England, known for having one of the shortest street names in the world. It is located in the city center, close to York Minster, and is steeped in history and folklore.


2) What is the origin of the name Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate?

The origin of the name Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate is uncertain, but it is believed to be derived from Old Norse and Middle English. Some theories suggest it may have been named after a gate that was used for the market and trade in the area.


3) Can visitors explore Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate?

Yes, visitors can explore Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate and admire its charming character and historical significance. The street is lined with shops, cafes, and historic buildings, offering a glimpse into York's rich heritage and culture.



6) Stamford Bridge Battlefield


For those with a real interest of history, we recommend visiting this place. Unfortunately there isn't much to see, as most of the battleground has been built on over the last 950 years, but you can still get an impression of what happened tactically.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Stamford Bridge Battlefield


1) What is the significance of the Stamford Bridge Battlefield in York?

Stamford Bridge Battlefield near York is historically significant as the site of the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. This battle marked a decisive victory for the English forces led by King Harold II against the invading Norse army under King Harald Hardrada of Norway.


2) Can visitors visit the Stamford Bridge Battlefield?

Yes, visitors can visit the Stamford Bridge Battlefield site near York. While the battlefield itself is an open field, there are informational plaques and markers that provide insight into the historical events that unfolded there. It's a peaceful spot for reflection and learning about this pivotal moment in English history.


3) Are there guided tours available for the Stamford Bridge Battlefield?

Guided tours of the Stamford Bridge Battlefield are occasionally available, especially during significant anniversaries or historical events. Visitors interested in guided tours should check with local tour operators or historical societies for any scheduled tours or events related to the battlefield.




7) York City Walls


Not every city has ancient walls which you can walk around, so why not appreciate these ancient York city walls! It offers great scenery away from the bustling crowds, and the total walk is around 4km. Exploring ancient walls is not something you're still able to do in most towns/cities so embrace these!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting York City Walls


1) What are the York City Walls?

The York City Walls are ancient defensive walls that encircle the historic center of York, England. They are among the best-preserved city walls in Europe and offer visitors a unique opportunity to walk along the ramparts and explore the city's rich history and heritage.


2) Can visitors walk on the York City Walls?

Yes, visitors are welcome to walk along the York City Walls, which offer scenic views of the city and its surroundings. The walls are open to the public year-round, providing a memorable experience for tourists and locals alike.


3) How long does it take to walk the entire length of the York City Walls?

Walking the entire length of the York City Walls typically takes around two hours at a leisurely pace. However, visitors can choose to explore shorter sections of the walls if they prefer a shorter walk. Informational signs along the route provide insights into the history and significance of various landmarks along the way.



8) St George's Church


Compared to Saint Paul's Church in London by some, this is a great place visit when out and about in York. The church is situated around the ancient walls mentioned previously so why not visit both?!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting St George's Church


1) What is St George's Church in York?

St George's Church is a historic Anglican church located in the heart of York, England. It is renowned for its striking architecture, serene atmosphere, and rich history, making it a popular destination for visitors interested in religious heritage and architecture.


2) Is St George's Church open to the public?

Yes, St George's Church is open to the public for worship services, as well as for visitors who wish to explore its interior and learn about its history. The church welcomes visitors to admire its beautiful stained glass windows, intricate woodwork, and other architectural features.


3) Can visitors attend services at St George's Church?

Yes, visitors are welcome to attend services at St George's Church. The church holds regular worship services, including Sunday services and special ceremonies throughout the year. Additionally, St George's Church hosts various events and activities that are open to the public, providing opportunities for spiritual reflection and community engagement.



We hoped you enjoyed discovering the local finds and less known places which are scattered around York. We are confident that visiting some of these hidden gems will make your York trip even more memorable!


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