York Walls Walk - Walking Tour of York City Walls
Starting the Walls Walk at Micklegate Bar
Micklegate Bar is the main entrance to York city walls. It is and has been for centuries the gate used by Royalty and top dignitaries to enter the city. So, this is where we will start our tour.
First, investigate the entrance and consider the front. This is where traitors heads were put on spikes. Go through the gate and climb up onto the walls, heading South East. That is taking the left hand stairwell up, as you look at the back of the gate, from inside the walls.
Continuing South East will take you away from the railway station. Along this part of the walls, during the spring, the ground is covered in splendid daffodils. During summer, it is tree lined. You will come to a small gate called Victoria Bar next. This was named after Queen Victoria who's accession took place around the time the gate was built (1837). You can climb down to take a seat and have a rest here.
Back on the walls we continue around until we reach a corner tower, where the walls turn to the North East. Trees line the way as we walk until the walls end. Here we have to come down to the road.
Next Stop is Cliffords Tower
At road level you should be able to see Skeldergate Bridge to your left. Also, there is a sign detailing direction to Cliffords Tower. Continue over up the road and over the bridge to the large roundabout. You cannot miss Cliffords Tower from there.
Cliffords Tower is the keep of York Castle. The hill on which it stands is covered in daffodils in early spring. You can climb up all the steps and enter it for a small fee. You can get a great view of the city from here. Also close by is the Castle Museum. This museum is where Dick Turpin was imprisoned before his hanging and has a reconstruction of a Victorian street.
To continue our York Walls tour you must find the roundabout again. To do this, follow the inner ring road around using the footpath that follows Tower Street out of town. You will see a round tower to your left. This is the back of the Crown Court Building. You cross over a road bridge and will come to a road called Piccadilly.
Piccadilly to Fishergate Bar
Be careful when crossing the road here. When you are on the other side, climb up the steps to the walls and continue on your way. After a short distance you will turn Westward and start following Paragon street. After this you will come to one of the small gates called Fishergate Bar. You can reach street level here for a quick look at it.
Fishergate Bar to Walmgate Bar and the Barbican
Continuing along this tree lined stretch of the walls will eventually bring you to Walmgate Bar. This is one of the highlights of the walls walk. It is the only bar with its Barbican still intact. Climbing down the steps is required. Do take time to take this gate in fully. Kids will have a great time here as parents explain, this part of the defences has been under siege. Walking through the barbican is possible, but take care as the far end juts out into the busy street.