York, Yorkshire, England

York Minster

Circular Walk 3
 Total distance: 2.8 miles
Starting from York Railway station this walk takes in a crossing of the river on Scarborough Bridge next to the railway line, through the Museum Gardens and the St Mary's Abbey ruins then via a passageway to Exhibition Square and King's Manor, through Bootham Bar along High Petergate into Deans Park , past the Treasurers House into Ogleforth back along Goodramgate and Minster Yard to Duncombe Place. Down Blake Street and across St Helen's Square towards the Mansion House then up Lendal past the Post Office , crossing back over the river by Lendal Bridge and crossing to the walls for a walk to Micklegate Bar, down Micklegate to George Hudson street to Station rise returning to the station through the old cholera graveyard.

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Time Required :- 90 minutes walking time but you will need to add on at least half that much again to stop and gawk  at sights, maybe go in to buildings for a look and take photographs, and fit in comfort breaks.

York Railway StationRoyal York Hotel
Starting from the Railway Station turn left out of the station and walk past the Royal York Hotel to the first set of traffic lights, cross into the gardens and cross the gardens towards the Memorial Gardens entrance gates.  Turn left towards the railway line and walk past the Royal Mail sorting office.  At the news kiosk just before the tunnel under the rail line turn right down the path at the side of the sorting office which will take you to the river.  For those railway enthusiasts the Railway Museum can be found at the other end of the tunnel under the rail line.  If that turns out to be your first diversion allow yourself a complete morning just for the museum!

Scarborough BridgeFrederick StreetAt the river go up the steps on your left to cross the river on the footbridge next to rail line, the bridge is known as Scarborough Bridge.  The line is the one to Scarborough. After crossing the river turn to the right to walk down river in front of Frederick Street to the Tower at the end of Marygate.

Marygate LandingBay Horse - Marygate
At the tower turn left and start to walk up the gentle slope past the former Bay Horse public house, sadly now closed and soon to be converted into flats. From here the road becomes a little steeper (but not much). A little way up the slope you wil come to the entrance to the Museum Gardens nest to St. Olaves Church dedicated to St. Olaf.

St Olaves ChurchMuseum Gardens EntranceTurn right into the gardens until you come to the first intersection.

The Museum Gardens and Yorkshire Museum were set up by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society

At the first intersection you should be able to see a timbered building to the right known as the Hospitium, a part of St. Mary's Abbey, You should be able to see part of the Abbey ruins to your left.  Head downhill to the Hospitium.

HospitiumHospitium ArchwayHave a look inside the Hospitium, there may be an exhibition on worth seeing.  Go through the arch and then follow the path to the left that runs parralell with the river until you meet another intersection on the left which will take you diagonally back to the point where you came down to the Hospitium.

Abbey RuinsSt. Mary's Abbey ruinsAt this point continue up the slope towards the Abbey ruins, once you have finished exploring the ruins which are one of the outcomes of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. After you have explored the ruins continue along the path that takes you to the front of the museum.

Yorkshire MuseumMultangular TowerContinue across the front of the museum towards the Multangular Tower and take the path that runs off to the left.  Go through the large wooden gates and walk alongside King's Manor a part of York University..

King's ManorWilliam Etty - local artistThe passageway emerges into Exhibition Square and the statue of local artist William Etty will be in front of you.  To your left is the York Art Gallery.  Cross the square in front of the statue and art gallery and on your right you will see Bootham Bar on the other side of the road.

Bootham BarBootham Bar from PetergateUse the crossing near the bar and pass under the bar into High Petergate. For those in need there are public toilets available.   Petergat is named after the St. Peterto whom the Minster is dedicated.  It is a street of three public houses, a restaurant "Cafe Concerto" and numerous estate agents before broadening out into a paved area next to the Minster.

York MinsterST Michael Le BelfryAs you emerge from Petergate by the Minster with the Church of St. Michael Le Belfrey in front of you turn left across the face of the Minster and proceed into Dean Park at the side of the Minster.  Follow either of the paths in the park. If you take the left hand one it will take you clockwise around the edge of the park towards the mInster Library.  Alternatively you can follow the path close to the Minster to pass by the Chapter House.

York Minster LibraryTreasurers HouseIf you have taken the clockwise path you will exit from the park by the Minster Library seen here on the left. Alternatively, if you have followed the path that runs close to the Minster the exit will bring you out by the Treasurers House .  In both case turn right to pass the front of the Treasurers House and then turn left into Chapter House Street where you will find the entrance to the Treasurers House if you wish to have a look around.  Chapter House Street is narrow with cobblestones and unsuitable for large motor vehicles.

Chapter House StreetOgleforthAs you walk along the cobbled Chapter House street be sure to look back over your shoulder for a view of the central tower of the Minster.  On your left you will find an entrance into the Tresurer's House.  At the end of the street the road turns through a right angle and becomes the strangely named Ogleforth. Two origins for the name Ogleforth have been proposed; one is that it is Scandinavian in origing and means "the ford haunted by an owl" the other that it derives from somebody named "Ugel".  Wherever the name is derived it is an enchanting street full of interesting buildings.

Cromwell HouseDutch HouseOn your left you will see a building named Cromwell House which is the former home of the York Archaelogical Society and then a little further on you will find the curious little Dutch House which is about to be swamped by building works that will create dwellings all around it. In general it is thought to have been a criminal act by the planning department to allow such an unsympathetic development to be granted permission.

Roayal OakCross KeysAs you come out of Ogleforth onto Goodramgate turn right and you will pass the Royal Oak and Golden slipper, unless you fancy a drink or some food or both. Both serve excellent food and drink.  The name Goodramgate  derives the name from the street of Goodrun. Locally the pronunciation of the street name is as thoughit was spelt with a U running the parts of the name together and not as I have heard some American visitors pronounce it as Good-Ram-Gate. Proceed to the Cross Keys directly in front of you where you will find Goodramgate turns off to the left. On the right hand side is the National Trust Shop. Follow the path along Deangate on the right hand side of the Cross Keys and through the Brick pillars marking the start of the Minster precinct.

Minster StoneyardMinster SchoolJust past the Cross Keys you will find this plain looking building which houses the Minster Stoneyard which stands next to the main building of the Minster School which was formerly York College for Girls.

York MinsterSt. Michael Le BelfreyAs you turn the corner the Minster comes in to full view, very difficult to get a complete photo of the building from this part of the road even with a wide angle lens!  Across the road from the Minster is the church of St. Michael Le Belfrey at the crossroads of Petergate, Duncombe Place and Minster Yard.  Continu past the Minster until you reach the cross roads and then turn right towards the Boer War Memorial.

Boer War Memorial Grays SolicitorsThe memorial was unveiled by Lord Roberts of Kandahar a leader of troops during the Boer war on 3rd of August 1905. Visit the York City Photo Archives for photographs taken during the ceremony on that wet day. Continuing on along Duncombe Place there is the Dean Court Hotel on the right then next to it St. Wilfred's RC Church. On the left is the building that was formerly the York Dispensary which became redundant on the creation of the National Health Service and now house Grays Solicitors.  There are some interesting adornments on the building that are worth distracting yourself away from gazing at the Minster for a few minutes and  looking beyond the trees that mask a large proportion of the building.  At the junction by the traffic lights turn left into Blake Street.

Assembly RoomsBetty'sOn your right are the grand but austere looking Assembly Rooms now rented out by the council as a restaurant.  Continuing along the street you will pass McDonalds on your right (or at least you will if you favour good food!)   You will come out into St. Helen's Square with the world famous Betty's with the mwartime mirror that has aircrew names scratched onto the surface.

St. Helen's ChurchPost OfficeThe square is named after the St. Helen church which if you are looking at Betty's will be just behind you or to your left.  With your back to the church you will see the Mansion House in front of you and in the far right corner the main Post Office. Behind the Mansion House down a passage at the side of the Mansion House can be found the Guildhall.  Walk towards the Post Office and turn right into Lendal.

Judges' LodgingMuseum Gardens EntranceLendal is not a particularly exciting street.  The few item s of interest are Banks music shop, a saddlers and the Judges Lodgings shown on the left.  At the top of the street is the entrance to the museum gardens on Museum Street.

The MaltingsMinster from Station RiseAs you come down the ramp from Lendal Bridge you will see a pub called The Maltings down below the  ramp on the left. At this point cross the road towards the walls and make your way onto the walls for one of the classic views of York Minster.  Continue along the walls.

Royal York HotelYork WheelA few minutes walk along the walls will bring you in sight of the Royal York Hotel on your right standing next to the Railway Station.  By the station you should have a fairly good view view of the York Wheel.

Railway InstituteWalls towards MicklegateAt the point that the wall turns through ninety degrees  is the York Railway Institute a working mens club with various associated sections including footbal, badminton and chess teams and a prestigious Brass Band which was formed in 1883. The wall continues onwards to Micklegate Bar.

Micklegate BarMicklegate from Micklegate barMicklegate bar marks the western entrance to the city and dominates the view along the approach from Blossom Street.  Stop just before you go onto the bar to have a look along Micklegate before leaving the wall. Come off the wall and be sure to have a look at the imposing structure of the bar from the traffic lights just outside the bar before continuing on down Micklegate.

Priory Street cornerTimbered building MicklegateMicklegate is probably notorious for the Micklegate run, a challeng to have a drink in every watering hole along the street.  However it does have some interesting buildings besides the publs. Here you can see the buildings at the junction with Priory Street and the gem of a timbered building next to it which includes a fish and chip shop if you are hungry!

Holy Trinity MicklegateJacob's WellJust beyond the timbered building on the right hand side as you proceed down Micklegate is the Holy Trinity Church. and then a little further on from the church a small detour down Trinity Lane brings you to an interesting building known as Jacob's Well a building dating back to the 15th century.  After this short diversion continue down Micklegate.

St. Martin's LaneAckhorneAt St. Martin's Lane we come to the second slightly longer diversion along the lane as far as the Ackhorne pub, pronounced Acorn.  This is probably one of the narrowest lanes in York and only just wide enough for a car.  On returning from the Ackhorne to Micklegate continue down the hill to the pedestrian crossing to cross the road and head into George Hudson Street.

Newey Clock - George Hudson StreetRailway OfficesAt one time the crescent shaped building was the Co-op department store but has long since been split up into smaller units. Worthy of note is the bracket clock on the wall manufactured by York clock maker George Newey and Son.  There other Newey clocks around York and it is worth watching out for them.  By the clock turn uphill along Tanner Row and then turn into Station Rise by the Railway Offices.  Pass under the city walls and out into the Cholera graveyard where the path swings to the left and follows the line of the wall.

Cholera GraveyardThe Cholera burial ground was set aside specially for victims of the 1832 cholera plague, probably brought from India via Sunderland.  It has a tranquil air even as commuters rush through it to get to the station along the broad paved pathway.  Some of the stones are now crumbling and only about twenty stones remain intact and readable.  A few short steps brings you out of the trees to the busy roadside and a crossing that will take you back to your starting point at York Railway Station.

Circular Walk 1
Circular Walk 2
Circular Walk 4
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