March along England's longest medieval city walls

York, North Yorkshire

Enjoy a bird's-eye view of the city and stroll along its 13th century defensive walls, passing historic landmarks, gatehouses and gardens.

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The ancient fortifications that encircle York’s historic centre are the longest and most complete city walls in England. Walk along their superbly preserved ramparts and it’s easy to imagine yourself as a patrolling Roman guard, medieval archer or a soldier dodging cannonballs during the Civil War. First built in Roman times around 71 AD, then largely replaced by medieval stonework, the walls stretch for over 2 miles (3.4km). It takes about 2 hours to walk the full circuit.

The high stone parapets give amazing views of the cathedral, labyrinthine medieval streets and beautiful gardens of historic York below and five gatehouses or ‘bars’ and 45 towers dot the walk. They include the Roman-built Multangular Tower and the ceremonial Micklegate Bar, through which kings and queens entered the city, but also where traitors’ severed heads would be skewered on pikes. York is a 3 hour train journey north of London.

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AThe city walls of York © VisitEngland/Diana Jarvis
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