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I'm Taryn. Thanks for stopping by. My blog is about my family's adventures since we threw caution to the wind, packed a suitcase and moved to another country in search of travel and new experiences

The BEST self-guided walking tour of York for kids

The BEST self-guided walking tour of York for kids

I am a huge fan of self-guided walking tours. If you have read my previous blog post How we afford to travel as a large family, you will know just why I enjoy them. One walk that we did as a family just under a year ago was in York. It was such a fun day out, that I just had share our experience with you all!


Designed by GPS my City, this is a self-guided walking tour of medieval York. It’s completely family- friendly, and accessible with a pram (although a little bumpy on some of York’s cobbled streets). The tour takes about 2 hours, and covers 14 sights over 1.4km. So even little legs can manage this.

We used the Park and ride facility at Poppleton, driving into York is best avoided. You can hop onto any of the Park and Ride routes and head to the beautiful York Minster, which is the start of the tour. What’s great about the walk is that it designed almost like a scavenger hunt, so the app gives you a description of what you’re looking for with clues, but sometimes you have to look in unusual places. The sights are very close together, so no losing interest for the younger ones.

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The walking route covers off the following sights, each with a fascinating story about its significance in the history of York

1) Bronze Model of York City Centre

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2) Minerva - the Roman goddess of wisdom.

3) A Royal Coat of Arms

4) The Golden Bible – an old bookshop sign dating back to 1682

5) Little Red Devil – a nod to print shops in Stonegate and their “printers devils”


6) The Topless Angel – a ship’s figurehead

7) Bee Coat of Arms


8) Latin inscribed tombstone

9) Native American – a sign used by tobacconists

10) Cat on Roof

11) Sundial

12) The Chapter House

13) Second Division War Memorial

14) Dean's Park, stone bench


Other attractions worth visiting en-route:

1.       The York Sweet Shop, 56 Low Petergate
 I challenge you to get the kids past this without buying one of their giant lollipops!


2.       Stonegate Teddy Bear shop, 13 Stonegate
A must stop for anyone who loves teddy bears in all shapes and sizes

3.       Bettys Café Tea Rooms, 6-8 St. Helen’s Square
An institution in York, famous for a tea and cake experience that is apparently good enough to join seriously long queues for. We didn’t, but enjoyed the festive Window displays.


4.       Shambles Market, 5 Silver St
It’s an outdoor market selling fresh food, crafts, clothes and general goods. It’s a great place to pick up some street food for lunch. It’s down these crooked streets with buildings that look like they are going to topple over, that you can really see the history of York.

5.       The route also takes you past York Chocolate story, 3-4 Kings Square. This in an interactive tour lasting about 90mins covering as you would have guessed, the history of chocolate making in York. Entry is about £50 for a family of 5, and you get to make your own chocolate.

The tour ends back at York Minster. From there take a wander down to Lendal bridge crossing the River Ouse. This is a beautiful iron bridge with detailing of the white rose of York, the crossed keys of the Diocese of York and the lions of England. Not to mention, stunning views of the river and a good photo opportunity.


Our last stop had to be York city walls. The official walk around the walls is a 3.4km (2hour) expedition, so not something we were going to attempt that late in the day. But we had an amble along the wall for a while and took great some photos with the city as a backdrop.


So, if you’re looking for a relatively free day out with the kids in York, I highly recommend this activity. It was loved by the whole family!

A little more about GPS my city… an app that includes city maps, guides to local points of interest and GPS navigation assistance. What’s great about it is that it works offline, so no data or roaming charges, and with precise turn-by-turn walking directions between sights, you can never get lost. Click here for more on GPS my city.

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