The story of York’s city walls, from Romans to Victorians, is set to be told in a new visitor attraction opening next month.
City Walls Experience will open to the public on 2 April inside Micklegate Bar.
The new attraction, from the Jorvik Group of Attractions, will explore how York came to be a walled city, and how the walls have evolved and changed since the first embankments were built by the Romans.
The top floor features a central map with displays highlighting the features from different periods in history that are still visible today, as well as those that have been lost to time.
“York’s walls are one of the top attractions in the city, with tens of thousands of people walking parts of them every day to see the city from a different angle,” said Jorvik director of attractions, Sarah Maltby.
Tickets and prices
Admission prices for City Walls Experience at Micklegate Bar are £3.50 for adults, £3 for concessions and children, with family tickets available.
Tickets including the walking tour are £6, for adults and £5 for concessions and children.
Advance booking is strongly recommended as capacity at the site and on tours is limited. Tickets can be booked at yorkcitywalls.com, with a full new website due to launch later this month.
Join tickets with other attractions in the Jorivk Group, including JORVIK Viking Centre, DIG: An Archaeological Adventure and Barley Hall are also available.
“City Walls Experience at Micklegate Bar is the perfect drop-in point at the start, end or even midway around the walls to learn a little more about the history of the most complete set of city walls in the country.”
Visitors will also learn about historic characters who have links to Micklegate Bar, which was historically the main entrance to the city for anyone arriving from the south, and the royal entrance.
From kings and queens to soldiers and even a policeman who lived in the bar, video presentations bring their stories to life.
Alongside visits to the attraction, the Micklegate Bar team will be running guided tours around part of the walls and the streets which they enclose to more of the history behind the fortifications.
An accessible version of the tour will also be available for anyone unable to get onto the walls as well as enhancements for those people with additional needs.
The tours will run throughout the summer until the end of October, when the City Walls Experience will also close for the winter.
City Walls Experience replaces the Henry VII Experience, which opened in 2014 and operated until Covid restrictions prompted its closure in 2020.
Its sister attraction, the Richard III Experience at Monk Bar, currently acts as a virtual hub from where livestreamed sessions about York’s heritage are beamed across the world to schools and visitors joining online events.
Monk Bar itself will be open for exclusive tours in the summer.