York Residents Festival 2018 – Your complete guide

Rebecca Francis, Make It York commercial manager, prepares for ResFest. Photograph: Visit York
26 Jan 2018 @ 1.59 pm
| Entertainment

**For the 2019 Residents Festival Guide go here**

It’s the time when we reclaim the city.

York Residents Festival is back, offering free entry to top attractions in and around York, as well as discounts in shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.

You will need to flash a valid York Card or student card to enjoy all the bounty at the festival, organised by Visit York and sponsored by First York.

So what’s on? We’re glad you asked…

New for 2018

Photograph: Gyrocopter Experience on Facebook

Gyrocopter Experience

Rufforth Airfield East, Rufforth, York, YO23 3QA

Sat 27 Jan @ 10am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Remember James Bond’s Little Nellie Gyrocopter? The experience has a collection of modern gyrocopters. With a museum, cinema, simulator and hangar.

Jacobs Well

Trinity Lane, Micklegate, York, YO1 6EL

Sat 27 Jan
@ 10am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Jacobs Well was originally the home of the Chantry Priests from Holy Trinity Priory. It was bought by Isabella Ward, Prioress of Clementhorpe Nunnery in 1539, later became an Inn and is now the Parish rooms for Holy Trinity Church.

King’s Manor

Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EP

Sat Jan 27 @ 11am-3pm

Pre-booking? No

An opportunity to find out more about this historic building in the centre of York, and about the history of York, drop in tours and talks sessions.

Museums and more

A Viking cobber gets to work in the Jorvik Centre

The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre

17 Blossom Street, York, YO24 1AQ

Sat 27 Jan @ 10am-5pm

Pre-booking? No

Explore 300 years of history, then relax with home cooked food in the café. Complimentary glass of wine, beer, soft drink or hot drink valid on main meals over £7.

Castle Howard

Castle Howard, York, YO60 7DA

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-4pm (last entry)

Pre-booking? No

With woodland and lakeside walks, wildlife spotting on the Great Lake and fun adventure playground, Castle Howard’s exhilarating landscape is yours to discover this winter. Dogs are welcome. A choice of cafés and shops are open daily. Please note the house itself is closed.

DIG – An Archaeological Adventure

St Saviour’s Church, St Saviourgate, York, YO1 8NN

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-5pm

Pre-booking? No

Places will be available to York residents on each DIG tour throughout the day over Residents Festival weekend. Tours take place on the hour from 10am. Last admission 4pm. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Explore York Libraries and Archives

York Explore Library, Library Square, Museum Street, York, YO1 7DS

Sat 27 Jan @ 10am –4pm

Pre-booking? No

Map Attack! Join in the one-day Residents Festival spectacular at York Explore Library as they use historical maps from the archives as inspiration to help us recreate York from Lego! Event takes place in the Marriot Room.

Henry VII Experience

Micklegate Bar, York, YO1 6JX

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-3pm

Pre-booking? No

Discover the impact the first Tudor monarch had on York when you visit the Henry VII Experience at Micklegate Bar.

St Nicks is open again. Photograph: St Nicks on Facebook

Jorvik Viking Centre

Coppergate, York, YO1 9WT

Sat 27 & Sun 28 Jan @ 1pm-5pm

Pre-booking? No

Residents are invited to visit after 1pm across the weekend to explore the re-imagined JORVIK experience. Visitors will be admitted on a first come, first served basis. Last admission 4pm.

National Railway Museum

Leeman Road, York, YO26 6HS

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-5pm


Get onboard awe-inspiring locomotives and see railway legends including Mallard, the world’s fastest steam locomotive. Experience atmospheric Station Hall, home to Queen Victoria’s saloon and the luxurious collection of royal carriages.

Richard III Experience

Monk Bar, Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LQ

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Explore the impact the last Plantagenet monarch had on York when you visit the Richard III Experience at Monk Bar.

St Nicks Environment Centre

Rawdon Avenue, York, YO10 3ST

Sat 27 Jan @ 12pm-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Explore the green heart of York: free guided tours of the centre and 24 acre reserve start at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Plus family-friendly activities, crafts sale, refreshments including food from haybox cookers, info on green living and volunteering.

York Army Museum

3 Tower Street, York, YO1 9SB

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 9am – 4pm

Pre-booking? For the talks only-01904 731532

Explore the museum and discover its Behind the Lines exhibition. Last admission 3.30pm. Free talks – The Half-Shilling Curate, Sat, 4.30pm; York’s Military Legacy, Sun, 4.30pm.

York Castle Museum

Eye of York, YO1 9RY

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 9.30am-5pm

Pre-booking? No

Votes for Women! Join the museum’s suffragette on a march down Kirkgate, the famous Victorian street. Put on a sash, (or a policeman’s helmet if you prefer), make a badge and take up a banner as you join the cause for women’s rights.

Lots to do at York’s Chocolate Story

York’s Chocolate Story

King’s Square, York, YO1 7LD

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 8.50am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

There are five free tours of the attraction at 9am, 9.15am, 9.30am, 9.45am and 10am on both Saturday and Sunday (first come first served). There will also be one-third off for York residents throughout the whole weekend. Discover how chocolate made history and played its part in York

York Cold War Bunker

Monument Close, York, YO24 4HT

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am – 4pm

Pre-booking? Yes – 01904 646940

Explore the nuclear bunker where Yorkshire operations would have been directed if the worst had happened. Pre-booked tours at 10am and 11am each day.

The York Dungeon

12 Clifford Street, York, YO1 9RD

Sat 27 Jan-Wed 31 Jan; Sat & Sun @ 12-5pm; Mon-Wed @ 12-4pm

Pre-booking? No

The York Dungeon is a 75 minute journey into 2,000 years of York’s horrible history. Bringing together an amazing cast of theatrical actors, special effects, stages and scenes in a truly unique and exciting walkthrough experience. Recommended for ages 10+.

York Mansion House

St Helen’s Square, York, YO1 9QL

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Your first chance to visit the fully restored Mansion House. Past the grandeur of the prominent green doors and beautiful façade lies an inspiring, interactive environment where you can experience the story of York’s past and present.

York Minster

Deangate, YO1 7HH

Sat 27 @ 9.30am-4.15pm; Sun 28 Jan @ 1.15pm-3.30pm

Pre-booking? No

Enjoy a trip up the Minster’s Central Tower for unrivalled views of our city. Trips start from 9.30am Saturday every 45 minutes until 4.15pm. On Sunday, the first trip is 1.15pm, last 3.30pm. Also-object handling sessions, treasure hunt and performances.

York Museum Gardens

Museum Street, York YO1 7FR

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-3pm

Pre-booking? No

Take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch and meet experts from the RSPB. A garden tour takes place on Sunday at 1pm.

Yorkshire Museum

Museum Gardens, York, YO1 7FR

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-5pm

Pre-booking? No

Built on the remains of St Mary’s Abbey, the Yorkshire Museum is home to Britain’s greatest treasures. Walk on a genuine Roman mosaic floor, marvel at Viking and medieval treasures and learn stories of those who made York the city it is today.


The beautiful Bedern Hall

All Saints North Street

All Saints North Street

Sat 27 Jan
@ 10am-5.30pm

Pre-booking? No

Visit this fine medieval church. 10.30am – Tour of the world famous stained glass windows; 11.30am – Recent Archaeology and The York Visions and mounted mid-wives; 4.30pm – An introduction to York’s finest Medieval Church; 5pm Vespers – Latin plainsong.

Barley Hall

Coffee Yard, Off Stonegate, York, YO1 8AR

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Explore a beautifully recreated medieval townhouse, right in the heart of the city, once home to the Priors of Nostell and a Lord Mayor of York. Plus, this is your last chance to discover six sumptuous costumes from the smash-hit BBC2 show Wolf Hall.

Bedern Hall

Bartlegarth, York, YO1 7AL

Sun 28 Jan-Wed 31 Jan @ 10.30am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Discover York’s hidden medieval hall through a new exhibition and film. Once home to the Vicars Choral of York Minster, this 14th century hall has tales to tell of priests, poverty and pork pies!

Central Methodist Church

St Saviourgate, York, YO1 8NQ

Sat 27 Jan @ 11am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

This Grade II listed building, built in 1840 to seat 1,500 people, is one of the few chapels of its period still intact. The interior is horse-shoe shaped with a gallery and box pews. Come and listen to the organ, one of the finest in York.

Clifford’s Tower

Tower Street, York, YO1 9SA

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

There’s plenty to discover at Clifford’s Tower, standing proud on its high mound, raised by William the Conqueror. It is almost all that remains of York Castle and has served as a prison and a royal mint in its time.

Fairfax House

27 Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN

Sat 27 Jan @ 10am-5pm; Sun 28 Jan @ 11am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Grasp the opportunity to go behind the scenes and see Fairfax House as never normally seen during its deep-clean winter hibernation. Learn what makes this house tick and what it is like to be involved in this Georgian York Treasure.

Fishergate Postern Tower

Fishergate Postern Tower

Junction Piccadilly / Lead Mill Lane

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Come and see the internal rooms of this 500 year old tower, climb the narrow spiral staircase, find the garderobe, look for masons’ marks and inspect the inside construction of the roof.

Holgate Windmill

Windmill Rise, Holgate, YO26 4TX

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 11am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Come and see York’s only surviving windmill, restored and in full working order. Stoneground flour milled here is available for sale.

Holy Trinity Goodramgate

Holy Trinity, 70 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LF

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 11am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Tucked in a secluded churchyard behind a busy shopping street, Holy Trinity Goodramgate is medieval York’s hidden gem. Come along and discover this stunning historic building, with free guided talks at 11am and 2pm each day over the festival.

Merchant Adventurers’ Hall

Fossgate, York, YO1 9XD

Sat 27 Jan @ 10am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Featuring fascinating tales, awe-inspiring architecture and intriguing rare artefacts. Explore this stunning timber framed building. The merchants’ coffee house will also be open serving delicious food and drink.

Merchant Taylors’ Hall

Aldwark, York, YO1 7BX

Sun 28 Jan @ 11am-3pm

Pre-booking? No

A unique opportunity to visit the ancient hall of the Merchant Taylors. Meet the members, learn about the guild’s history, participate in the needle hunt and see the exhibits. Refreshments available.

St Anthony’s Hall. Photograph: GuillaumeTell on Wikipedia Commons

St Anthony’s Hall

Peasholme Green, York, Y01 7PW

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

St Anthony’s Hall is a medieval guildhall, now being used by Trinity Church York. Learn more about this historic building and how it is used now. There will be tea and cake available and a treasure hunt.

St Denys Church

St. Denys Road, York YO1 9QD

Sat 27 Jan @ 10am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

A warm community welcome is extended to all. Tea, tours, talks and entertainment under the theme of “Eat-Pray-Love” telling the history and ambition of the church.

St Helen’s Church

St Helen’s Square, York, YO1 8QN

Sat 27 Jan @ 2pm-5pm

Pre-booking? No

The York & District Organists’ Association invites members of the public to come and play the pipe organ in St Helen’s Church. No experience is necessary. Just come and ‘have a go’. Members of the YDOA will be available to assist.

St Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel

St Saviourgate, York, YO1 8NQ

Sat 27 Jan @ 10am-4pm & Sun 28 Jan @ 12.30pm-4pm (service 11am)

Pre-booking? No

Grade II listed 17th century chapel with an exhibition about the garden, originally a graveyard. On Saturday at 11.30am, join poet and performer Anneliese Emmans Dean for Flying High!, a journey through the bird year in laughter, rhythm and rhyme and birdsong too.


Setting sail… City Cruises York

City Cruises York

Sailing from King’s Staith or Lendal Bridge

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan-departs 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm

Pre-booking? No

Sit back, relax and enjoy a 30 minute York City Cruise. Listen to the captain’s commentary as you cruise along the Ouse.

York MotorSports Village

Kathryn Avenue, Monks Cross, York, YO32 9JS

Sun Jan 28 @ 10am-6.30pm

Pre-booking? Yes – via the website

York MotorSports Village is offering York Card holders the chance to try their facilities for free or discount. Drive the F1 or F2 petrol karts in a 15 lap timed practice session for £5 per person. Juniors aged 4-7 years can come and sample a 10 minute drive in the new electric F3 Karts for free.

Music, art and theatre

Wise owls at Beningbrough Hall… Photograph: National Trust

Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens

Beningbrough, York, YO30 1DD

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 11am-3.30pm

Pre-booking? No

Wrap up warm and get outdoors and closer to nature exploring the nation’s love of owls through a series of 15 art installations in unexpected places around the gardens in the ‘Oh Wise Owl’ art trail-new for winter.

Black Swan Folk Club

The Black Swan Inn, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR

Sun 28 Jan @ 2-5.30pm & 7.30-10.30pm

Pre-booking? No

Winter Folk Day: Afternoon and evening concerts featuring many of the talented local singers and bands associated with York’s award-winning Black Swan Folk Club. Free entry – come and go as you please, space permitting.

The Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Haxby Rd, York YO31 8TA

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10.30am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Tour the Grade II listed art deco theatre interior including backstage and see how scenery changes and sound lighting operate. A small exhibition on the theatre’s history included. On Sunday witness a rehearsal of The Producers in the afternoon.

National Centre for Early Music

St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York, YO1 9TL

Sun 28 Jan @ 9am-4pm

Pre-booking? Yes – 01904 658338

Join the ‘Come & Sing’ workshops, aimed at anyone wanting to enjoy the positive effects of social singing. Lead by vibrant vocalist Vivien Ellis, these sessions are open to adults and children 5+. No prior experience of music needed. The session times are 10am-12pm and 1.30-3.30pm.

Riding Lights Theatre Company Youth Theatre

Friargate Theatre, Lower Friargate, York, YO1 9SL

Sat 27 Jan 11am-2pm

Pre-booking? Yes – 01904 655317

11am-12pm – An hour long taster session, showcasing the best of Riding Lights Youth Theatre. Play games, create characters, tell stories and learn some new skills! For 11-18 years. 1-2pm – Do you enjoy acting? Come along for an hour-long taster session of the adult theatre workshop.

A beautiful place to be… Photograph: Stained Glass Centre on Facebook

The Stained Glass Centre

St Martin-cum-Gregory Church, Micklegate, York, YO1 6LN

Sat 27 Jan @ 11am – 4pm

Pre-booking? No

Family-friendly activities, craft stalls and delicious refreshments. Explore the atmospheric building and discover historic stained glass and fascinating graffiti. Watch craft demonstrations or have a go yourself!

York Art Gallery

Exhibition Square, York, YO1 7EW

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-5pm

Pre-booking? No

New commissions, Old Masters and more than 2,000 ceramic works can be found at the multi-award winning York Art Gallery. Head to the studio for practical art activities till 4pm.

York Theatre Royal

St Leonard’s Place, York, YO1 7HD

Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-4pm

Pre-booking? Yes – 01904 623568

Join the Theatre Royal team for an access all areas tour of the theatre and see parts of the building normally off limits to the public. Tours every 30 minutes. Places are limited. Café also open for refreshments.

Walks and tours

Starting point for the pub walk-the Royal Oak. Photograph © Adam Bruderer on Flickr

Guided Historic Pub Walk

Starts at the Royal Oak, 18 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LG

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 3.30pm – 5pm

Pre-booking? Yes – 07506 570234

A guided walk through the city centre covering the history, events and people associated with approximately 15 of York’s historic pubs. Duration 1.5 hours.

York Cemetery

Cemetery Road, York, YO10 5AJ

Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-4pm

Pre-booking? No

Come along and visit the Cemetery Chapel for free tea/coffee and cake. History walks in the Cemetery and Catacomb tours. Talk to Cemetery Genealogists who will help in locating graves. The RSPB will host a Big Garden Bird Watch.

Sport and fitness

New Earswick Swimming Pool. Photograph © New Earswick Swimming Club website

New Earswick Swimming Club

Hawthorn Terrace, New Earswick, York YO32 4AQ

Sat 27 Jan @ 2pm-3.30pm; Sun 28 Jan @ 9am-10.30am & 2pm-3.30pm

Pre-booking? Yes – via [email protected]

Free swim on production of a York Card. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult and
children aged 8 or under must be accompanied in the water by an adult (at a ratio of 1 adult to 2 children).


6 Bootham Terrace, York, YO30 7DH

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 8.30am-6pm

Pre-booking? Yes – via [email protected]

Come and try Hot Yoga. All you need is yourself, a bottle and maybe a towel. All classes will be mixed ability and suitable for all ages, shapes and sizes.

Further afield

Living history at Eden Camp

Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum

Eden Camp, Malton, North Yorks, YO17 6RT

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-5pm

Pre-booking? No

Housed in the buildings and grounds of an original prisoner of war camp, the unique museum transports visitors back in time to experience the sights, sounds and smells of life on the home front and front line during World War II. Last admission 4pm.

Lost Earth Adventures

Brimham Rocks, Harrogate, HG3 4DW

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 9am-6pm

Pre-booking? Yes-01904 500094

Go deep below the surface and experience the labyrinth of underground passageways, follow a stream way, clamber over boulders and wade through crystal clear water as you travel back in geological time. No experience necessary.

National Centre for Birds of Prey

Duncombe Park, Helmsley, YO62 5EB

Sat 27 Jan & Sun 28 Jan @ 10am-4.30pm

Pre-booking? No

The National Centre for Birds of Prey is the largest collection of these wonderful birds in the north of England. There will be flying demonstrations at 11.30am and 2pm on both days.