If you’re only staying in York for a little while, one of the best ways to get to know the city really fast is by joining a tour. But with the best will in the world, most children won’t want to wander the streets and listen to two hours of detail about York’s history. Instead, why not board a bus or boat or meet a crazy character and find out about the city in a really fun way? There are plenty of options, and here are our best tours in York for families. Oh, and they’re not just for visitors: there’s lots to enjoy about them for locals too!
Join a magical tour of York with The Wizard Walk of York
The Magic Hatter brings his award-winning entertainment to the streets with The Wizard Walk of York – the most magical ticket in town! Join The Wizard of York on a quest to find magical creatures as you wand-er the snickelways of this enchanting city. A wonderfully whimsical tour that wizard fans will go Potty for! Selected evenings, starting from The Shambles. Private bookings are also available for spellbinding birthday parties, school groups and more. Follow @WizardWalkofYork on Facebook and Instagram. Pre-book on The Wizard Walk of York website
See York by bus with York City Sightseeing
Grab a seat on the top deck of one of the distinctive York City Sightseeing buses for a whistle-stop tour with commentary (in 10 languages). It covers 20 attractions but you can hop on and off for 24 hours if you don’t want to do it all at once. Tickets are valid for 12 months and there’s a free cancellation policy. Visit the York City Sightseeing website.
Explore the darker side of York with The Bloody Tour of York
Fans of Horrible Histories will love this funny and entertaining 90-minute tour of the darker side of York’s history. Join Mad Alice as she leads you down the winding back streets and regales you with stories of torture, highwaymen, witches and more. It’s an award-winning experience that’s fun for older kids and adults alike. Visit The Bloody Tour of York website
Experience York by boat with City Cruises York
Climb aboard one of York City Cruises’ big blue boats and cruise down the Ouse for a unique view of the city. There’s a full commentary and refreshments on board, and children will enjoy waving to passers-by from the top deck. Fancy captaining your own vessel? Why not hire one of the small blue boats for an hour? Take a picnic and stop off for an ice cream from the ice cream boat if it’s around. Visit the City Cruises York website
Join a walking tour with York’s Chocolate Story or The York Dungeon
Two of York’s top attractions – York’s Chocolate Story and The York Dungeon – run walking tours at various times of the year. They’re entertaining and very family-friendly, delving into York’s history with their own spin (York’s chocolate history for York’s Chocolate Story, and the more gruesome side of York for the Dungeon).