It’s the York Walls Festival this weekend! Here’s everything you need to know

Keeping out the riff-raff for centuries… York Walls. Photograph: Lewis Outing

It’s the second ever York Wallks Festival this weekend, and there’s loads planned – most of it free!

The festival gives you a chance to explore usually closed towers, take part in family activities and learn more about the history of the walls on guided walks.

Here’s the lowdown of what it is and what’s happening when.

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Questions and answers

What is it?
A weekend celebrating our walled city and its famous fortifications. It includes open days at the towers, guided walks, and a whole host of other activities.


Who’s involved?
Volunteers from Friends of York Walls and the Red Tower group, other community groups, plus involvement from the Explore York libraries and others.



Is it family friendly?
Absolutely. And you can download a York Walls Explorer Trail and an Acitivity Booklet, complete with braintreasers and a heritage hunt, to keep young explorers occupied.


How can I find out more?


What’s on when

Fishergate Postern Tower
Open 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday

Explore the 500 year old watchtower, normally closed to the public. There will be be a display about the archaeological dig of the underfloor of Fishergate Postern Tower undertaken last December, and Fox Lane Books will also have a stall with titles for all ages (including Horrible Histories).

Red Tower
Open 11am – 6pm Saturday and 11am – 4pm Sunday

On the Saturday, “Barbecue Plus” is planned from 3pm – 6pm, where locals and visitors will be able to sample some dishes prepared by those living nearby. The Lord Mayor will be attending from 3.30pm.

Original music and performance art takes place on the Sunday between 5.30pm-6.15pm. Tickets are free but must be reserved by Eventbrite.

Guided walks
‘Red Brick York’ walk
Leaves King’s Manor at 2pm on Saturday

Led by Red Tower volunteer Ian Tempest this will take about 90 minutes to reach the Red Tower.


Festival Family Fun Tour
Starts in front of York Explore, Saturday and Sunday, at 10am and noon

This tour has been specially created for the festival by Gavin Sullivan. You can book it via the GoodOrganisaion website.

Morris Dancing – Between Fishergate Postern Tower and Walmgate Bar
Sunday at Walmgate Bar 12-12.30pm, and Fishergate Bar 1.30-2pm

There will be Morris Dancing on the Walls between Walmgate Bar and Fishergate Postern Tower.

Make a Tile Workshop, York Explore
Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 11am-2pm Sunday

Suitable for ages 8 – 12. Come and create a tile at the library, inspired by a story linked to York’s Walls. No need to book.

Found Fiction, York Explore
Saturday: 9am – 4pm, Sunday 11am – 3.30pm

Visit the Found Fiction Writing Desk and add to a short story one line at a time. Can you help co-write a masterpiece? There’s also an incomplete sentence on the wall on York Explore’s library lawn. Finish it your way by filling in the blanks.

The River Foss Society – Foss Islands Road
Saturday and Sunday, 10.30am – 4pm

The society will provide information about the river and its past, demonstrate how to carry out water tests of the river and stage activities for children such as Foss invertebrates “wee beasties” to be examined and identified using magnifiers.