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Photograph of Gavin leading a walking tour. York is one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations and our walking tours provide a unique perspective of this beautiful city. Each tour is operated by individuals affected by homelessness and shaped by their own interests or personal experience of the city.

All of our tours have attained a five-star rating on Trip Advisor and the AirBnB Experiences platform. You can read some of our customer reviews here.

For further information and to book, please select a tour option from the list below, where you'll be directed to our secure online payment system. Alternatively, you can support our work by arranging group tours, hiring our guides for student orientation days or by purchasing discounted multiple tickets.

It's a great way for organisations and companies to reward their staff and customers, or provide corporate visitors with an opportunity to see York in a truly distinctive way.

Gavin undertaking a tour

Saturday at 2pm Family Fun Tour

Our Family Fun Tour offers a history lesson like no other, where those taking part will be encouraged to participate and interact, playing traditional games, immersing themselves in creative activities, and walking in the footsteps of 2000 years of history.

York’s past is not all smooth and gentle so be prepared for some horrible yet wonderful stories that include tales of Roman soldiers, Viking invaders, notorious figures like Dick Turpin, and the traitors and troublemakers whose trickery have shaped the city.

Tour guide Gavin has struggled with mental ill health and homelessness, but draws upon his former experiences as a play-worker and teaching assistant to present a unique view of the city. Expect cat-spotting, puzzles, games, and of course no children’s tour of York would be complete without uncovering its famous links to chocolate manufacturing.

Tour Duration: 1.5 hours
Price: £10
Frequency: Saturday (2pm)
Starts: Outside Explore Library (Library Square)

Vicki with tour guests

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at 11.30am Story of Guy Fawkes

Beyond a tale of gunpowder, treason and plot, this tour tells the comprehensive story of Guy Fawkes, from his family history in York to growing up and the influences surrounding him as a Protestant and later a recusant Catholic.

Tour guide Vicki first became interested in Guy Fawkes in 2009, and her passion is one of the reasons that she moved to the city. She interweaves her own personal journey of being diagnosed with stage 4b cancer, treatment, and remission, with the story of his life.

In addition to Guy Fawkes, the tour covers Kings Henry VIII, James I, and Charles I, William Etty RA, and St Margaret Clitherow. Stay with the tour until the end, where Vicki will reveal the amazing coincidence of Guy Fawkes and her own recovery journey in a hostel for the homeless, which will leave you covered in goosebumps.

Tour Duration: 1.5 hours
Price: £10
Frequency: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday at 11am
Starts: Exhibition Square (Kings Manor Entrance Gates)

Gemma pointing at a blue plaque

Wednesday and Thursday at 11am York's Railway Heritage

York has been a hub of transportation since the Romans established the city in AD71, linking it to an efficient road system and making use of its waterways. However, the city is also famed for its rich railway heritage and is home to the largest railway museum in the world.

Tour guide Gemma is a transgender woman, who found herself sleeping rough and living in hostels following the sudden unexpected death of her landlady. She is a passionate railway enthusiast and her tour explores how the railway has shaped and transformed the city.

This tour provides a unique insight into how and why York became an important centre for the railway industry. As well as uncovering layers of history, there’s an opportunity to learn about the buildings connected to the industry, from the original railway station which was built in 1840, through to an extended tour option which takes in the National Railway Museum.

Tour Duration: 1 hour
Price: £10
Frequency: Wednesday and Thursday 11am
Starts: Explore Library (Library Square)

Miles with a group tour

Thursday at 2.30pm Health and Wealth tour

With more attractions per square mile than any other destination in the UK, there’s always something exciting just around the corner in York, and our Health and Wealth tour is an expedition through time, which explores just some of the most significant buildings and their influence on the city’s economic growth.

Miles is a father of two who combines his own life as a former banker with his personal experience of homelessness and recovery from addiction to alcohol, to uncover layers of local history that highlight how York’s Health and Wealth has been continually shaped.

The tour vividly illustrates the changing use of local buildings throughout time, and how entrepreneurs and health innovators, from William Thomas and Lord Burlington through to Joseph Terry and Joseph Rowntree have been crucial to the city’s ongoing development and economic prosperity.

Tour Duration: 1.5 hours
Price: £10
Frequency: Thursday and Friday 2.30pm
Starts: Explore Library (Library Square)

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