Guided tour

York: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

4.8 / 5

48 reviews

Activity provider: Oliver Watton

York: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

Activity provider: Oliver Watton
Likely to sell out

From US$ 12.14 per person

Likely to sell out

Uncover the wicked history of York as you explore the secrets of the Shambles on a witchcraft-themed walking tour. Be led by your character guide and listen to the legends of York's medieval old town.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible—book your spot and pay nothing today.
Duration 1 hour - 85 minutes
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Small group available


  • Get goosebumps as you discover the spooky and wicked history of medieval York
  • Explore the dimly-lit alleys of York's old town on a witchcraft-themed tour
  • Hear stories delivered by a character guide that'll send chills down your spine
  • Travel back through the ages while exploring the spooky Shambles of York
  • Walk through Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, York Minster, Petergate, and Stonegate
  • Unleash your own magic in a secret potion room for an add-on experience
Full description

Join a characterful witch-guide to discover York's history and unearth the secrets of the Shambles on a walking tour, with the option to participate in potion-making. Tread lightly as you walk through York Minster, Petergate, and Stonegate—the very grounds on which these mysterious events occurred. Meet your guide and begin your walking tour. Hear historical tales and legends that focus on witchcraft. Explore the Shambles, as you step back in time and discover the unpleasant origins of this now picturesque street.

Watch out on the cobbles as you lend your ear to terrible tales of the witches of Yorkshire. Walk to Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, the smallest street with possibly the longest name in York. It is said the name means "What a street."

Then, view the remains of the St Crux Church, originally the largest medieval parish church in York. Continue to King's Square, learning more about the area and hearing the tale of the magical tree with a witchy connection. Next, follow your guide through the old quarter of York, the Minster Quarter, where you pass the vibrant shopping area of the city. Stroll through Low Petergate and High Petergate and listen in awe at the fascinating and chilling stories of the past. Marvel at the grandeur of the world's most magnificent and iconic cathedrals, York Minster. Right opposite that, see the St Michael Le Belfrey Church. Hear some more spooky and witchery tales and a name that might spark some recognition. Gaze at the architecture of medieval buildings, gorgeous Georgian townhouses, and other period styles in Stonegate, one of York's most historic roads. Discover the alleys, ginnels, and snickets of the city and walk through York's longest snickelway (narrow alleys running between York's streets).

Feel the chills in the air in the hidden courtyard of Barley Hall. Back to where it all began, this spellbinding old town walking tour lets you discover the wicked history of medieval York.

In addition to exploring York, you can also opt to enter the Potions Cauldron for an immersive potion-making experience. Uncover the secret room and get lost in another world as special effects take you on a quest to make the perfect potion.

  • Guide in a witch costume
  • Walking tour
  • Potion-making experience (if option chosen)
  • Food and drinks
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meet at the street sign "Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate". Look out for your guide dressed in a witch costume.

Open in Google Maps ⟶
Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Weather-appropriate clothing

Know before you go

  • The tour runs rain or shine
  • The wearing of a witch hat is optional
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 48 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money

Sort by:

Traveler type:

Star rating:

Our witches tour was simply excellent. Our host was amazing, she was full of knowledge, made the whole audience laugh out loud, even those who were reluctant to enjoy it or to be seen to enjoy it were all smiling. She conjured up a "stop raining" spell, which worked very well and left us with a very positive opinion of your company and services. My French friend was very impressed and we both want to come back and see more. Our witch deffinately has an impressive skill set, not just a historian, but she must have been to drama school to get into character that convincingly. Thank you fornsuch an amazing experience. Sascha and Béatrice

Read more

August 2, 2022

We really enjoyed this walking tour on our first day in York. The guide was quirky, funny and welcoming, with lots of knowledge of the city's history. The distance covered is not far although the tour takes a full hour, and there are no steep inclines for anyone with mobility issues. I highly recommend.

June 6, 2022

Really enjoyed this tour, full of information and a fun way to explore York! Allegra was fabulous; there were only three of us on the tour which I imagine may be more difficult but she definitely didn’t make it feel that way. She was great fun and engaged us all so well, thank you ever so much!

June 5, 2022

Product ID: 413592