Parks & gardens


Located right next to The Minster, Dean’s Park is a charming green area to relax and take in views of the magnificent Minster. In days gone by, it was the site of the old palace of the Archbishops of York. In summer months, you will often find pop up festivals. This summer (2018), it’s Summer in the Park, with open air cinema experiences, music, crafts, stone carving and more.

If you wander through the park from the front of The Minster, the back gate will lead you to the Treasurer’s House, mentioned below.


The Holy Trinity Church is often overlooked by visitors as it’s tucked away behind Goodramgate and not visible from the street. There’s a beautiful, peaceful garden many locals ‘in the know’ head to during lunch breaks. The church itself is well worth a visit, with its stunning medieval glass and unique box pews.


Run by the National Trust, the Treasurer’s House is an elegant townhouse dating from medieval times. It often hosts some very interesting exhibits and houses a collection showcasing York’s 2000 year history.  There’s stunning furnishings spanning some 300 years. It’s just across Dean’s Park (the park next to the Minster). We love its wonderful tranquil garden which you can enjoy without purchasing a ticket! It’s a great spot to relax. Infamous ghost stories will keep young ones entertained too. They do offer tours of the house but not every day so it’s best to ring to check.


One of the things we love about York are all the tranquil and peaceful spots dotted around the town centre. Set in the stunning surrounds of the ruins of St Marys Abbey (built in 1088), these 10 acres of botanical gardens, right in the centre of town, are absolutely delightful. Known by my daughter as squirrel park, you will adore dozens of these fury friends playing amongst the beautiful trees, shrubs and plants. The stone walls of the abbey built in 1260 are the most complete abbey walls in England. A corner Roman tower (70AD) also remains in one section of the gardens.


York YO31 7US
Like so many visitors to York, we were keen to walk the walls but it wasn’t until we’d been living here quite a while that we decided to walk the entire circuit. It takes about 2 and a half hours. It was on this walk that I noticed a very pretty garden known as Peasholme Green. They used to grow peas here and the York Conservation Trust has turned it into a delightful sensory garden. You can enter Peasholme Green from Pavement (alas, there’s no exit on the walls).  Peasholme Green is also home to the School House Gallery, also worth a visit on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday to enjoy some delicious vegetarian delights from Cardamon and Dill.


Terry Ave, York YO23 1JQ
Rowntree Park is arguably York’s most-loved and beautiful park. There’s tennis and basketball courts as well as a skate park, 2 play areas, table tennis tables (bring your own bats), picnic tables, geese, ducks, sculptures dotted around and more .During school holidays, there will often be trampolines and a bouncy castle young ones can enjoy for a fee, along with the free play-areas. Rowntree Park Reading Cafe has undergone recent renovations and is a great addition to the park. They serve delicious food and pretty decent coffee. If you have a dog, there’s a lovely terrace with views of the park.

Don’t be tempted to feed the geese and ducks though…

Opening hours: Varies depending on the time of the year. Summer months 09:00-21:00, Winter 09:00 – 16:00