Read on to find out about our accessibility information, resources and facilities
Housed in the gatehouse of Micklegate Bar, visit the City Walls Experience to discover how York came to be a walled city and how the walls have evolved and changed since the first embankments were built by the Romans.
The City Walls Experience has been designed to be as inclusive as possible within the confines of Micklegate Bar, and we warmly welcome all disabled visitors.
At A Glance
Due to the historic nature of the building, the City Walls Experience can only be accessed via stairs (25 steps with a handrail). Likewise, the upper floors can only be accessed via stairs. There are no toilets and no lift.
All staff have disability awareness and Autism Awareness training whilst some staff have BSL training.
We have interpretation available in level 2 Braille translation and in large print. Visual stories are available to download on our website and we have paper copies at our front desk.
We have a complimentary ticket policy for carers and personal assistants, and all tickets are valid for one year, allowing as many returns and re-entries as you like. Seating is available throughout the building, and we have sensory packs for you to use at our front desk.
In general, the City Walls Experience is fairly quiet. There is noise from the outside, as we are near a fairly busy intersection. The sounds of lorries, buses, and motorcycles, along with sirens and horns honking, are common although not constant. Our quietest time is generally during the week, particularly during term time.
Please note that we are only open from mid-February (February half-term) to the end of October.
Travel by public transport
You can get to the City Walls Experience at Micklegate Bar by bus and train.
The nearest bus stop is just outside the city walls along Nunnery Lane. First Group York and Transdev both service this stop. The bus stop is 0.1 miles / 0.2 km from City Walls Experience at Micklegate Bar.
The nearest train station is York Train Station. The train station is 0.2 miles / 0.3 km from City Walls Experience at Micklegate Bar.
York is on the East Coast main line between London and Scotland. It takes less than two hours to get to York from London. Trains run every half an hour, with at least 25 direct trains each week day. Direct rail services also run to York from many of the UK’s main regional centres. York can be reached easily from all the following centres: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Liverpool. There are direct trains to and from Manchester International Airport that run every hour during the day.
Travel by taxi
The nearest drop off point is at the base of Micklegate Bar.
You can get a taxi with Streamline by calling 01904 656565. The taxi company has a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
There is no on-site parking at the City Walls Experience. The nearest car park is Nunnery Lane car park, located about 0.2 mi from the City Walls Experience. This car park has 12 dedicated disabled parking bays.
For more information about the car park, please check the council’s website: https://www.york.gov.uk/directory-record/424/nunnery-lane-car-park
Customer Care Support
We work to welcome all disabled people to our sites through a variety of training, feedback, and sector-led research. We are always keen to improve our offer, so if you have any suggestions, please email us at [email protected]
Breastfeeding is welcome at all our sites.
We provide the following accessibility equipment free of charge to visitors:
- Ear defenders
- Visual stories
- Level 2 braille translation and in large print
- Sensory packs containing various tactile and visual items, including fidget/fiddle objects
There is seating throughout the site.
We also operate a traffic light sticker system at all our attractions:
- Red sticker = please do not approach me
- Yellow sticker = please answer my questions but let me approach first
- Green sticker = please approach and speak to me
You can pick up the sticker colour of your choice at the front desk.
Though we do not have a designated quiet area, the City Walls Experience tends to be quiet in general. Our tickets are also valid for 12 months, so you can leave the building and return as many times as you like.
Service animals are very welcome.
We have a water bowl at the admissions desk for them to use.
Emergency evacuation procedures
The City Walls Experience is located inside a Grade I listed building as part of the York City Walls. In case of an emergency, staff are trained to help everyone evacuate quickly and efficiently, and have been given specific training to help disabled visitors evacuate.
Staff Training and Awards
All staff receive the following training:
- Welcome Host Plus
- Disability Awareness
- Blue Assist
- Autism Awareness
- Dementia Friends
- Sight Loss Awareness Training (from MySight York)
- Sighted Guide training (from MySight York)
- Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard scheme
Some staff have also received BSL training, and we are working to increase the number of staff with this training.
We also take part in the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) run by VisitEngland.
All walking tours are fully guided by a staff member and therefore are naturally tailored to suit the needs of the group. Our tour guides are incredibly knowledgeable in accessibility and are working constantly on making these walking tours as inclusive and accessible as possible.
We have been recognised for our work in accessibility and won the following awards:
- Autism Friendly Award (National Autistic Society) – 2019, 2021
- Bronze for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism (White Rose Awards) – 2019
- Accessible and Inclusive Tourism (Visit York Awards) – 2020
- Silver for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism (White Rose Awards) – 2020
We have also been shortlisted for other awards:
- Accessible and Inclusive Tourism (Yorkshire Tourism Awards) – 2020, 2021, 2022
In general, the City Walls Experience is fairly quiet. There is noise from the outside, as we are near a fairly busy intersection. The sounds of lorries, buses, and motorcycles, along with sirens and horns honking, are common although not constant.
Our quietest time is generally during the week, particularly during term time.
Please note that we are only open from mid-February (February half-term week) to the end of October.
All tickets are valid for 12 months, so you can also leave and return at another time if you need to at no additional cost.