About Us

About Us

York Walls Festival holds events throughout the year, and has just added a Spring Weekend to its calendar! Founded in 2018, the Festival celebrates communty, history and heritage in the vibrant and historic city of York, in Yorkshire, England.

Friends of York Walls

Friends of York Walls

The Friends of York Walls are a registered charity who support the Festival. The Friends look after the 500 year-old Fishergate Postern Tower on behalf of City of York Council, and have open days and events all year round at the tower, staffed by volunteers. Fishergate Postern Tower is open on Festival weekends.

2022 Festival Weekends

2022 Festival Weekends

For 2022 the York Walls Festival is having two special weekends - one around the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend (Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May) and one in the Summer (Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th August). We're proud to again be partnering with local organisations and community groups to tell more stories and promote our shared heritage!

The York Walls Festival 2022 ‘Summer Weekend’ is this weekend – Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th August!

Saturday 13th to Sunday 14th August 2022

See the full details below the highlights!

  • Walk the Famous York Bar Walls for free (approx. 08:00 to dusk on all dates weather permitting)
  • Fishergate Postern Tower is open for free^
  • Red Tower is open for free and providing refreshments^
  • Fishergate Bar Street Fair outside The Phoenix Inn on Saturday and Sunday
  • RiverFoss Society Stand and activities on Foss Islands Road Saturday and Sunday
  • Ebor Morris Dancers performing outside The Phoenix on Sunday
  • Free Family Activity Pack including the ever-popular Walls Explorer Trail – collect stamps at each Festival location!
  • ‘Nanjing Walled City’ Exhibition at Fishergate Postern Tower – free entry

^Social distancing measures and maximum numbers of attendees may be in effect at certain times

Walk the Walls – FREE!

York’s Bar Walls are free to walk all year round (except Christmas Day and when weather conditions make them unsafe). They are the perfect, family-friendly way to experience York, enjoy its amazing history and see fantastic views of the city. It’s easy to get back into central York in just a few minutes from any exit point. Walking the Walls incudes walking up and down several steps. Open approximately 08:00 to dusk.

Fishergate Postern Tower – FREE ENTRY (donations very welcome!)

The amazing 500 year-old tower, guarding a pedestrian access to the city, is looked after by The Friends of York Walls. The tower is open for free on both days, thanks to our amazing and knowledgeable volunteers. Climb the spiral staircase and visit all three floors! Find the ‘Tudor Toilet’! See the incredible medieval roofbeams! Open 10:00 to 16:00, circumstances permitting.

Pick up your free Activity Booklet and Explorer’s Trail here, and collect the special Fishergate Postern Tower stamp for your Explorer’s Trail here!

‘Nanjing Walled City’ Exhibition at Fishergate Postern Tower – FREE ENTRY

As part of The York Walls Festival ‘Spring Weekend’ on May Day Bank Holiday Weekend earlier this year, we partnered with The City Walls Museum, Nanjing, China, York Mansion House, OE Media and former mayor of York Dave Taylor to produce and display a special exhibition of images of York and the walled city of Nanjing in China at The Mansion House! The fabulous City Walls Museum in Nanjing sent us six iconic images of their incredible Walls, and these are on display at Fishergate Postern Tower this weekend only (and are also currently on display in Nanjing, should you be able to get there!). Free entry, opening hours as per Fishergate Postern Tower above.

Pick up your free Activity Booklet and Explorer’s Trail at Fishergate Postern Tower and collect the special Nanjing-themed stamp for your Explorer’s Trail here!

Red Tower – FREE ENTRY (donations very welcome!)

The fantastic Red Tower sits at the end of the Walls where the River Foss formed a marsh that protected the city. The only tower on the Walls built of brick, it has a fascinating history, including being used as a gunpowder store! The Red Tower is again looked after by volunteers and is open to see inside on Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00. 

Refreshments are available outside the tower on Saturday, Sunday during the opening times above.

Depending on the direction you are walking the Walls after visiting Red Tower you’ll either be heading towards the River Foss, and rejoining the Walls at Layerthorpe Bridge, or have rejoined the Walls at Red Tower and be heading towards Walmgate Bar.

Pick up your free Activity Booklet and Explorer’s Trail here and collect the special Red Tower stamp for your Explorer’s Trail here!

Fishergate Bar Street Fair – FREE ENTRY (donations very welcome!)

Join us on Saturday and Sunday for The Fishergate Bar Street Fair! Step off the Walls at Fishergate Bar / The Phoenix Inn and you’ll find us! Games, stalls, music, and meet our mascot Festival Fox! Plus we’ll be joined by some of our wonderful friends:

Saturday: Live music from Esther Clare and Andrew Clegg (from midday). Live music from the incredible pianist Karl Mullen (14:00 to 16:30)! 

Sunday: Ebor Morris Dancers will be dancing at Fishergate Bar from 12:30. Live music from the incredible pianist Karl Mullen (14:00 to 16:30)!

Pick up your free Activity Booklet and Explorer’s Trail at Fishergate Bar Street Fair and collect TWO special stamps for your Explorer’s Trail here! 

River Foss Society Stand on Foss Islands Road – FREE ENTRY

The River Foss Society will be giving everyone a chance to see some of the creatures that live in the river alongside Foss Islands Road. They will be highlighting the history of the river as well as many of our environmental and social activities – members will be in and around our gazebo to answer any questions and talk about what we do! Foss Islands Road, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 to 16:00.