Wednesday 16 October 2013

York City Walls Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 5 km (3.1 miles), terrain: flat, with a few stairs

By John Griffith, Contributing Editor, and amazing Social video producer

For more running routes, see Routes List.

Some towns seem to contribute more than their fair share to history.  Take York, for example, where I visited this week.  Evidence of settlements in York can be traced back to 8000 BC and the region has been populated by not just Mesolithic English tribes but subsequently invaded by Romans, Saxons, Vikings and more recently not a few Eastern Europeans.  Founded in AD 71 it’s best known for a Big Church (York Minster) and Chocolate (Rowntrees); I may be wrong but I don’t think Milton Keynes (founded in 1967) is best known for churches or much else for that matter.
View along the walls towards the cathedral
Fortunately for those that like to run, the city of York presents a handy 3-mile long perimeter wall which, like the Brigantes and the Parisii tribes is just asking to be conquered and which I took on when I visited.  The route is something of an urban environment but if you get into the history of the place you can ignore Waitrose, Dunelm Mill and the other more contemporary features along the outside and look inwards to the sturdy, if partly demolished stonework of the old city wall as you make the circuit.

You can’t run along the entire wall like you can in the city of Lucca and other Tuscan fortified towns but you can get onto it in parts and besides, looking up at it from the outside is pretty awesome when you think of how old it is and how well preserved most of it remains.

I stayed in the very modest yet comfortable Monkgate Guest House which was convenient for the centre of town and serves quite one of the best Full English breakfasts I’m ever likely to encounter but if your budget can stretch to it, stay at The Grange, slightly less central but much more luxurious.


  1. This blog is fantastic! I was looking for a running route in/around York (visiting for the first time very soon) when I came across your blog. Keep up the good work, and thank you for sharing/mapping your runs.

  2. Thanks Sky! Enjoy your time in the beautiful town of York.