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York Civic Trust

The York Knowledge: Gardens, Parks and Local Landscapes


St Anthony's Hall, sensory garden

Museum Gardens, York

York Minster seen across the meadow from Bootham Stray, York
Welcome to the Gardens, Parks and Local Landscape section of York's Knowledge.

More than 80% of the area of York can be described as open landscape, including the green belt. Infinitely in variety, it is a vital contributor to the character of the City of York. Visit the City of York website and look at the Parks and Open Spaces section to find out more about allotments, strays, churchyards, nature reserves, parks, gardens and open spaces, riverside corridors, sports pitches, courts and bowling greens, play areas and wildlife corridors. Click here

Landscapes play a great part in current City of York's planning documents. The core strategy of the City of York Council's Local Development Framework (submission draft, January 2011) contained comprehensive policy statements on many aspects of York's landscapes and open spaces. York New City Beautiful - Towards an Economic Vision (known as The Simpson Report - prepared by Professor Alan Simpson) - takes a visionary approach to the positive use of landscape and open space in future planning. For more details about these topics, contact York City Council by email  mailto:citydevelopment@york.gov.uk. The Strategy, Transport and Networks Office telephone is 01904 551420.
You may find this 2013 Heritage Topic paper prepared by the City Council of interest, describing what is special about York.  CYC-Heritage Topic paper.pdf

Parks and Gardens
Click on the links below to find out more about Parks and Gardens in York

Rowntree Park
York Museum Gardens
City of York Council Gardens
National Trust Gardens

Walking, Cycling and Access
The City of York Council promote a range of walks within the area from short circular walks to longer distances such as the Millennium Way. There are several publications that can be purchased:

  • City of York Country Walks (North) - £2.95. Ten walks around the north of the city including Wigginton, Huntington and Osbaldwick. The walks vary from 2.5 to 6.5 miles in length.

  • City of York Country Walks (South) - £2.95. Ten walks in the southern part of the city of York. The walks vary from 4 to 8 miles in length.

  • Walking in the Countryside around York- £2.95. Twelve circular walks in the countryside around York. The walks vary from 3 to 9 miles in length. This publication also includes the Jorvic Way, a 65 mile walk around the York area.

  • Millennium Way Walk - £2.95. A 23 mile walk linking the Historic Open Strays of York.

In addition the City of York Council has put together 15 walks in and around York for you to enjoy. They range from 1.5 to 6.5 miles in distance and all are accessible by public transport. All walks have a map and written directions and include particular points of interest appearing on the route. The walks are in the following areas in York: Askham Richard, Bishopthorpe, Deighton, Dunnington, Elvington, Fulford, Fulford and Heslington, Heslington, Holtby, Nether Poppleton, New Earswick, Osbaldwick, Skelton, Stockton-on-Forest and Wheldrake.

For more information about these walks and also to order the publications listed above, click here

This page in due course will contain information about the following:

  • 2. Clubs and Societies
  • 3. Countryside and Agriculture
  • 4. Gardening and Allotments
5. Nature reserves and natural environment
  • 6. Outdoor Recreation and Leisure and Sport
7. Rivers
  • 8. York's Strays
  • 9. Trees
10. Village Greens and Churchyards