What’s happening at York Residents’ Festival 2023? Find out where to go here

YORK Residents’ Festival 2023 combines more than 100 attractions, events and offers this weekend.

Organised by Make It York, this annual event returns on Saturday and Sunday, when historical attractions such as York Minster, Jorvik Viking Centre, Fairfax House, York Castle Museum, Barley Hall and The Guildhall will be opening their doors for free to residents.   

They also can enjoy free wizard golf at The Hole In Wand, Coppergate Walk, free river cruises with City Cruises and free chocolate tours at York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square. Theatre lovers can go behind the scenes at York Theatre Royal and experience virtual reality with Pilot Theatre’s Monoliths, featuring sweeping soundscapes and poetic monologues by Hannah Davies, Carmen Marcus and Asma Elbadawi at York Explore Library.  

Offers across York eateries and restaurants include 22 Yards Wine, Ambiente Tapas, Brew York, Forest and Trio Mezze Bar. Plus. Look out for retail offers exclusively for residents at Avorium, The Yorkshire Soap Company, Dean’s Garden Centre, The Hat Shop and more besides.   

For those preferring to explore the city on foot, plenty of free and discounted walking tours are available. York Photo Walks’ free walks provide the chance to learn and improve photography skills while learning more about the history of York. The Wizard Walk of York promises spellbinding family-friendly walks.

To participate in York Residents’ Festival, you must present a valid York Card, student card or identity card that proves York residency. If presenting an identity card, this must clearly state ‘York’ (such as a driving licence or older person’s bus pass). 

Sarah Loftus, Make It York’s managing director, says: “We’re delighted that we have more than 100 attractions, events and offers for Residents’ Festival weekend. This is a great opportunity for residents to rediscover some of the brilliant attractions, retail and food and drink offers on their doorstep. A huge thank-you to our Visit York members for their excellent offers and to our main sponsor, Grand Central.”  

Councillor Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, says: “I’m delighted that York Residents’ Festival is once again back this year. The weekend is a great way to enjoy our city and support our businesses. There is a lot explore and discover, with I hope something for everyone on offer during this fun-packed weekend of activities. 

“Our thanks go to all the partners around the city who have come together to make sure that more than 100 attractions, events and offers are available for residents.” 

The full list of offers for York Residents’ Festival can be found at: www.visityork.org/resfest. Please note, some venues require pre-booking. 

Alternatively, wade your way through this comprehensive guide!


Barley Hall, 2 Coffee Yard, off Stonegate, YO1 8AR 

barleyhall.co.uk/01904 615505 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 4pm. Free entry after 2pm. 

Barley Hall is a medieval townhouse, tucked away down one of the oldest streets in York. The exhibition The Bard At Barley Hall features costumes worn by famous actors. Pre-booking is required online or by phone. Select the “Free Adult” or “Free Child” option or by calling 01904 615505. 

Bedern Hall Bartle Garth, St Andrewgate, York, YO1 7AL 


Saturday and Sunday, 10.30am to 3.30pm. Free entry. 

Discover one of York’s true hidden medieval gems – from butchers to bakers and pork pie makers, chorals to squirrels – as Bedern Hall continues its centuries-old tradition of good food, good friend, and good times. Pre-booking is not required. 

Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens, Beningbrough, YO30 1DD 

beningbrough@nationaltrust.org.uk/nationaltrust.org.uk/beningbrough/01904 472027 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 3.30pm.

Grab your calling cards as you explore the garden and uncover the fascinating stories of the people who shaped Beningbrough with never-been-told-before stories from the latest research, voices from the past, interactive elements and family trail. Pre-booking is not required. 

Black Swan Folk Club 23, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR  

blackswanfolkclub@yahoo.co.uk/Blackswanfolkclub.org.uk/01904 679131  

Sunday only.

Winter Folk Day performances by folk musicians. Two sessions 2pm to 5.30pm and 7.30pm to 10.30pm in the Black Swan Inn’s Wolfe Room. Pre-booking is not required.   

Brew York, Unit 6, Enterprise Complex, Walmgate, York YO1 9TT 

bars@brewyork.co.uk/brewyork.co.uk/01904 848448 

Saturday only. Free 30-minute brewery tour and tasting at 1pm and 2pm. 

Founded in Walmgate in 2016, Brew York boasts a £2million state-of-the-art production facility and global distribution. See where it all began with a mini-tour of the original brewery as you enjoy a fresh beer on them. Pre-booking is required via email. 

City Cruises, King’s Staith Landing and Lendal Bridge Landing 


Saturday and Sunday.  Free cruise. 

Set sail with City Cruises for a free cruise at 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm or 3pm. No pre-booking; first-come, first-served. 

Clifford’s Tower, Tower Street, York, YO1 9SA 

Cliffords.Tower@english-heritage.org.uk/01904 646940 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry 

Immerse yourself in history at this iconic site and experience views over the city. A new roof deck, walkways and staircases have opened up parts of the tower, where a new interpretation brings the tower’s history to life. Pre-booking is not required. 

DIG: An Archaeological Adventure, St Saviour’s Church, St Saviourgate, YO1 8NN 

Digyork.co.uk/01904 615505 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry after 2pm.

Discover exciting artefacts from 2,000 years of York history at DIG. Children can grab a trowel and dig up the clues that show how people lived in Roman, Viking, medieval and Victorian times. Pre-booking is required online or by phone. Select the “Free Adult” or “Free Child” option or by calling 01904 615505 

Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, Y01 9RN 

info@fairfaxhouse.co.uk/fairfaxhouse.co.uk/01904 655543 

Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 2pm. Free entry. 

Numbers are limited and places need to be pre-booked online on a timed ticket basis to visit this furnished 18th century historic house museum.  

Get Cycling, 22 Hospital Fields Road, Fulford, YO10 4DZ 

shop@getcycling.org.uk/getcycling.org.uk/01904 636812 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

Free half-day bike hire (for five hours). One hire per person. Deposit necessary. Pre-booking is required via telephone or email quoting Residents’ Festival. 

Holgate Windmill, Windmill Rise, Holgate, York YO26 4TX.

For parking use YO24 4AE (Acomb Road). 

chair@holgatewindmill.org/holgatewindmill.org/07926 151132 

Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 4pm. Free entry. 

Visit York’s only surviving windmill, built in 1770, now restored and in full working order. Stoneground wholemeal and spelt flour milled here is available for sale. Pre-booking is not required. 

Jorvik Viking Centre, Coppergate, YO1 9WT 

Jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk/01904 615505 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry after 2pm. 

Discover York’s Viking legacy at the award-winning Jorvik Viking Centre. Meet a Viking of Coppergate, be up close with rare artefacts and take in the sights, sounds and smells of Viking York. Pre-booking is required online or phone. Select the “Free Adult” or “Free Child” option or by calling 01904 615505. 

LNER Community Stadium (York RLFC), Kathryn Avenue, Monks Cross Drive, Huntington, York, YO32 9AF 

j.bullock@yorkrlfc.com/yorkrlfc.com/ 01904 670880 

Sunday only. Free tours at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm (12 people maximum per tour) 

Head inside the inner sanctum of North Yorkshire’s premier rugby league teams. The LNER Community Stadium hosts the York Knights and Valkyrie, who offer residents the chance to join them on stadium tours, sharing the full matchday journey of the players and taking in the club’s history. Meet at the York RLFC club shop 15 minutes before your booked tour time. Pre-booking is required by filling out this form:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc-rW6csfuGUuWpc2otzeB0_PdMUp4sqkB2bf6v-xH_4U1X4g/viewform?usp=sf_link 

Lost Earth Adventures, Brimham Rocks, Summerbridge, Harrogate, HG3 4DW 

info@lostearthadventures.co.uk/lostearthadventures.co.uk/01904 500094 

Saturday and Sunday. Free three-hour taster session. 

Try rock climbing and abseiling at Brimham Rocks. Suitable for all abilities and anyone aged 7+. All equipment included. Maximum two people per booking. Pre-booking is required via email. 

Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Fossgate, York, YO1 8XD 

Merchantshallyork.org/enquiries@merchantshallyork.org/01904 654818 

Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

Fascinating tales, awe-inspiring architecture and intriguing, rare artefacts to be explored at this timber-framed building. The Merchants’ Coffee House will be open, serving food and drinks. Pre-booking is not required. 

Merchant Taylors’ Hall, Aldwark, York, YO1 7BX 

events@merchant-taylors-york.org/merchant-taylors-york.org/01904 624889 

Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

Merchant Taylors of the City of York members will be on hand to explain the many colourful facets and intriguing 600-year history of this medieval hall. Pre-booking is not required. 

National Centre for Early Music, St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York, YO1 9TL 

boxoffice@ncem.co.uk/ncem.co.uk/01904 658338 

Sunday, 2pm to 4pm. Free session. 

A Residents’ Festival weekend special taster for the NCEM’s monthly singing session, Cuppa & A Chorus. No experience necessary; only a willingness to sing. Hot drinks and cakes too. Pre-booking is required online. 

Pilot Theatre – Monoliths VR, at York Explore Library, Library Square, Museum Street, York YO1 7DS 

info@pilot-theatre.com/rebrand.ly/monoliths/01904 635755 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 12:30pm and 1.30pm to 5pm. Free event. 

A chance to experience virtual reality with York company Pilot Theatre’s Monoliths, exploring three northern environments with sweeping soundscapes and poetic monologues, in an event sponsored by York BID. Monoliths is an arresting testament to the inextricable link between person and place.

The Guildhall, St Martin’s Courtyard, Coney Street, York, YO1 9QL 

conferences@york.ac.uk/york.ac.uk/business/theguildhall/01904 328431 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

Residents will have access to all areas of The Guildhall, with a self-guided interactive tour of the 15th century medieval hall, historic council chamber and committee room. All cakes and coffees will have 10 per cent off at the Riverside Cafe for the weekend, and those who complete the quiz will be in with a chance of winning  a £20 voucher for the Cafe Lounge. The venue’s wedding coordinators will also be on hand to show any newly engaged couples around. York Gin will be running free gin tastings and talks for residents from 11am on both days. Pre-booking is not required. 

The Grand, York, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GD 

info@thegrandyork.co.uk thegrandyork.co.uk/01904 380038 

Saturday to Monday. Free tour.  

Step inside York’s only five-star hotel, previously the head offices for the North Eastern Railway HQ, for a guided tour of bedrooms, old railway offices, event spaces. Even meet the resident bees! Pre-booking is required online via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tour-of-yorks-only-five-star-hotel-and-former-ner-hq-the-grand-york-tickets-463708734307 

The Hole In Wand, 14-16 Coppergate Walk, York YO1 9NT 

york@theholeinwand.com/theholeinwand.com/york/01904 890135 

Saturday and Sunday, ,3pm to 9pm. Free entry. 

Visit “the world’s most magical golf course” in the heart of York. This Wizard-style adventure will see you tackle a bubbling cauldron and become part of a giant picture while you search for Grobblenook! Entry only; excludes potion. Pre-booking is required online. Use code RESFEST2023. 

William’s Den, Castle Farm, Wold Hill, North Cave, East Riding, HU15 2LS 

rachel@williamsden.co.uk/Willliamsden.co.uk/01430 472230 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry (but small booking fee).

Custom-built family adventure playscape with indoor play areas, climbing ropes and zip lines, woodland walks and pizza dining. Pre-book your free tickets for William’s Den online using the promo code YKRES2829.  A booking fee of 50p is payable.  

York Army Museum, 3 Tower Street, York, YO1 9SB 

contact@yorkarmymuseum.co.uk/yorkarmymuseum.co.uk/01904 461010 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

Discover the regiments’ stories from 1685 to the present day. Trails, crafts and object-handling. While here, collect a free mini-sketch book (made from recycled coffee cups), pencil and sketching guide to sketch your favourite parts of York as you go around the city. Pre-booking is not required. 

York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York, YO1 7EW 

yorkartgallery.org.uk/01904 687687 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

The galleries of fine art and ceramics are free to enjoy. Discover a new display of treasures from the stores. See jewels of the collection in a new light plus rarely displayed works. Pre-booking is required online. Maximum group size of six. 

York BID – Reunion, St Sampson’s Square, York, YO1 8RR 

On show until February 6.

York’s winter nights are being brightened up by Kumquat Lab’s light art installation, Reunion. Brought St Sampson’s Square by York BID, this artwork represents connectedness and the act of gathering together. 

York Castle Museum, Eye of York, York, YO1 9RY 

Yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk/01904 687687 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Free entry. 

Immerse yourself in 400 years of York’s history, whether the Victorian street Kirkgate, infamous prisoners in the spooky cells or the Swinging Sixties. Pre-booking is required online. Maximum group size of six. 

York Cemetery, Cemetery Road, York, YO10 5AJ  

yorkcemeteryvolunteers@gmail.com/yorkcemetery.org.uk/07908 221152  

Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

The Friends of York Cemetery will open the Pritchett Chapel for self-guided walking trails, catacomb tours, garden walks and much more. Discover the cemetery’s history and make a cone bird feeder, an activity ideal for children. Free tea/coffee and cake. Pre-booking is not required. 

York Cold War Bunker, Monument Close, York, YO24 4HT 

yorkbunker@english-heritage.org.uk/english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/york-cold-war-bunker/01904 797935 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

York Cold War Bunker uncovers the secret history of Britain’s Cold War. Enter the blast-proof doors and investigate the more unusual side of York’s heritage. In active service from the 1960s to the 1990s, the bunker was designed as a nerve-centre to monitor fallout in the event of a nuclear attack. Pre-booking is required online. Use code RESFES101 

York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square, York, YO1 7LD 

info@yorkschocolatestory.com/yorkschocolatestory.com/01904 527775 

Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 6pm. Free entry for the first four tours each day.

This offer is for walk-ins only. Residents also will receive 20 per cent off the guided tours for the whole weekend. Pre-booking is not required. 

York Dungeon, 12 Clifford Street, York, YO1 9RD 

yorkguests@merlinentertainments.bizthedungeons.com/york or 01904 632599 

Saturday to Tuesday (31/1/2023). Free entry before 12 noon.  

Limited availability. Tickets must be pre-booked online using the promotional code ydresfest23. Prebooking is required online via: https://www.thedungeons.com/york/?promocode=complimentary  

York Explore Library: Map Attack! – Lego City of Wonder, Library Square, York, YO1 7DS 

york@exploreyork.org.uk/exploreyork.org.uk/01904 552828 

Saturday, 10am to 2pm.  

Drop in to use a range of Lego and Duplo to build the wonderful city of York. Take inspiration from historic maps of York from the city’s archives. What will you create? Pre-booking is not required. 

York Explore Library: Mapping Historic York Exhibition, Library Square, York YO1 7DS 

york@exploreyork.org.ukexploreyork.org.uk/01904 552828 

Saturday, 10am to 4pm. 

Explore the history of York’s built environment. Learn about York as it was, as it is, and as it might have been in this display of original material from the city’s archive. Pre-booking is not required. 

York Mansion House, St Helen’s Square, York, YO1 9QL 

mansionhouse@york.gov.uk/mansionhouseyork.com/ 01904 553663 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm). Free entry. 

Walk in the footsteps of lords and ladies, cooks and butlers. Explore four floors, from the authentic Georgian kitchen below stairs to the 18th century splendour above, steeped in 300 years of scandal, secrets and superstition. Pre-booking is not required. 

York Medical Society, 23 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AW 

yorkmedicalsociety@gmail.com/yorkmedsoc.org/01904 849821 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 3pm 

York Medical Society has its own rooms within a beautiful Grade II listed building in Stonegate, providing a location for topical lectures, events and wedding receptions. Explore the building; refreshments will be available, with proceeds supporting York Foodbank. Pre-booking is not required. 

York Minster, Deangate, York, YO1, 7HH 

info@yorkminster.org/yorkminster.org/01904 557200 

Saturday and Sunday.

Experience panoramic views of York from the highest point in the city: York Minster’s Central Tower. See medieval stonework and gothic grotesques as you climb 275 steps to the top. You must be aged 8+ to climb the tower.

Trips run every 45 minutes, starting at 10.15am on Saturday, with the last taking place at 3.30pm. On Sunday, the first trip begins at 1.15 pm; the last at 2.45pm. Trips can only be booked in person on the day, are weather dependent and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Health and safety conditions apply; see website for details. 

York Steiner School, 33 Fulford Cross, York, YO10 4PB 

info@yorksteinerschool.org/yorksteinerschool.org/01904 654983 

Sunday. Tours at 9am, 10.30am, 12 noon or 1.30pm. 

A warm welcome awaits all York families at the seasonal craft day and tour. Experience the magic of a Steiner education over a hot drink in the cosy community room and find out why parents rate them so highly! Pre-booking is required via email or telephone. Numbers are limited to four families per session. 

Yorkshire Heart Vineyard & Brewery, The Vineyard, Pool lane, Nun Monkton, York, YO26 8EL 

office@yorkshireheart.com/yorkshireheart.com/01423 330716 

Sunday, 10am to 3.30pm. Free vineyard tour and wine tasting

Yorkshire Heart are offering wine tasting in their Winehouse café and a short vineyard and winery tour on the hour every hour from 11am until 2pm. Pre-booking is not required. 

Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, Museum Street, York, YO1 7FR 

Yorkshiremuseum.org.uk/01904 687687 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

Home to some of the greatest archaeological and geological finds in Britain. Explore York’s Roman, Viking and medieval past through a range of artefacts and meet our prehistoric predecessors in Yorkshire’s Jurassic World! For all the family. Pre-booking is required online. Maximum group size of six. 

York Theatre Royal, St Leonard’s Place, York, YO1 7HD 

boxoffice@yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/01904 623568 

Sunday. Free tour.

Find out more about the fascinating history of the Theatre Royal, discover secrets about the backstage world and learn more about the building. Pre-booking is required via the box office. 


Mountain Goat Tours, Duncombe Place, York 

tours@mountain-goat.com/mountain-goat.com/01539 445161 

Saturday and Sunday.

York residents will receive a 50 per cent discount. Pre-booking is required online using the promo code “YORK50”. 

York’s Hidden History, York city centre 

yorkshh@gmail.com/facebook.com/yorkshiddenhist/07725 040647 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 11am; 2pm to 3pm. 

Join York’s Hidden History and uncover the city’s ancient, natural and scientific secrets on their guided walks. For the Residents’ Festival, they will be offering a York Ice Walk in the morning and a Micklegate Meander in the afternoon. Pre-booking is required via the events section of their Facebook page: facebook.com/yorkshiddenhist 

York Photo Walks

Meet outside York Art Gallery. 

info@yorkphotowalks.uk/yorkphotowalks.uk/07950 882794 

Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Free walk. 

The photo walks involve learning and developing photography knowledge, while exploring York’s rich history, people, nature and architecture. The aim is to inspire you to stretch your creative legs when out and about with your camera. Walks will take two hours. Pre-booking is required via email or phone.  

Wizard Walk of York, Shambles, by the railings of St Crux Church, York. 


Saturday, 4pm. Free tour. 

Join The Wizard of York for family fun with spellbinding magic, comedy and a dash of history. Ideal for ages five to ten and their families. Pre-booking is required via email. Please include details of the total number of adults and children. 


All Saints’ Church, North Street, York, YO1 6JD 

engagement.allsaintsnorth@gmail.com/allsaints-northstreet.org.uk/07709 191400 

Friday and Saturday, 10am to 4pm. 

All Saints’ Church has two days of events, with a coffee morning and church history talk on Friday,  followed by tours of the stained glass and anchorhold, fun family activities, and illuminated evensong and benediction on Saturday. All welcome. Pre-booking is not required. 

Central Methodist Church, St Saviourgate, York, YO1 8NQ 

centralmethodistyork.org.uk/01904 612171 

Saturday, 11am to 4pm. 

This Grade II-listed building, built in 1840, is one of the few chapels of its period still intact. See the horseshoe-shaped interior with gallery and box pews and listen to the organ, one of the finest in York. Pre-booking is not required. 

St Denys Church Welcome Day, Walmgate, York, YO1 9QD 


stdenyschurchyork@gmail.com/07941 246312 

Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

A warm community welcome is extended to allcomers with tea, tours, talks and entertainment under the theme of “Eat-Pray-Love…”, telling the history and ambition of St Denys Church, alongside refreshments both bodily and spiritual, while celebrating the refurbished church fabric and fabulous ‘Henry’ organ installation. 

Trinity Church York, St Anthony’s Hall, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PW  

trinitychurchyork.org.uk/contact@trinitychurchyork.org.uk/01904 651726  

Saturday and Sunday.

Visit the medieval hall to see timber bracing, 15th century carvings and the home of a thriving church. Mini-lectures at 10am, 11am and 1pm on Saturday on Medieval Motherhood, How York Became Christian and The York Conservation Trust. Pre-booking is required via email. 

For Food and Drink and Retail offers, go to: www.visityork.org/resfest.

Later in the year 

Goddards, 27 Tadcaster Road, York, YO24 1GG 

nationaltrust.org.uk/goddards/goddards@nationaltrust.org.uk/01904 472027 

March 4 and 5, 11am to 4pm. 

Explore the garden where the Terry chocolatier family lived on its opening weekend for 2023. Five acres of garden rooms surround their former home. Discover fragrant borders, wildlife areas and glasshouse, alongside a more formal pond and lawn. Pre-booking is not required. 

Treasurer’s House, Minster Yard, York, YO1 7JL 

treasurershouse@nationaltrust.org.uk/nationaltrust.org.uk/treasurershouse/01904 624247 

April 23 and 24, 11 am to 4pm. 

Behind York Minster, discover this intriguing house on a tour. See the collection of fine antiques, art and furniture created by the wealthy, eccentric Industrialist Frank Green, who gave it to the National Trust in 1930. Pre-booking is required online via the website. Select National Trust member option and type RESFEST when asked for a membership number. Bring valid York Card or residency ID on the day.