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Promotional blog provided by York Minster

Elevate your visit to York Minster by climbing the 275 steps to the top of the Central Tower. Step back in time, rise above the city, and immerse yourself in a breath-taking spectacle that reveals the beauty of York from a heavenly perspective.

Rising above the York skyline, York Minster's Central Tower soars over the gothic cathedral standing at an astounding 60 metres. As you approach the Minster your eyes will be drawn to the intricately designed façade, adorned with ancient sculptures and delicate tracery.

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Once inside the Minster, stand in front of the magnificent Grand Organ and gaze up into the Tower’s interior, admiring the 15th century Perpendicular style architecture, unique to the United Kingdom. Venture into our Undercroft Museum to discover more about the emergency engineering works that took place during the 1960s and 1970s to stop the 16,000 tonne structure crashing to the ground.

As you begin your climb through history and ascend the narrow spiral staircase you’ll be within touching distance of historic stonework. Each step reveals a fragment of history etched into the stone walls, forever preserved in the winding medieval staircase. With each turn, you'll be transported back in time, guided by the echoes of the past. It’s not hard to picture yourself following in the footsteps of a 15th century stonemason admiring their work as they climb, chisel in hand, to reach that day’s project.


After conquering the first 100 steps, take a break at the crosswalk and admire the views, just a glimpse of what’s still to come! See medieval stonework and gothic grotesques up close as your eyes are drawn towards the top of the Central Tower. To your left, admire the impressive buttresses that support the cathedral’s walls and discover a different perspective of the beautiful stained glass windows adorning the Nave which seemed larger-than-life from the ground. To your right, study the roof of the South Transept which took two and a half years to rebuild after the 18th century roof and 15th century vault were destroyed by a devastating fire in 1984. This climb is the perfect way to experience first-hand the delicate harmony between ancient craftsmanship and modern stonemasonry that underpin York Minster’s architectural brilliance.

As you emerge onto the top of the highest point in York, you'll be greeted by breath-taking vistas of the historic city and the surrounding countryside. Take your time admiring the 360° views from the highest point in York stretching out in front of you. The Rivers Ouse and Foss meander gracefully through the landscape, while York’s landmarks and historic buildings stand tall encircled by the iconic city walls. On a clear day, look out for the Kilburn White Horse cut into the hillside in the North York Moors National Park.


As the seasons change, so too does the view, giving each visitor a unique experience. See the first signs of spring blossom as the winter chill retreats, before the city is bathed in glorious summer sunshine. The historic streets are transformed into a tapestry of rich colours as autumn arrives and are then cloaked in lights and festivities for the winter months. Throughout the year, some lucky visitors may even spot our resident peregrine falcons, listen out for their distinctive cries as they race through the sky.

After soaking in the panoramic views, begin your descent with an unrivalled sense of achievement that you successfully completed York Minster’s Tower Challenge!

Head to the York Minster website to plan your next visit and book your Tower Trip:

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