York Castle Museum

Reopening Visitor Information

We’ve missed you… and look forward to welcoming you back on Saturday 1 August.

The team at York Castle Museum are really looking forward to welcoming you back and prior to your visit, we want to make you aware of a few changes that we have introduced. 

To ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers, a range of measures will be in place. These include hand sanitiser units on arrival throughout the building and on exit and monitoring of capacity.All our Visitor Experience staff have been supplied with protective face visorsand there will be extra cleaning of the toilets and public spaces. 

For everyone’s safety, we ask all visitors over the age of 11 to wear face coverings if they are able to.  

To ensure that we can help maintain social distancing we will be operating on guided tours only basis. We’veintroduced advanced booking which will let you plan your visit and pick a tour of your choice up to week. in advance. All visitors MUST book their tickets, even if you’re a YMT card member, Friend of York Art Gallery or an Art Fund member.


Planning Your Visit 

We hope the below list of questions and answers will help you plan your visit.  


When will the York Castle Museum re-open? 

August 1 2020 


What times will the York Castle Museum be open? 

The museum will be open for timed guided tours taking place from Saturday August 1 and then Thursdays to Sundays. The tours will take place between 11am and 3.30pm.  


Will I need to book a ticket and is there an entry cost? 

To open safely we’re limiting visitor numbers on each tour and asking all visitors to book tickets in advance. 


The Kirkgate Victorian Street Guided Tour and the York Castle Prison Guided Tour cost £12 per adult and £6 per child including booking fee.  

The Fashion and Textile Guided Tour with our curator Dr M Prior costs £18 per adult and £9 per child including booking fee.  

Does everyone need a ticket? 

Everyone, including YMT Card members, need to buy tickets online.  


can’tbook tickets online - what do I do? 

For those who can’t book online for any reason, please come to the museum and speak with a Visitor Experience team member who will be happy to make a booking for you.  

Can I cancel my booking? 

All bookings for the tours are non-refundable and this is highlighted at the time on booking. 


Are there any discounts for YMT Card members? 

As these are specialist events rather than part of our standard opening, YMT Cardholders will need to pay to for these tours.  


What do I do upon arrival? 

To ensure the tours run on time, please arrive promptly at York Castle Museum’s main entrance at the start time stated on your ticket and have your printed ticket or QR Code available to show a member of our Visitor Experience Team.  

If there is a queue, please follow social distancing guidelines.  

Once your ticket has been scanned and processed, a member of our Visitor Experience team will guide you to the tour starting point within the museum. Each household will be allocated a waiting point in line with the social distancing guidelines. The tour will begin within 15 minutes of your arrival. 


What happens if I’m late for my time slot? 

If you’re more than 10 minutes late for your timeslot, unfortunately we won’t be able to guarantee entry. This is to help us keep the tours running on time and to ensure everyone is safe within the museum by keeping visitor numbers at the required levels. 



What can I see when you reopen?

Each of the tours will be guided by one of our experts who will give you a new perspective on some of the museum’s most famous displays and collections.  


The first three tours to run are: 


Kirkgate Victorian StreetTour
£12 per adult, £6 per child (60 minutes)
Visit one of York’s most memorable experiences in this guided tour of our recreated Victorian street. The 60-minute tour will reveal the fascinating history of the street, the stories behind the authentic shops and the real Victorian York businesses which traded everything from chocolate to weird and wonderful medicines to treat every ailment. Your guide will be there to answer any questions and point out the hidden history around every corner. 


York Castle Prison Tour
£12 per adult, £6 per child (60 minutes)
Enter the authentic prison cells of York Castle Prison, where thousands were imprisoned while they awaited release, transportation or execution. Join our expert as they reveal the stories of the infamous, such as highwayman Dick Turpin, and those largely forgotten in this unique insight into prison life.  


Fashion and Textile
£18 per adult, £9 per child(60 minutes)
From caps to corsets, and from gowns to children’s clogs, every object has a story. Explore some of these stories with Dr Faye Prior from York Castle Museum, as she takes you on a journey through 400 years of fashion.   



Will there be refreshment facilities available? 

Unfortunately the café will not be running at the moment 


Will York Castle Museum shop be open? 

Unfortunately our shop will not be open at the moment. 


Will I have to wear a face mask? 

We ask that our visitors, adult and children over the age of 11, to wear a face covering when visiting the museum, whilst acknowledging this is not possible for all. 


Will there be hand sanitiser available on site? 

There will be hand sanitiser units on arrival, exit and throughout the museum 


Are there toilets? 

Yes, toilets will be open for visitors, with regular cleaning in place  


How do you contribute to prevention of the spread of COVID-19? 

The safety of everyone is our key priority and we ask our visitors at all times to respect each other, our staff and volunteers. If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you’ve been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days and have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS Track and Trace service, please do not visit.  


We will ask you to provide your contact details that we will share with the Track and Trace service if needed. Your data will be used for the NHS Track and Trace service purposes only and will only be stored for 21 days. 


What about social distancing? 

We also ask all visitors to adhere to social distancing and the current government guidance. Where we anticipate queues, signage about social distancing will be clearly displayed.  

We will operate a one-way system for visitors to follow at the entry and exit points, with appropriate signage to show the way. While on the tour you will be free to explore the spaces in a socially distanced way.  

Our Visitor Experience team will help to ensure a welcoming visitor experience for everyone. 

Have you competed a Health and Safety risk assessment? 

Prior to re-opening, we have reviewed our operational plans and policies. A comprehensive risk assessment has been produced in line with the COVID-19 secure re-opening guidelines. A full copy is available here.