Visitor Information

Over ten acres of stunning botanical gardens in the heart of York.

Located within the city centre and close to the Railway Station and other key attractions, the York Museum Gardens are an idyllic haven with an array of plant species, wildlife, and historical features to explore.

Established in the 1830s by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, the gardens are famed for their fantastic collection of trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs set against the stunning backdrop of the medieval ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey.

Following recent redevelopment work, the gardens now extend to the back of York Art Gallery and include an Edible Wood and an Artists Garden with outdoor changing exhibitions.

The gardens are free to visit and we welcome all visitors to enjoy our beautiful space.


Opening Times

The Gardens will be open 7 days a week – 9am to 6pm.


Christmas Opening Times

Christmas Eve and New Years Eve we will close the gardens at 4pm.
We will be closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day


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

No, the gardens will be open for everyone to enjoy. As a charity, York Museums Trust opens the gardens free of chargeAs we open York Museum Gardens we ask anyone who enjoys the gardens to consider donating to the charity, to help York Museums Trust continue to maintain such a fantastic space for generations to come. Please donate here.


Will there be refreshment facilities available? 

Sketch by Origin is nearby at York Art Gallery


Can visitors bring picnics? 

Yes, but we ask all visitors to take their litter away with them. It is also important to highlight that no alcohol is permitted in the gardens. 


Are there toilets? 

Unfortunately there are no toilets in York Museum Gardens, the nearest toilets are available at Bootham Bar or within the city centre at Silver Street.  


The team at York Museums Trust will be working closely with the Street Rangers and Police to prevent anti-social behaviour and maintain safety for all. 



The York Museum Gardens are wheelchair accessible with a series of wheelchair-friendly pathways around the space. This includes the new Edible Wood and Artists Gardens spaces behind York Art Gallery.

The Yorkshire Museum is wheelchair accessible. There is a ramp at the front of the building and the main entrance area is fully accessible. Please click here for further access information.

The York Observatory is wheelchair accessible with the exception of the telescope viewing platform.

Using Drones

Due to security and public safety issues, drones may not be flown in Museum Gardens. Permission to fly may be granted for specific projects – please contact York Museums Trust directly to arrange this beforehand on 01904 687687 or by email to

Dos and Don’ts

When visiting the Gardens, please be respectful of other visitors and the space by following these requests.


  • Please dismount from your bike
  • Dogs should be kept on a lead
  • Picnics are welcome
  • You can walk on the grass


  • Alcohol is not permitted
  • No barbecues
  • No ball games
  • Do not climb on the ruins
  • Drones are not permitted