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 1830’s 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

York Museums Gardens are open every day apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Opening Times

26th March – 30th April: 7:30am – 7pm.

1st May – 31st August: 7:30am – 8pm.

1st September – 30th September: 7:30am – 7pm.

1st October – 24th March 2018, 7:30am – 6pm.


Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

7:30am – 4pm

Please note that the gardens will close at 4pm on 9 July 2017 for the York Proms.



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.



There are no toilets in the Museum Gardens. The nearest public toilets are on Bootham Bar.


Garden Tours – Every Sunday 1-2pm

Meet inside the Museum Street gates and gain an insight into one of the most popular gardens in York. The gardens contain a wealth of plant life, botanical specimens and wildlife, as well as the spectacular ruins of St Mary’s Abbey and the Roman Multangular Tower.

The tours are free and there is no need to book.


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 ball games please
  • Do not climb on the ruins
  • Drones are not permitted

The Pavilion Café & Horse Box

Enjoy a range of snacks and drinks in the beautiful surrounds of the York Museum Gardens with Asparagus Green’s Pavilion Café and Horse Box.

The Pavillion Café is located to the left-hand side of the Yorkshire Museum, past the abbey ruins and before the Edible Garden. Open on weekends, bank holidays and during the school holidays from 10am to 4pm, the café offers a range of hot and cold drinks along with light lunches, snacks and cakes.

The Horse Box is located directly to the right-hand side of the Yorkshire Museum entrance and is the ideal stop for a range of drinks and snacks, open ‘early til late’ every day.

Both take card payments with a 10% discount available for YMT Cardholders with a valid membership card.

You can also enjoy delicious gelato and dairy-free sorbet from Ice Cream Rescue, who have a van located by the Museum Street entrance to the gardens. They are open daily during the high season and a 10% discount is available for YMT Cardholders with a valid membership card.