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 are open 7.30am – 6.00pm, with last entry to the Gardens at 5:50pm.

25th March – 30th April: 7.30am – 7.00pm
1st May – 31st August: 7.30am – 8.00pm
1st September – 30th September: 7.30am – 7.00pm
1st October – 25th March: 7.30am – 6.00pm

The Gardens are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Opening times on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are 7:30am – 4.00pm.

Please note: in certain circumstances it may be necessary to close some gates to the Gardens earlier than advertised.


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.


Excavation Work

From 15 February – 30 May there’ll be some excavation work taking place in the gardens. The gardens will be open as normal. However, areas of the gardens may be inaccessible at certain times.


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