Yorkshire Museum and Gardens

Yorkshire Museum
baby changing facilities icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

The Yorkshire Museum sits in the heart of York Museum Gardens, in the centre of York. The museum was opened in 1830 by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and was one of the first purpose-built museums in the country.

Housing some of the finest collections of archaeological and geological finds in Europe, the Yorkshire Museum is the ideal first port of call for any trip to York. From prehistory to the city's medieval splendour, see the whole story in our fantastic galleries.

Walk on a genuine Roman mosaic floor, kneel at St William's medieval shrine, see the monsters of the deep that swam when Yorkshire was beneath the sea - and all in the heart of the city.

Finally - immerse yourself in the story of England's other capital, all brought to life with the latest digital technology in a spectacular film show in our auditorium.

Venue Type:

Museum, Garden, parklands or rural site

Opening hours

We are open daily from 10am – 5pm, except for 25 and 26 December, and 1 January. We close early on 24 and 31 December.

The gardens are open daily from 7.30am, with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. From late October until late March, they close at 6pm, and during the summer months they open later into the evening.

The observatory is open Thursdays and Saturdays, 11.30am – 2.30pm.

Admission charges

Adult: £7.50
*Access Ticket: £4
**Child (16 and under): FREE with a paying adult

Come Back For Free!
Tickets purchased before 22 May 2015 are valid for 12 months at no extra charge. Tickets are non-transferable so we need to take your name and address, and you will be asked for ID on your return. If you don't want to give your details, day tickets are available at the same price. Please check our website for further information and updates.

Group rates are available for groups of 10+. For further details please contact Group Bookings on 01904 687633.

*Access Tickets: up to 50% discount for visitors aged 17-24 or in receipt of Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance, Pension Credit, or Income Support. Evidence may be required. For further details please visit www.yorkshiremuseum.org.uk
**Maximum 4 children per adult. Additional children will be charged at £4 per child.

The entire collections of Yorkshire Museum & Gardens are Designated Collections of national importance.

The collections cover numismatics, archaeological finds from Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and Medieval times, biology, geology and studio pottery.

Collection details

Religion, Natural Sciences, Coins and Medals, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Viking flat stone object in the shape of a face with three holes in the middle and lines drawn on it

Viking: Rediscover the Legend

  • 19 May — 5 November 2017 *on now

Two of the most significant and internationally recognised collections of Viking Age treasure in Britain will be brought together for the first time in a major new exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum in 2017.
Featuring some of the most exciting Anglo-Saxon and Viking discoveries ever made, the exhibition will explore how the Vikings transformed life in Britain.
Star objects from the British Museum will feature alongside the Yorkshire Museum’s world class collections and will be interpreted in new ways to give a fresh perspective on how Vikings shaped every aspect of life in Britain.
It will also feature ground-breaking research by archaeologists and new discoveries by metal-detectorists which will challenge our perceptions of what it means to be Viking.
The exhibition will open at the Yorkshire Museum and then tour to the University of Nottingham Museum, The Atkinson, Southport, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Norwich Castle Museum, dates to be announced shortly.


Included in the cost of museum admission



Paul Nash Painting

Paul Nash and the Uncanny Landscape:

  • 20 October 2017 — 15 April 2018 *on now

In this unique exhibition, artist John Stezaker explores the watershed moment in British landscape painting which occurred after the First World War. The violent upheaval of the pastoral and romantic landscape caused by the War had a significant effect on Paul Nash.
Including York’s own Winter Sea and other works from our collection, the exhibition features loans from public and private collections of work by Paul Nash, his contemporaries and artists he influenced.
Alongside it is a display of rarely seen drawings, prints, photographs and ephemera from a private collection which give unique insight into the life and art of Paul Nash.
Complementing this is Aftermath – an exhibition of recent work by Stezaker himself.


Included in the cost of gallery admission.



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Two artists in front of a window. Black and white image.

The Annual CoCA Lecture 2017:Why China? By Felicity Aylieff and Takeshi Yasuda

  • 28 October 2017 4-5pm

Takeshi Yasuda has been living and making pottery in Jingdezhen China since 2003. The initial draw was an invitation to set up and run the Pottery Workshop artist’s residency programme. Fourteen years later his curiosity for the culture, the country’s history and politics, and his passion for the porcelain, China’s ‘white gold’ has meant that he continues to spend the majority of his time over there.
In 2006 Felicity Aylieff joined Takeshi in Jingdezhen and discovered the potential the city offered to work with large-scale porcelain vessels and realised new talents for painting and pattern making. She goes back and forth to London on a regular basis, where she teaches at the Royal College of Art.
Working in collaboration with small family workshops and skilled craftsmen they have seen the change in fortune of many of these individuals, witnessed the entrepreneurial spirit of the young and seen a growing optimism within the development of small businesses. Recently they have moved to a brand new studio supported by the local government and set up RedHouse Ceramic design studio with a Chinese partner and assistants. Here they design and produce porcelain tableware, unique thrown work, undertake commissions and make work for exhibition.
In their talk, they look at what took them to Jingdezhen in the first place, the challenges they faced making work in an unfamiliar culture, and how taking on these new experiences opened up opportunities and extended their creativity as artists and makers.
York Museums Trust is able to run this event with the generous support of the Northern Potters Association and the Friends of York Art Gallery. Drinks will be on sale after the lecture.


£5 – £8 (includes a glass of wine)



Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Alien Species in Britain, Friend or Foe?


This learning journey looks at the different plants and animals not native to Britain, and aims to teach children about the habitats that they live in.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Ideas and Evidence in Science: The Kirkdale Cave


How scientists work today and how they worked in the past, including the roles of experimentation, evidence and creative thought in the development of scientific ideas. Includes video of curators talking about Hyena poo!


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Yorkshire Museum and Gardens
York Museum Gardens
North Yorkshire






01904 687687

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.