York Animal Trail (Medium version)

This is a fun family cycle trail, devised for York Cycle Campaign in May 2020.

It is 6 miles long and takes you round ten animal statues in the city centre and outskirts, including a bear, owl, sheep and squirrel. You can see a map with the position of the animals (and a few bonus ones not on this trail) all marked on our special Google map.

This is the medium version of the route. It includes some cycling on roads, and isn't suitable for younger children. There is an alternative shorter route of 2 miles covering seven animals in the centre, which can be easily ridden or walked. There is also an alternative longer route of 15 miles which includes 13 animals.

All routes start and finish at the Minster.

Remember that you're only allowed to cycle in the 'footstreets' – the city centre, in other words – before 10.30am or after 5pm. Inside that period you're better off walking the trail rather than pushing your bike.


Length 9.5km / 6 miles
Time required 60–90 mins

From the Minster, head past the Dean Court Hotel and straight across at the lights to cross Lendal Bridge. At the end of the bridge turn sharp left back on yourself and then right along North St. Continue to the end of the road and turn right onto Bishopthorpe 'Bishy' Rd.


A short way up on your right, on the roof of the Pig & Pastry cafe, is a pig-shaped weathervane (pic).

At the lights, turn right, and then branch right on to Nunthorpe Rd. Just after the give way lines, turn left down the cycle path opposite Scarcroft Lane. Cross the road and continue straight on up Scarcroft Hill. At the end, turn left on to Albemarle Road and then immediately right, following the blue cycle route sign down on to the playing field. Keep following the 'Orbital' route signs for about five minutes until you get on to Hob Moor. When you see the small stone monument on your right, branch left, then bear left into Hob Moor Terrace. Carry on until you see a little path on your left and a sign saying '10-21 Chalfonts'. Go up this path, following the left and right turn. You are now in the square of Chalfonts.


In the middle of the square is a large bear statue (pic).

Carry on past the bear, jinking left then right, and continue down Chalfonts to the main road. Turn left and soon retrace your steps along the Orbital back across the playing field to Albemarle Road. Turn right and follow the blue cycle route signs for York Orbital all the way to the Millennium Bridge. Cross the river and turn left up the riverside path still following the Orbital signs. Keep left over the Blue Bridge and continue until you go under the road bridge. Cross the park and turn right. You see Clifford's Tower in front of you. Cross the road to get there.


A large carved statue of a unicorn decorates the roof of the County Court building to your right. The best view is from up the steps to the top of Clifford's Tower.

Make your way across the car park on the right of Clifford's Tower and go up Castlegate. At the end turn right on to Coppergate, and at the lights go straight across as far as Marks & Spencer.


A large golden sheep statue hangs off the sign for the Golden Fleece pub (pic) on your right.

Slightly above it is a cat. Or rather, half of one. It's white, and is a ghost cat, because the pub is haunted. It's one of two dozen cat figures adorning buildings round the city centre. They are described separately elsewhere on the internet, for example at York Cat Trail.

Turn back on yourself, going through the lights but bearing right up Ousegate, on the right hand side of the church. Turn right up Spurriergate – don't carry on to join the road at the complicated pedestrian crossing and lights in front of you. Carry on to the corner with Market St on your right.


The coat of arms above the entrance to Nat West Bank on your right, at the corner with Market St, has two squirrels. We think they're probably red squirrels. The roses are white, though.

Carry on up Spurriergate, which becomes Coney St, until the corner with New St on your right.


The coat of arms above the Starbucks on the corner of New St has two boars, and the head of another one (pic).

Carry on down Coney St to the corner of St Helen's Square to you right. On your left is Mansion House.


The decoration of the splendid facade at first-floor level has two small lion figures (pic).

Turn right across St Helen's Square, and continue down Stonegate to the junction with Petergate. Just to your right is a blue door, belonging to No 40.


The knocker is in the shape of an elephant's head, complete with mahout riding it.


To your left, on the corner of Minster Gates and Petergate, is the owl (pic). It's sitting behind Minerva, which seems very wise.

Carry on up Minster Gates and turn left in front of the Minster to get back to where you started.

Congratulations! You have collected all 10 animals.

No comments:

Post a Comment