Clifford’s Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in York, but what is it actually like inside? With our English Heritage membership, we have been a couple of times and it only felt right to write about it!!

What is at Clifford’s Tower?

The facilities are quite sparse at Clifford’s Tower. After all, it is a about a thousand years old and they didn’t really think about baby changing facilities in those days!!

Family day out at Clifford's Tower
Family day out at Clifford’s Tower

In the basic form, Clifford’s Tower involves climbing up 2 or 3 stories of stairs to see the view of the city of York. It is true that there isn’t much else “to do” and it will probably take 30 minutes or so to look round, so what is the appeal….??

The views

The main reason to go to Clifford’s Tower is to see across the city of York and beyond. On a good day, the views are amazing and the maps handily indicate what you are looking at!!

You are quite high up, so whilst the views are impressive, they are not for those scared of heights!! Rather than me describe the scenes, here are a few pictures which will hopefully do it justice.

What is there for children?

Hopefully the views will take their breath away, but failing that, on the ground floor, there are a few bits and pieces for them.

The best for us was the dress up box with wooden swords and Knights dress-up. As you can see we had good fun “pretend” fighting (There were a few real hits, particularly on my hands!!)


There are a few information boards to help educate both young and old.  However, if you have a choice of reading about the history of York, and play fighting, what would you do?! Perhaps the education would be best left for the adults!!

Play fighting


As mentioned previously, Clifford’s Tower isn’t particularly accessible.  You have to be good with heights and climbing tight, winding stairs. There aren’t any toilets and whilst pushchairs are allowed, I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you have a baby carrier/sling.

Clifford's Tower from above

Younger children will struggle with Clifford’s Tower, so it might be something to do when they are school aged.

Whilst in York…

Around 200 yards away from Clifford’s Tower is Fairfax House – a Victorian House mock-up, which is brilliant for inquisitive youngsters. You can read about our previous visit here, in this blog post

Clifford's Tower shield

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