THE first festival to celebrate York Walls has been launched.

The event will see community groups work together to celebrate and promote the three-mile circuit around the city centre.

A host of guided walks will take place on Saturday, giving residents and visitors an opportunity to find out more about parts of the walls they might no often visit.

A York Walls Explorers Trail will be launched for children, who can collect stamps as they make their way around the city. And youngsters will also have the opportunity to build the walls and other landmarks from Lego.

Martin Hetherington from Friends of York Walls said: “It’s great to be working with other local groups who are passionate about sharing the city’s heritage with the public. Plans are advancing for a York Walls Visitor Centre at Fishergate Postern Tower, and a display there will show progress to date. Our volunteers will be showing off highlights from the city’s archive photo collection too.”

Cllr Keith Aspden, executive member for Economic development and community engagement at City of York Council, said: “Over a million people take a walk through 1,900 years of history on York’s city walls every year. They are a key symbol of the city and are valued by residents and visitors alike.

“Last year, the council announced an exciting five-year programme of investment to preserve and protect the medieval walls, which are renowned as being the finest and most complete walls in England. Some of this work is already complete, for example at Micklegate Bar, and what better way to celebrate this than opening the walls up to a new festival.”

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