THE York Residents Festival has started - and the people of York have been taking full advantage of the chance to visit scores of attractions and events for free.

Huge queues have been building at major attractions such as The York Dungeon, Clifford’s Tower, the Castle Museum and Jorvik Viking Centre.

The 24th annual festival, organised by the tourism organisation Visit York, runs through today and tomorrow, and offers more than 100 attractions, events and offers for anyone with a valid York Card or Student ID.

One historic attraction, Fishergate Postern Tower, attracted dozens of visitors in its first hour as volunteers from the Friends of York Walls celebrated a 'lightbulb moment' - the building has had an electricity supply installed this week for the first time in its 500 years.

"We've had to use batteries until now," said one of the volunteers, Martin Hetherington.

Residents took the chance to climb several very narrow spiral staircases, find the garderobe, see a Tudor toilet, look for masons' marks, operate a model portcullis, check out maps and inspect the timbers on the inside of the roof.

The tower in Piccadilly, which only opened its doors to the public for the first time a few years ago, is open today until 4pm and again tomorrow from 10am to 4pm, subject to volunteer numbers.

The annual festival is organiser Visit York’s way of saying ‘thank you’ for the warm welcome given by most residents to the city’s visitors.

For a full list of attractions, go to