GUIDES who took 16,000 people around York last year are taking to the streets again.

York’s oldest guided tour organisation has announced that it is re-starting its free tours from September 1, having closed on March 11 for the first time in its 70-year history.

The Association of Voluntary Guides to the City of York (AVG) runs daily walks, led by local experts, taking in most of the city’s history, setting off at 10.15am and 1.15pm from Exhibition Square.

Group sizes will be limited to eight. Bookings can be made on the AVG website. Names and contact details will be retained for 21 days.

Barrie Ferguson, AVG chair, said: “It has been grim not being able to do tours, and it has taken us a while to think about how we can start to open safely. We have now got every tour covered in September with 34 of our 80 guides.

“Our mission is to show the city off to visitors. I suspect we will be showing UK people around at the moment.”

He added: “We have done it every day since 1951 except since March 11. I had just become the chairman the week before and had to summon a quick committee meeting and shut it down. This will go down in the association’s history.

“We are well known among the tourism sector. Three of our members have become tourism ambassadors. B&B owners send their guests to us. Last year we took 16,000 people around. It is free - Yorkshire’s best price! We do hope the people of York take advantage of this. Maybe, during lockdown, they might have become more interested in their city - now’s the chance to come around with a trained guide; some have written books about York’s history.”

The tour has been altered to avoid pinch points in areas where there might be overcrowding. Book a tour place at