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Clifford’s Tower

See the pretty city of York from above and discover dark secrets at this 13th-century tower on a scenic hilltop.

Clifford’s Tower is a historic landmark that stands on top of a grassy  hill. Its elevated position provides stunning views of the charming city of York for miles in every direction. The tower is a remnant of the castle built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century and earned a reputation for a dark history after 150 Jews died here.

Capture photos of the imposing tower from the base of the grassy knoll and climb the steep steps to reach the castle. The current tower was built in the 13th century after two earlier versions burned down. The tower takes its name from Roger de Clifford, who was hanged from its walls after committing treachery against King Edward II.  

Read the plaques on display to learn about its intriguing past. Henry VIII displayed the bodies of his slain enemies on the castle walls and a bloody anti-Semitic riot occurred here in the 12th century.

Inside the tower, there is a spacious courtyard with arched doors carved into the surrounding walls. See a tactile model, which shows how the tower would have appeared many centuries ago. Occasionally, the tower hosts educational performances that explore York’s history through re-enacted events and storytelling. Check the Clifford’s Tower website for more details. 

See the castle in spring, when daffodils are in bloom on the hillside, or in winter to see locals sledding down the slope. 

The site is open to visitors daily, apart from a few days over the Christmas season. The small admission price is discounted for kids and families. Visit the gift shop for souvenirs and memorabilia.

Clifford’s Tower is located to the east of the River Ouse in the center of York. It is near to the Viking Centre, York Castle Museum and a downtown area full of boutique stores. A parking lot is located at the bottom of the hill.

Popular Activities at Clifford's Tower

Make the most of your time spent at Clifford's Tower. Below is a list of some of the top activities:

Trying out a York Ghost Bus Tour: A Comedy Horror Show will help make visiting this celebrated attraction all the more special!

If you're chasing even more activities, take a look at our York things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Clifford's Tower


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Lodging Near Clifford's Tower

See all 553 Properties near Clifford's Tower
The Grand Hotel & Spa $132
Reviewed on May 22, 2019
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The Grand Hotel & Spa

The Grand Hotel & Spa

Station Rise, York, England
     
    4.7 of 5
    5.0 out of 5.0

    Parking at the hotel is not FREE. 30 pound for a night is expensive. Hotel location is near to the all the key tourist attraction and is also next to various food location.

    Park Inn by Radisson York City Center $64
    Reviewed on May 22, 2019
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    Park Inn by Radisson York City Center

    Park Inn by Radisson York City Center

    North Street, York, England
       
      4.1 of 5
      3.5 out of 5.0

      Wifi not great all else was fine location was excellent

      Staycity Aparthotels Paragon Street $56
      Reviewed on May 23, 2019
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      Staycity Aparthotels Paragon Street

      Staycity Aparthotels Paragon Street

      Paragon Street, York, England
         
        4.5 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Great facilities. Large apartment. Walking distance to everything. Washer dryer in apartment was brilliant.

        Hampton by Hilton York $98
        Reviewed on May 23, 2019
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        Hampton by Hilton York

        Hampton by Hilton York

        Toft Green, Yorkshire, York, England
           
          4.5 of 5
          3.0 out of 5.0

          The hotel was in a very good, central location. Everything in the room worked as it should and there was a good shower. The beds were large and comfortable. There was a wide range of choice at the buffet breakfast. Check in was efficient and we were given a helpful map and some useful information. ...

          Holiday Inn York City Centre $65
          Reviewed on May 10, 2019
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          Holiday Inn York City Centre

          Holiday Inn York City Centre

          53 Piccadilly, York, England
             
            4.0 of 5
            3.5 out of 5.0

            Lovely staff. Cleanliness of rooms was very good. Great amenities and excellent location for the Barbican. Nice breakfast. Would recommend.

            Hilton York $107
            Reviewed on May 22, 2019
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            Hilton York

            Hilton York

            1 Tower Street, York, England
               
              4.0 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Staff here are polite and helpful. They guide you to ensure your stay is enjoyable. The rooms are bright, with good facilities. I personally did not like that the standard WiFi was chargeable. This is something that others do not. I understand that this is accessible via their app, but due to the ...

              Novotel York Centre $70
              Reviewed on May 18, 2019
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              Novotel York Centre

              Novotel York Centre

              Fishergate, York, England
                 
                4.1 of 5
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Nice. Good location. Has workmen so a bit hard to get around

                York Marriott Hotel $75
                Reviewed on May 15, 2019
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                York Marriott Hotel

                York Marriott Hotel

                Tadcaster Road, York, England
                   
                  4.0 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Lovely neighborhood. Quiet and relaxing. The staff were very warm and helpful.