Best Places To Park in York

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Are you looking for the best places to park in York without paying a fortune or queueing for years to circle a car park with no spaces? This article is going to cover the best places to park and save money on parking in York.

I’ve written this article for all the men (and women) out there who are like my husband’s dad. Whenever my father-in-law (let’s call him Geoff) goes anywhere, he comes back from a trip and tells us (for hours) about exactly where he parked and how much it was for the time he parked, and how much he’d saved by paying for that parking ticket in that car park because another ticket or a different car park would have cost 10p more. I think it’s a real worry to him to be able to park somewhere that fits his exact requirements.

Maybe he’s completely unique. But in case he isn’t, I want to do all the people like him a favour and help you find some top parking in York.

Council-Owned Car Parks

First you need to know that York council has a great page with up-to-date info about all their car parking charges and a map of council-owned car parks. These are good to park in sometimes.

However, there are also places you can park for free if you don’t mind walking a bit further…

Foss Islands Retail Park

The parking here is free, I believe there’s a 2-3 hour limit with an ANPR system but that may only apply to the middle car park. There are actually three main car parks (and a bunch of little ones not worth bothering with) in the Foss Islands Retail Park area; the Morrison’s car park, which is free and plentiful, the Waitrose car park, which is free but with fewer spaces, and the middle car park (for Home Bargains, Pets at Home etc) which is free and usually quite busy.

None of these have a height restriction at time of writing, so you can take a taller vehicle such as a campervan and park here. There’s a bit of a walk to the town centre up either Walmgate or Stonebow, or you can follow the walls around past the Sainsbury’s car park (which is a paid car park with a height restriction) and turn left to reach Goodramgate.

It all depends on where in the town centre you’re trying to get to but this is a great option if you’ve travelled a long way and don’t mind stretching your legs to get some free parking (and you can get lunch at Foss Islands Starbucks or Morrisons without having to queue or pay city centre prices)

Iceland/Aldi car park

This one is further out, opposite York Barracks, but if you park here, you can enjoy one of the most nature-filled parts of York on your way into the city centre because this is right next to the river with its public footpaths on both sides. To get to the river from the car park, leave via the main road, then turn left onto Maple Grove. Follow it right to the end, then turn right to take a leisurely walk along the river (this will take 20-40 mins depending on walking speed and fitness level but it’s mostly flat). To get to Rowntree Park, cross the Millennium Bridge over the river, then turn right and keep walking until you reach the park.

Alternatively, you can speed this route up by taking a folding bike with you, or you can get a bus into the city centre from outside this supermarket.

Park and Ride Locations

The council also operates some park and ride locations around the city which you can find out about here. These are also signposted as you approach the city.


If you’re really stuck for somewhere to leave your vehicle, there are also NCP car parks which, predictably, cost a bomb. I’ve never had cause to use any of these though so cannot recommend them.

So there you have it, the best places to park in York. I’d avoid parking on side streets in residential areas because some of them are permit only and while the traffic wardens don’t patrol as frequently as in other towns and cities, they are unpredictable, and you will likely get a ticket.

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