Throughout the Festival, 9am to 5pm

Free admission

No booking required

King’s Manor, Exhibition Square (map

Enhance your wellbeing with this hands-on (and feet-on!) activity outside the historic King’s Manor. Explore your own infinite horizons with a laid labyrinth, gain a sense of calm and reduce stress and anxiety.

In the last 4,000 years, people across the world have produced labyrinths and mazes, and today they can be found in historic sites on several continents and in hundreds of different countries.

Here in Yorkshire, several locations close to York have examples of historic turf mazes as well as more recent installations of tile labyrinths both within a cathedral and outside in public parks, abbeys and churches. In these locations, labyrinths serve to enrich the natural habitat with a diversity of herbs and flowering plants and invite people to explore them in a meditative walk.

The use of the turf labyrinth in villages across medieval Britain often shaped mid-summer festivities associated with the summer solstice and the Feast of St John the Baptist. The King's Manor temporary labyrinth is based upon the Shepherds Ring, a medieval labyrinth that occupied the village green of Broughton, near Northampton. It was established in response to the three-day Midsummer Fair granted by Edward III in 1353 and was enjoyed by children and adult revellers at the festival.

You will find Labyrinths for Wellbeing on Facebook.

Download additional information along with a finger labyrinth Labyrinths for Wellbeing (PDF , 1,330kb)

Find out how to walk a labyrinthHow to walk a labyrinth (PDF , 93kb)

Important information to note:

  • Please be aware that the drive around the lawn is in regular use throughout the day and evening, and therefore do not step into the drive.
  • Please take care on wet grass as it may be slippery. 
  • Please be aware that people are working in nearby offices. We appreciate you keeping noise to a minimum.
  • Please note there is no public access to King's Manor or the toilets. 

Unfortunately, the lawn is not wheelchair accessible. However, both wheelchairs and pedestrians can use the surrounding drive to circumnavigate the labyrinth, as long as extra care is taken to be aware of vehicle traffic on that drive.

Image credit: Peter Clark

About the creators

The labyrinth was created by Revd. Peter Clark, Janet Eldred, and Revd. Catherine Reid. Peter has been laying labyrinths in various mediums for several years in numerous locations, including a prison, a hospital, churches, a conference centre and public parks. Janet, a University of York alumna and staff member, walks labyrinths wherever she finds them and shares her enthusiasm with willing listeners. Catherine, an Anglican Priest and University of York Chaplain, thinks labyrinths are a brilliant prayer and reflection tool. Labyrinths offer a great way to slow down and ponder a question with God, and Catherine has used them in a variety of settings with groups and individuals.