Secret Walled Gardens
As I have said, one of the most pleasant ways see York is by taking a walk along it ancient defensive walls. The wall offer some terrific views of the York Minster and the surrounding parks but also of some more obscure areas.
I have to admit to being something of a voyeur when it come to observing the "backyard" lives of the people in the places I visit and nothing is better than their secret gardens. In York as you wall along, several homes back up directly to the walls and you are allowed a wonderful arial view of many classic English gardens. Of course, they're not not really secret and surely they know they are on display...still it seems like a private showing.