“ Please include in your review as many details you can remember about the shop you visited. „
I've lived in York for two years and it's safe to say I've done my fair share of shopping there in that time.
Generally you have all your big name shops as well as branches of all the main banks and most well-known restaurant chains. Like many cities, there are always street performers and buskers which make shopping very enjoyable if you catch some of the better ones! Shopping in York always feels like an enjoyable day out regardless of what you buy - it's a different shopping experience to most places which makes it all the more interesting and worth travelling to if you're not from the area.
York train station is connected very well to all surrounding towns and cities and also has great links with London and Edinburgh through the East Coast service. The train station isn't right in the middle of the city, but just outside - maybe a 3 or 4 minute walk to the centre and the walk has some absolutely gorgeous views to welcome you.
York is a small city, but it's all spread out and laid out in a very confusing way. It's not easy to just wonder round and hope to find the shop you're looking for as it is in some other cities. A smartphone with map capability would be very useful in navigating the numerous tiny side roads around the famous 'Shambles'.
==Unique to York==
York has an overwhelming number of bars, restaurants and cafes - many of which are independent and unique to York. There are a lot of great places to get cakes, pastries and ice cream which is great for your sweet-tooth but not so much for your waste-line and wallet! York has the world-famous Betty's tea house which is very very popular with tourists and locals alike. There are also plenty of places to get a beer or glass of wine after a day of shopping - my favourites are Vodka Revolution on a sunny day or evil eye lounge for a cocktail if it's raining!
Speaking of alcohol, York has a few speciality alcohol shops which are great for gifts. On Stonegate there are a number of small shops that sell a huge selection of local and international beers and ciders - notably 'the Bottle'. There are also a couple of liqueur shops that sell the most amazing flavours of homemade gin, whiskey, brandy, vodka and more all in beautiful bottles. They also sell some great flavoured cooking oils and vinegars.
There are hundreds of little unique gift shops - some vintage and some modern. There are shops full of sparkly and fluffy things for girls and shops with homemade jewellery and glassware. Wondering around these can be great - especially around Christmas! There are lots of independent jewellery shops down the small lanes that have a great selection to fit most budgets.
Although not unique, there is a market which sells fantastic meat and fish. There are also lots of jewellery, clothes and general market stools. It's on most days unlike some cities where the market is just on one or two days a week.
York is a really beautiful city and as you shop you see some great architecture like the Minster and views of the Ouse river which looks stunning in the sun. You don't get this in places like Leeds, Birmingham or Manchester.
==Lacking in York==
York city centre doesn't have any indoor shopping areas - there is no mall or shopping arcades. I used to quite like going to the indoor centres on a rainy day back home in London - especially the food courts. I really like malls with cinemas and bowling alleys and little stalls between all the shops, but sadly the city centre doesn't have anything like this.
There are very few newsagents in the city centre. I'm not a smoker, but trying to find somewhere with my friend who does smoke took a surprisingly long time. There are two Tesco Express stores on the outskirts of the city centre which are very useful for grabbing a few items on your way home.
York doesn't have too many independent clothes shops; there are a few like any city, but in the way of clothes it's mostly high-street big names. The independent shops tend to be gifts and jewellery like I have mentioned above.
There is no Primark in York! Tourists that come to the restaurant I work in are always shocked by this and sometimes I wish there was one if I just want a cheap jumper or tights - I have to go to Leeds to get my fill of cheap tat!
There is no John Lewis or House of Fraser, but there is a small Debenhams and York's special Fenwicks and Browns which are department stores.
==Outside of York==
If York city centre doesn't have what you're looking for the shopping village Monk's Cross is a 10 minute drive away. There is also a designer outlet south of the city which is like a mall with lots of discount designer brands. Leeds is a 25 minute train ride away if you want a bigger city for shopping.
Overall York meets all my everyday shopping needs. I rarely have to visit other cities unless I'm in desperate need of a Primark or just a change of scenery. I find that York is the perfect place to buy presents for people that I know they won't have and the selection of interesting alcohol shops are also wonderful for presents. I give it 4/5 because some of the big name shops are fairly small branches and also navigation can be very tricky!
The city of York is, without a doubt, a shopper's paradise. Offering everything from funky souvenir shops to the mainstream High Street giants, you can't fail to find something here to spend your money on. The beauty of York is that the shops are laid out in a rabbit warren style amongst the old city and each turn of a corner offers another undiscovered gem or two.
The first place to head is the area around Daveygate and Parliament Street, which is a massive square lined with the all the main High Street names including the Disney Store, Thorntons, Boots and the main banks. This is a nice place to start as it's centrally located and will help you get your bearings when you are looking for other shops. There are also plenty of cafes around here for a quick stop between shops and there is often a travelling market located along the centre of the square; we've seen German Christmas markets and the local farmers markets in previous trips and they were both excellent, offering choice and quality that you don't often get elsewhere.
Leading off this main square many side roads that spread out around the centre and offer even more of your favourite shops. If you wander down towards the river, you'll find WHSmiths and many clothes shops including Monsoon and Coast. Wandering up towards the impressive Minster will find you in the midst of the souvenir shops, where you kind find many hundreds of things proclaiming that 'I've been to York' in the guise of fridge magnets, keyrings and chocolate bars. Walking out towards the city walls with find you a plethora of cheaper shops, such as Poundland and The Works, as well as specialist shops offering things as varied as fancy dress, fishing tackle and even guns.
If you walk across the River Ouse, you'll find an excellent selection of Chinese restaurants and a very cheap and well stocked Chinese supermarket. This is a good place to find specialist ingredients or even Chinese ready meals at very good prices. The restaurant that is attached to this supermarket in particular is excellent - it offers a tasty food in stylish surroundings and the service is second to none.
One of the most popular places in York and somewhere that shouldn't be missed is Shambles. Shambles is a very narrow, cobbled street that runs parallel to Parliament Street. It is one of the most popular streets in Europe (according to its very own website) and details of it were recorded in the Doomsday Book, which makes it at least 900 years old. Shambles is what I imagine foreign visitors to this country picture when they are thinking about a stereotypical English town. It is a very small and narrow street that is lined with fifteenth century buildings that lean rather alarmingly towards its centre. It is almost always crowded, not only with shoppers but with tourists taking a photograph of the very pretty street. The shops here are mainly small boutiques offering antiques, hand made chocolates and wooden gifts amongst others.
If you prefer the hustle and bustle of a market atmosphere then head to Newgate Market, again just off Parliament Street. With over 120 shops offering fresh flowers, local meat and a glittering array of fruit and vegetables, you are bound to find everything you need. I've always found that the things on sale here are very cheap, even compared to supermarkets, and the quality is exceptional. The market is actually a nice way to walk from the main shops to Shambles. Its open daily and has done since the Middle Ages.
Another thing to enjoy in the centre whilst you are shopping is the outstanding street performances. The performers actually have to do auditions before they are allowed to perform here and this has ensured that some very talented people work here. I have seen musicians, magicians, dancers and comedians all work their thing and have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. Do make sure that you give money at the end of the performances as this is a full time job for these people and they are worth every penny you give them.
Outside of the centre, there are more shopping opportunities including a series of retail parks (Monks Cross and Clifton Moor are the main ones) and these offer larger versions of the High Street shops as well as all of the main supermarkets. For those of you who like designer outlets though, make the trip to the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet, just outside the city centre. A dedicated shuttle bus leaves York Station every ten minutes, so it is very easy to get to.
It's open from 10am until 6pm everyday except Thursday when it opens late until 8pm and there is plenty of free parking if you are arriving by car. The outlet is very well designed over two floors and is easy to walk around without missing anything. On the ground floor is where you'll find all the shops offering up to 60% off regular prices on designer items from Paul Smith, Armani and Ted Baker to name a few. There is also a good smattering of kitchen accessory shops, toy stores and electrical shops all with good discounts. On the second floor is the food hall where you can get burgers, sandwiches, jacket potatoes, pizza and fish and chips from all the major food chains. Even if you don't buy anything, the outlet is worth a trip because its a thoroughly modern place, all indoors, that makes for excellent window shopping.
So, whatever your shopping desires, York has it all. Whether you are a hard core shopper who loves sniffing out a bargain or an occasional shopper who likes to enjoy the atmosphere of an historical city, you can't fail to be impressed with York.
York is my mum's favourite place for shopping, which I always take as a good sign as she's a hard lady to please!! Anyway, York pretty much has everything you could ever want! For high street names, like Boots, H&M and WHSmiths, then Coney Street should be where you're heading. Noticeable by it's absence is Primark. There's often fevered debates about this, but as I find that Primark too often resembles a jumble sale/brawl, I'm happy without it, after all Leeds is just down t'road...
At the centre of York is Parliament street, which is again mostly full of well known names like Marks and Spencers and New Look. However, continue heading towards the tall Minster building and you'll find numerous side streets full of small shops, cafes, and restaurants. One of my favourites for present buying is Porta Dextra, by Bootham Bar (tower), as it's full of small arty items which make great presents. The most popular road for smaller shops is Stonegate, which runs towards the Minster and begins by St Helens Square. It has shops like the Cat Shop and the teddy bear shop. if you're after random beer, or ale you tried on holiday but can't find anywhere, you should go to the Bottle on Stonegate, it has everything!
Also good is Petergate, where there is the Oxfam book shop and the Shared Earth fairtrade shop. This one is great, and full of produce purchase fairly from around the world. Finally, if it's Xmas time, you should go to the Christmas Angels shop, especially if you're with kids, you'll soon see why....
York is a bit of an oddity as far as shopping goes. It's got a weird mixture of big names and shops that you've never heard of, all of which blend together visually to maintain York's olde worlde look.
York is easily accessible by road or rail. If you arrive by train you have just a few minutes walk to either the main high street (passing by the best bacon butty shop ever on the bridge - make sure to stop and try it), or if you turn right heading out the station, Micklegate, a street that amongst students is known as the Micklegate Mile owing probably mostly to the fact it's about a mile long and mostly pubs!
Anyway if you go down Micklegate first as it does have a few boutique type shops you might find that special present for someone, or alternatively might just find a pub you fancy stopping in for a drink, in either case as it's all downhill from this side it's not a long walk. As you cross the bridge at the bottom of Micklegate you hit the town centre which is more or less where you'd have come out if you'd gone the other way anyhow.
On the two main street's in York you'll find a lot of typical high street names, Boots, WH Smiths, HMV, Game, Carphone Warehouse, nothing particularly exciting but kind of essential if you live in the city full time I guess! York's real beauty from a shopping point of view is all the little side streets, presumably the rent on these properties must be considerably lower because this is where you find what you really came for - the shops you don't find elsewhere. There's a wide range to choose from really, clothing shops for the everyday to the eccentric, little food eateries where you can get a quick snack, old fashioned sweet shops and of course plenty of places to get those tacky gifts you've got to take home for friends and family!
Of special mention is Bradley's jewellers on Petergate, as this is where my wife and I bought our wedding rings from, the service there was brilliant, really friendly staff and although I came away spending an arm and a leg, due to the care and interest shown I didn't feel robbed. Heck, they even remembered us by name when we picked the rings up a couple of months later. True service that is.
Anyway, of course if you're going shopping you're going to want somewhere to stop and eat sooner or later and York has more than a couple of places. It currently boasts over 365 pubs in the town (a common statistic used to draw in students is the fact that there are enough pubs to drink in a different one every day of the year) and a good number of these serve food. If you're going in the school holidays I advise you sit down in the first place that has seats and you can afford, if you are going at quieter times have a good wonder around first as there's a huge range of places to eat, of particular note I found a Cantonese buffet above where the main Boots store now resides (that or WH Smiths) which serves brilliant food.
Drinks wise most places are much of a muchness but if you pass Milkshack stop in for a Milkshake, they have an enormous range of flavours and you can pick any combination you like to be put together, for a price, watch the kids and the enumbers though - a Jelly baby and jaffa cake milkshakes might sound good on paper but wait for the sugar to kick in...
York also has a rather well sized outdoor market that's open all year around closing Christmas day and possibly Easter Sunday, from fresh fruit to phone chargers it's worth a look. It's also intermittently joined by farmer's and international markets the dates for which I'm sure can be found on York's tourist information site. These offer a great range of meats and cheeses amongst other things and can add that little something to your visit.
Overall York's a great place to go shopping, but you need to make sure you have time to go. Asides from the highlights in town it's worth remembering that you have two out of town complexes to visit. The first, Monks Cross, being your typical out of town retail park with the likes of PC World, ASDA, Boots, Smiths and many more being situated there. The second is a designer outlet, the name of which evades me at the minute but used to be known as McArthur Glenn (it's changed names a few times over the years) This one contains a lot of designer names at factory places but is mostly clothes orientated, still worth a look if you've come clothes hunting I suppose, but it never caught my fancy much.
York is brilliant for shopping if like me you like lots of individual shops. There is no shortage of shops in york.
A good advantage for york is that it is quite easily accessible by train. If arriving by train you need to walk over the bridge and it is from here that the shopping area begins.
There are plenty of twisty streets in york and on each one is a row of shops.
If you want a bargain there is an all year round market that has a variety of stall from cards to clothes.
Just behind the market is the famous shambles. Here you will find plenty of little shops that all have tempting displays especially the chocolate one.
A good area for shopping is around the minster. There is a shop here we always go into to buy our favourite lyme bay wine. Another favourite shop of mine is somewhere in the middle of the shopping area. It is a beer/liquer shop and stocks ever beer you could imagine british and european.
So if you want plenty of diffrent shops york is an ideal shopping day out.
Artfulness is a small art gallery tucked away in Goodramgate in York, a street perhaps more renowned for its selection of charity shops rather than an exclusive art shop. I came upon it quite by chance and looking at the window displays I had to go inside for a closer look at what was on offer.
Once inside you can browse to your heart's content, the owner was very friendly but not at all pushy, but she was very helpful and happy to discuss the artwork displayed. She promotes up and coming artists as well as more established ones and has a wide selection of artwork produced by local people. I thought this was very commendable as I feel anything to encourage the work of new artists is a good thing, so I was happy to part with my money (for an unusual shot of York Minster).
I would strongly recommend if you visit the historic city of York, explore the main tourist attractions by all means, but do take time to take a peek in this gallery. Unwind in the peace and tranquillity of the tiny cafe at the rear of the shop, taking your time over a cup of tea or whatever, while making up your mind what to buy, or watch the owner working on one of her own creations. I could have sat there all afternoon just gazing around, such is the feel of the place, but sadly the park and ride bus beckoned!
Artfulness is definitely the place to visit when you need a new picture for the home, or as a present for someone. Some superb artwork at very competitive prices to suit everyone's taste,from modern and traditional paintings to black and white photographic prints.
The City of York is not only a great place for history, tradition and sightseeing, it is also a shopper’s dream! I am writing this opinion from the point of view of someone who is not particularly interested in shopping – I never have been the sort to wander round shops for the sake of it. So, for me to consider York a great place to shop, it must be good. The main part of the city has all the big chain stores including Marks and Spencers, Boots, Virgin, Woolworth’s, WH Smiths, Debenhams, etc., and is well laid out and mainly pedestrianised. All the major banks and building societies are also represented so there’s no problem getting cash. The area between the main part of the city and the Minster is a warren of narrow streets, the most famous of which is The Shambles. These streets contain a wealth of unusual shops selling gifts, clothes, jewellery, collectibles, toiletries and much more. There is a Christmas shop, which is open all the year round, selling decorations, lights and small gifts downstairs. Upstairs is a wonderland for the doll and teddy bear collector with everything from the exclusive Steiff bears to more reasonably priced gifts. On the subject of teddy bears there is also The Teddy Bear Shop selling the bears themselves together with a range of adult and children’s clothes with a teddy theme. Another of my favourite shops is Cullpepper’s the Herbalists. They stock a wide range of essential oils, creams, organic food and drink and gift sets The smell in this shop is wonderful. Specialist shops such as Wax Lyrical, The Sweater Shop, Crabtree and Evelyn, Yves Rocher and Past Times all have branches in York. There is a street market between the main square and the start of the area of narrow streets, which sells fruit, vegetables, flowers and gifts. In November each year there is a Victorian street market together with entertainment in t
he main square. This market sells specialist food and drink, as well as Christmas gifts and of course there’s always the roast chestnut seller too! There are plenty of places to eat in York from the well know such as Mc Donald’s and Pizza Hut through cafes and teashops to the more exclusive restaurants. There are reputedly 365 pubs within the city walls, most of which sell snacks and/or meals so you won’t need to look far for some refreshment and a welcome sit down during your shopping excursion.
I visited York last saturday, Just to get a bit of Christmas shopping. I had never been there before so decided to get the train from Stevenage. (four hours !!) Once there it was a short walk to the town centre, We stopped at York Minster first of all (not being at all religious, I can still appreciate this fantastic building) A piece of advise: Wearing all black while walking around the Minster is not a good idea !! 14 people said "good morning father" and 3 people asked me what year the Minster was built !! After leaving there we headed for the main shopping area. All the normal high street shops (or smaller versions) were there plus many Galleries and unusual shops, also a market. PLENTY of places to eat and stop for a drink. It was packed the whole day !! but the buzz just made it more enjoyable. The Dungeons and the Viking centre were both shut, which was a bit of a shame. All the old folks have a bit of an Eastern European dress style going on ?!?!?! Also what was a bit puzzling was the amount of JJB sport shops and mobile phone shops all condensed into one small area ?!?!?!?!?!?! Worth visiting: The Shambles. cobbled streets,small unusal shops, busy ! Betty's Tea Room. mmm nice food, excellent service, Bit quaint but still nice (have the Mulled Wine) York Minster. Big impressive religious building