Newest Review: ... 'Shambles'. ==Unique to York== York has an overwhelming number of bars, restaurants and cafes - many of which are independent and unique... more
Shopping in my adopted city
Shopping in York in general
Member Name: rackerss
Shopping in York in general
Advantages: very scenic, lots of shops, great for gifts
Disadvantages: some shops are quite small, hard to navigate, no primark!
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!