York is blessed with a compact city centre allowing you to dip between designer stores, unique boutiques, big high street names and friendly market stalls. With a backdrop that includes medieval lanes, snickelways, and even a shopping street that dates back to the Domesday book, this is not your average retail destination. Despite its smaller size, York is home to an unrivalled selection of indie shops selling everything from ghosts to gorgonzola.
Fossgate was once home to York’s Merchant Quarter, and it’s always retained that independent spirit. Here you’ll find give the dog a bone, two floors full of things you’ll instantly want as soon as you set eyes on them. It’s a treasure trove for unique gifts and unusual greetings cards. Fossgate is also home to many independent coffee shops and pubs, a great spot to stop for your beverage of choice to break up the retail therapy.
Goodramgate is up near York Minster, and is home to one of York’s oldest rows of houses. Here you’ll find The Little Yorkshire Candle Company, York’s only all-natural candle shop. It’s an emporium for feel-good scents to help with your wellbeing and scent your home. For first rate produce, Goodramgate is home to Little Arras bakery, offering slow-fermented breads, pastries, cool cakes and nice slices, as well as Rafi’s Spice Box, where you can get all the secret ingredients required for tasty homemade curries.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the very centre of York, Gillygate is home to a number of hidden retail gems, quite literally in the case of The Zentist, which stocks over 350 healing crystals, stones and minerals, as well as 30 Tarot Cards and 50 Oracle Cards. It’s also home to Love Cheese, as the name suggests, the best shop in York for all things fromage.
High Petergate and Low Petergate
In the Minster Quarter you’ll find High and Low Petergate, and some of the best shopping in the city. On High Petergate is Clarkson’s, offering a fine selection of menswear. Between the two at Minster Gates you’ll discover Hebden Tea, who stock an astonishing range of quality loose leaf teas. And Low Petergate is home to Azendi, an award-winning jewellery shop where you’re sure to find something with which to treat yourself, or someone you love.
The iconic Shambles is believed to be the oldest shopping street in Europe. Once home to York’s butchers, you can still see the hooks and shelves where they would have displayed their meat. With all this history, it’s no surprise that York is Europe’s most haunted city, and on the Shambles you’ll find The York Ghost Merchants, a shopping experience which will leave you in no doubt that ghosts really do exist. Just off the Shambles you’ll find the Shambles Market, home to York’s largest selection of independent traders.
Just across the Ouse from the rest of the city centre is Micklegate, where you’ll find Chris Ceasar Photography. Chris’ work focuses on capturing the beauty of the North of England, and in his gallery, his stunning work is for sale in a variety of formats, from greetings cards to premium, high-grade, prints. Micklegate is another great spot for a quick coffee or tipple in one of York’s indie food and drink establishments.
A short stroll from Micklegate is Bishopthorpe Road, the winner of the Great British High Street of the Year 2015, where a cosy parade of independent shops and eateries are waiting to give you a warm Yorkshire welcome. Keen cyclists can stop by at Cycle Heaven, with a repair workshop that works wonders, and a whole range of cycling tools and accessories.
All this is just the tip of York’s local retail scene, and you’ll find much more on our dedicated webpage.
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