Shambles is one of York's most famous landmarks and one of the best-preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe. With its cobbled streets and overhanging buildings, it is believed to have been the inspiration behind Diagon Alley from the movie adaptation of the Harry Potter series. Although none of the original shop-fronts have survived from medieval times, some properties still have exterior wooden shelves, reminders of when cuts of meat were served from the open windows. The street was made narrow by design to keep the meat out of direct sunlight, but you can readily imagine the Shambles packed with people and awash with offal and discarded bones.
Today, the beautiful old buildings have been restored and now house cheerful cafés, quirky boutiques and even a coin & stamp dealer and the smells are rather more pleasant with aromas from the chocolate, fudge and sweet shops, clothes and accessories and gift shops.
Want to visit the Shambles? Book your stay in York now.