In Association with: visityork

Jill Turton- Where to Shop in York

When was the last time you had a first time.....?

Shopping is an irresistible part of a visit to York. Always has been. The Vikings set up shop in Coppergate, making and selling cups.  In 1972 archaeologists uncovered knives, jewellery, shoes, bags, sheaths and scabbards all now displayed in the Jorvik Viking Centre (www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk).

You can wander through more history in Swinegate, the old pig market, or Grape Lane, originally Grope Lane, a long gone red light district. But York today is no medieval theme park. A compact and largely pedestrianised shopping centre sustains both individual traders and high street chains with enough quality bars, tearooms and restaurants to keep you sane in between.

Using the Minster as your lodestar it’s hard to get lost, though exploring the snickets and ginnels is all part of the fun. Parliament Street and Coney Street deliver the fashion chains: M & S,  Zara, H&M, Hobbs, Mango and the rest. Newgate open air market is cheap and cheerful with good veg and fish stalls. The excellent Farmers’ Market runs in Parliament Street on the last Friday of the month.

Beside the market is the photogenic Shambles, a cobbled lane of close-packed overhanging medieval houses. Touristy? Yes, but with worthy finds like Cox’s leather shop (www.leathershop.co.uk) Lily Shambles for jewellery, Via Vecchia for artisan breads and Ye Olde Pie and Sausage Shoppe, (www.yorksausageshop.co.uk) for a perfect, still-warm pork pie. Shopping for Catholic martyrs? The Shambles has the shrine of Margaret Clitherow who was persecuted for her Catholic faith, and was gruesomely pressed to death between two boards.

At Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate cross to Fossgate for a clutch of antiquarian bookshops, vintage clothes stores and the lovely deli (and tiny tearoom) the Hairy Fig (www.thehairyfig.co.uk). The medieval Merchant Adventurers Hall (www.theyorkcompany.co.uk) is the location for regular vintage markets run by York Does Vintage (www.britaindoesvintage.co.uk) or head for Coppergate for Topshop and Fenwicks (www.fenwick.co.uk) department store.

Stonegate is another old spectacular street with upmarket chains like Crabtree & Evelyn (www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk), Pure Collection (www.purecollection.com)   Jo Malone and The White Company. Elegant Mulberry Hall (www.mulberryhall.co.uk) specializes in fine china, crystal and kitchenware.

At the junction with Petergate you’ll discover modern jewellery at Pandora (www.pandora.net) shoes from Timberland (www.timberlandonline.co.uk) at Low Petergate and in nearby Colliergate, Barnitt’s (www.barnitts.co.uk) is a York treasure selling every household item from buckets to baking trays. 

Rootle around charity shops on Goodramgate where they are packed on one easy stretch along with Red Cow Music, (www.redcowmusic.co.uk) a folk and acoustic instrument shop, Rafi’s Spice Box (www.spicebox.co.uk) for Indian spices and great curry packs and Monkbar Chocolates, (www.monkbar.com) here and in the Shambles, are classy chocolatiers. For lunch there’s the new Retro Fondue (www.retrofondue.co.uk) or Ambiente (www.ambiente-tapas.co.uk) for good tapas, after which you might want to stroll the city walls to Bootham Bar.

At Bootham Bar head for Gillygate, a street of proudly independent shops

that includes Snowhome (www.snow-home.co.uk) selling covetable and contemporary stuff for home, the delightful Bubbles toyshop, Dog & Bone Vintage (www.facebook.com/DogAndBoneVintage) and Sound Organisation (www.soundorg.co.uk) for state of the art audio. Love Cheese (love-cheese.co.uk) tells you all you need to know while Café Number 8 (www.cafeno8.co.uk) is worth booking for dinner. 

Two contrasting art galleries are the Braithwaite Gallery (www.yorkartist.com) on Low Petergate and the contemporary white cube gallery,  According to McGee (www.accordingtomcgee.com) on Tower Street. Janette Ray’s (www.janetteray.co.uk) specialist art and architecture bookshop is on Bootham and Ken Spelman (www.kenspelman.com) antiquarian bookshop on Micklegate is gorgeously Dickensian.

Sometimes though, it’s to hell with the old and the quaint and in with the new and the chance of a bargain. Catch the Red Line 7 bus from the railway station to  McArthur Glen Designer Outlet (www.yorkdesigneroutlet.com) and overdose on 120 high street names:  Hugo Boss, Ted Baker, Ralph Lauren and Timberland all at substantially discounted prices.

Jill Turton is a freelance food and travel writer who lives in York and runs the Yorkshire food and drink website - www.squidbeak.co.uk

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory