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?

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games