Shopping, history in York
Although independent shops seem to pop up everywhere around town, a great street in York to find some independent traders would be Gillygate. Here you can find:
- The Inkwell. A trendy store specializing in books, vinyl, CDs, and lots of other retro gifts, the Inkwell has a café inside that serves hot drinks and cakes for you to enjoy while you browse.
- Snowhome. This shop is a cute boutique selling a multitude of gifts, home decorations, and contemporary quirky ornaments from local designers.
- Dog & Bone Vintage. This store is stocked to the ceilings with the most amazing array of vintage and retro clothing. One of the reasons I love it so much is because its name incorporates one my favorite cockney slang sayings; dog and bone is slang for “phone.” (In other words, this is NOT a store that sells clothes for your dogs.)
The Shambles also is a must-see when visiting York, as it epitomizes the historical charm the city holds. Some of the timber-beamed buildings on the Shambles date back as early as the 1300s, and it’s one of the oldest streets in York. The Shambles definitely has a magical feeling to it, and while exploring the area I was reminded of Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter books. Once known as The Great Flesh Shambles, the street once was home to 25 butchers (most of the butchers cleared out in the late 1800s). Today the storefronts in these leaning buildings are filled with boutiques, independent stores, and some well-known brand shops.
There are two notable markets that take place in York. The first is Newgate Market, found on Parliament Street. Parliament Street has brand shops and banks lining either side, but running through the center of the street is a typical British marketplace. Vendors here sell everything from clothes, mobile phone cases, and fresh produce. I particularly loved Swain Family Butchers, who were not only happy for me to take their photo but also gave my dog Nelson a sizeable bag of beef cuttings! They say they do this for anyone with a dog. How sweet is that?