Shopping in York
We’re looking forward to York shops re-opening and everything they have to offer. A trading centre since the Roman era, York still provides retail therapy for shopaholics everywhere! With hundreds of shops, shopping is one of York’s main attractions. The amazing variety of unique independent and designer shops sit side by side with historic attractions, pedestrianised streets and peaceful havens make shopping in York an experience in itself.
The city centre has an amazing variety of shops – many of them unique to York – selling everything from fine china and heraldic art to handcrafted souvenirs, unusual books, antiques and designer clothes. And, of course, they sit alongside York’s magnificent historical buildings, so shopping and sightseeing are easily combined. The Coppergate Centre is the only shopping centre within the city walls, home to not only the JORVIK Viking Centre, but York’s premier department store, Fenwick, which features a host of designer labels from MAC cosmetics to Mulberry handbags and the latest fashions from Paul Smith to Vivienne Westwood. There are bargains galore at the city centre’s only Primark, and specialist stores from The Whisky Shop to Castle Fine Art.
York’s shopping streets guide:
The Shambles – one of the best preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe and awarded the title of most picturesque street in Britain in the Google Street View Awards. Some of the beautiful old buildings still have exterior wooden shelves, reminders of when cuts of meat were served from the open windows.
Stonegate – leads to the Minster from St Helen’s Square, and was originally the ‘Via Pretoria’, or principal road of Roman York. One of York’s prettiest streets, it boasts some fantastic medieval and Georgian architecture.
Swinegate Quarter – a stone’s throw from the Minster, in the former medieval swine-market and red light district, this area is made up of Little Stonegate, Back Swinegate and Grape Lane (for obvious reasons once known as Grope Lane). Cobbled streets, snickleways, the city’soldest print works and the famous medieval Barley Hall add to its character.
Goodramgate – home to the oldest row of houses in York, and possibly the country. Dates back to the 14th century
Petergate – named after St Peter. It started out as one of the main streets through a massive fortress housing thousands of Roman soldiers in AD71.
Coney Street – York’s most modern shopping street runs along the course of a former Roman road, which lay just outside the Roman fortress and almost parallel to the eastern bank of the River Ouse.
Fossgate – home of the fish market in medieval times it was also known as Tricksters Laneafter the unscrupulous traders who set up shops there. These days it is far more respectable, although it retains a certain bohemian charm. Mysterious tunnels in Fossgate, discovered when a pub was demolished in the early 1960s, are now thought to be the Roman Sewer System.