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Throughout York there are fantastic shopping opportunities and here some of the best stores and independent retailers for some retail therapy. Medieval shopping street Shambles’ chocolate box charm led to it being named Most Picturesque Street in the first Google Street View Awards. Today there is still one butcher – The York Sausage Shop – along with several other independent food and drink shops. It is a great place to pick up gifts too, with glassware and jewellery on sale. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, Shambles is your dream street. Said to be the location which inspired the movie version of Diagon Alley, it hosts no fewer than three shops devoted to the boy wizard. The best of these is the original, The Shop That Must Not Be Named, opened by a local Potter fan in 2017.
Coney Street has been the hub of the York shopping experience since Viking times. Today you’ll find the likes of Boots, WH Smith, Waterstones, Paperchase and toy retailer The Entertainer here. Coney Street seamlessly becomes Spurriergate at its southern end. This is home to Stormfront, official retailer of all things Apple, and a modern building housing Zara and H&M. More recently the Utopia fashion brand moved in. Around the corner in High Ousegate are more big names, including Lakeland and Urban Outfitters.
York’s other principal shopping thoroughfare, Parliament Street, was created 150 years ago to provide a spacious and convenient space for Victorians to sell their wares. These days it’s home to more famous names, like Marks & Spencer, the Disney Store and Thorntons. Walk towards the Minster from Parliament Street and you enter Davygate. One end is dominated by Browns, the long-established family-run department store where sophisticated shoppers can while away a few hours and at the other end, you can discover Cornwall women’s fashion retailer Seasalt. Also in the Coppergate Centre is Flying Tiger Copenhagen, selling cool and unique products from home décor and children’s toys to gadgets. And the family-friendly centre is home to department store Fenwick, selling fashion, fragrances, homeware and toys. In the light and airy ground floor you’ll find a busy beauty department which includes a nail bar and Clarins spa, a jewellery section which regularly updates its collections, handbags and fashions for men and women. The store is also known for its excellent homeware department.
12 Coppergate Walk, York YO1 9WY
Visit the Coppergate Centre, the only shopping centre within the city walls which offers a unique blend of culture, shopping, food and drink in an attractive, friendly environment. The Coppergate Centre brings together something for everyone: attractions for the cultural visitor, including the world-famous JORVIK Viking Centre, the immersive Impressionist art experience within York St Mary’s, and the Edwardian splendour of Fairfax House. If you fancy taking home your own piece of culture, there are two art galleries – Coppergate Galleries and Castle Fine Art. When it comes to fashion, there is nowhere with as wide a selection of styles and prices. From bargain styles in York’s only city centre Primark store, to high fashion from top names like Vivienne Westwood, Yves St Laurent and Ralph Lauren in the Fenwick department store. Cosmetics from MAC to The Body Shop, plus Topshop’s superb range, suit every skin type and budget.
And if you want to put your best foot forward with the latest footwear, Coppergate is unrivalled, with three specialist shoe shops – Pavers, Clarks and Charles Clinkard – plus ranges for men and women available in Primark, Topshop, Topman and Fenwick. From Caterpillar to Gabor, humble flip-flops to aspirational Kurt Geiger heels. If you are looking for gifts, create a stylish and fragrant home with items from Home & Fragrance Outlet, pick up an exclusive ‘wee dram’ from The Whisky Shop, or indulge in beautiful jewellery from Warren James. Don’t forget the kids, too – The Works has books, games and craft activities galore, and Coppergate is home to Yorkshire’s only Flying Tiger store! Visit website
12 Pavement, York YO1 9UP
If you are looking for a special gift try York Gin shop which is based in one of the city’s most iconic buildings, the 16th century Tudor-era Sir Thomas Herbert House on Pavement opposite M&S and the Shambles. It now stocks The York Gin Company’s many award-winning gins, other top Yorkshire gins, plus lots of gifts and souvenirs. The company also aims to be as sustainable as possible so bottles and gift packs are plastic-free and both the York Gin distillery and the shop are powered by 100 per cent green electricity. Visit website
33 Stonegate, York YO1 8AW
Founded in 1837 and with its roots in apparel, Abraham Moon is one of the last remaining vertical woollen mills in Great Britain, with a reputation for consistent quality and innovative design. The flagship store in the centre of historic York stocks three full floors of the finest Abraham Moon wool fashion and interior products, alongside complementary ranges from up-and-coming designers. The unique story of Yorkshire craftsmanship is showcased throughout; celebrating the company’s 180 year heritage.
You’ll be spoilt for choice with menswear and ladieswear tweed coats and jackets, jumpers, shirting, and fashion accessories including scarves, caps, bags, and ties. The interiors rooms stocks special throws and cushions alongside made-to-order furniture pieces. Visit website
Shop 1, 28 Castlegate, York YO1 9RP
Dog & Bone Vintage showcases two floors of retro style on Castlegate. It offers a huge range of vintage fashion from across Europe and America for men and women. The extensive hand-picked selection of clothing features on-trend, branded and classic items from the 50s through to the 90s and early 00s. Visit website
St Nicholas Ave, York YO19 4TA
Set within a beautiful landscaped garden setting, McArthurGlen York Designer Outlet is a must visit fashion and shopping destination. It’s home to 120 of your favourite designer brands including Reiss, Ted Baker and The Kooples plus high street favourites Joules, Marks and Spencer and Gap all at up to 60 per cent off, all year round.
You’ll find a great selection of cafes and restaurants plus with free parking, disabled access, relaxing outdoor areas and a covered children’s play area you can enjoy a memorable and fun day out for all the family. Visit website
York restaurants and cafes
York nightlife venues
York cultural attractions
Image credits: ©Dog & Bone Vintage; Lev Dolgachov/stock.adobe.com; Shutterstock.com; York Gin