People flock from all over the North to go shopping in York. And it’s no mystery why. This compact city is teeming with shops you’ll have heard of, and some you won’t find anywhere else. Expect designer bargains, fashion and beauty favourites and one-of-a-kind finds. And, for a truly unique shopping experience, step out of your York hotel and head straight to the Shambles. This higgledy-piggledy shopping street with its backdrop of medieval buildings not only looks romantic, it’s packed with independent shops and eateries.
Shopping in York
With more than 2,000 shops, shopping is one of York’s main attractions. The city is a major retail powerhouse - and visiting one of its shopping centres is a great way to visit lots of brands all under one roof.
The only mall within the city walls, you may well be visiting the Coppergate Centre to take in the Jorvik Viking Centre. But this open-air shopping promenade is worth a look in its own right, as it’s home to high street favourites from Topshop to Primark. But the main attraction here is the department store, Fenwick, which is great if you wanted to take home a Mulberry handbag or some MAC cosmetics.
With easy access to the city centre by both car and public transport, Monks Cross has a Debenhams, H&M and Laura Ashley and more. With some of the best names in high street fashion and homewares, it also gives canny shoppers the chance to park for up to four hours for free. Fancy staying nearer to all the shopping action? Our Premier Inn York North hotel is just a ten-minute drive away.
Near to Monks Cross is another retail powerhouse - the Vangarde Shopping Park. Containing York’s first ever John Lewis, a huge Next and the largest M&S in the region, its other main attraction is the sheer variety of eating outlets. There’s a Giraffe, Prezzo, Nandos, Frankie & Benny’s and Wok N Go all offering lots of family-friendly meals.
The Shambles shopping
St Nicholas Fair
York Designer Outlet
York’s been a centre of trade since Roman times and the city’s bustling markets continue the tradition to this day. A great place to soak up local flavour as you marvel at the beautiful architecture, York’s markets are attractions in themselves.
The Shambles is one of the best preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe, and it has its own market that’s open seven days a week. At Shambles Market, you’ll find more than 85 stalls selling just about everything you can think of. Alongside the fresh produce and tourist trinkets, there are books, clothes and gifts - from handcrafted teak bowls to rugs. You won’t have far to carry them back, either, because our hotel near the Shambles is less than a 15-minute walk away.
While the city revels in its ancient heritage it isn’t stuck in the past - something you’ll see for yourself at its latest social enterprise, Spark:York. You can’t miss this achingly hip market in the Piccadilly area of the city, because it’s been created entirely out of old shipping containers. A vibrant community hub, there’s a real buzz about the place and you’ll find shops, bars, restaurants and even a hair salon. Everything here is both fiercely independent and local to York, from the boho stationery shop to the vinyl and vintage store.
Nothing beats York in the run-up to Christmas… think twinkling lights, a light dusting of snow and lashings of mulled wine to keep out the cold. And one not-to-be-missed seasonal treat is a trip to its annual Christmas market, St Nicholas Fair that weaves its way around Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square, The Judge’s Lodging and Coppergate. You’ll feel like you’re stepping into a real-life Christmas card as you browse the 100 traditional style chalets selling crafts, decorations and festive foodie treats.
Love your labels? York has more than its fair share of designer brands. Many of the big hitters can be found in department stores like Fenwicks in the Coppergate Centre, or Browns Department Store on Daveygate.
For designer discounts and labels for less, head straight to the York Designer Outlet. It has 120 stores including Adidas, Calvin Klein, Paul Smith, Fred Perry, Kurt Geiger, Osprey, Polo Ralph Lauren, Levi’s and Swarovski. With its own food quarter, you could really spend all day here. Want to get there early to hit the ground running? Book into the Premier Inn hotel near the York Designer Outlet and you’ll get your shopping spree off to a great start.
Looking for an Alexa, Del Rey or Bayswater? Or how about some iconic leather luggage? Step inside the Mulberry Factory Shop on Swinegate for some seriously swanky bags at ridiculously low prices.
Or try award-winning boutique Van Mildert on Blake Street. Its famous for bringing high-fashion labels such as Comme des Garcons, Dries Van Noten and Helmut Lang to the North-East. You’ll find it right in the city centre.