The Shambles is by far the most iconic street in York, dating back to the 14th century. The Shambles offers visitors a quintessential view into the cities rich, historic past. The street, which was once home to the butchers of York, is now a narrow passageway with cantilevered balconies hanging over pedestrians.
Many years have passed since the days of Butchers Guild residing on the Shambles, now the street and the surrounding area has become known as the Shambles quarter bedecked an array of independent shops, markets, bars and eateries. The street is the most visited street in York and is said to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter franchise. Here’s a little look at some of what The Shambles has got going on…
York Minster is the unrivalled jewel in the architectural crown of the city. Standing at 70m, the Minster has dominated the historic skyline of the city for centuries. The building is a short walk from the Shambles and is one of the largest gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe – bigger than both Notre Dame Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. The diocese often host religious and social events in the cathedral year round but visitors are still able to take a look around on selected days. A devastating fire in 1984 saw the collapse of much of the south Transept but a conservation project lasting decades has seen the cathedral literally rise from the ashes into a masterpiece. The Minster is well worth a visit for history boffs, budding photographers or anyone who appreciates beautiful gothic masonry.
Jorvik Viking Centre
The Jorvik Viking Centre is THE stand-out tourist attraction in York, also a short walk from the Shambles Quarter. Jorvik, meaning York in Norse, is set on the site of an archaeological dig from the 1970’s which shaped the historical discourse of York forever – the discovery of a Viking Settlement under the streets dating back almost a millennium. Now a museum, the Jorvik Centre takes visitors back into York’s Scandinavian past with interactive rides, historical exhibitions and special event for all the family. The museum was closed between December 2015 and May 2017 following heavy flooding in the area but normal service has resumed delivering a fun, informative visit for all guests.
The Shambles Tavern is an independent ale house residing at number 44 of the famous street. Famed for its ‘wall of Ales’, the bar serves up an excellent range of independent craft ales and wines sourced from microbreweries across Yorkshire. The tavern also serves delicious home favourites, including Ploughmans and Fish and Chips, leading to the Shambles Tavern being accredited with the good food award in 2018. The bar prides itself on sourcing all its ingredients and ale from within the county – supporting the local farming industry..So come along, sit down on the open veranda, enjoy the views of the Shambles Market and drink a pint of locally brewed ale – it doesn’t get much better than that!
Harveys Cheese and Chutneys
The famous Shambles meat market is securely stored away in York’s vault of history, nowadays there still is a market on the Shambles supporting local independent vendors. One of the highlights of the new Shambles market is Harvey’s Cheese and Chutneys. The stall retails some of the finest selection of cheeses in York, from Dutch Edam to God’s County’s Wensleydale. All cheese are supplied with a choice of lavish chutneys available. Definitely worth a visit if cheese is you thing. To brie or not to brie, that is the question!
Ye Olde Pie & Sausage Shoppe
If ever a shop title was given the Ronseal treatment, it’s the award winning Ye Olde Pie & Sausage Shoppe in the Shambles Market. Dubbed as one of the best bakeries in the whole county, head and shoulders above the savoury counterparts in York. The question isn’t whether you should head to Ye Olde Pie Shoppe, it’s ‘what should I buy from there!’ Perfect for a quick lunchtime bite from the market.
Most food vendors up and down the country will not sell out of their products each and every day, but Shambles Kitchen isn’t most kitchens. A small shop on the Shambles, Shambles Kitchen serve up some of the hottest street food in town influenced by a vast range of cuisines and cultures. With an ever changing menu, foodies can expect to taste the world through a variety of dishes, including pulled-pork sandwiches, Moroccan curries and green Thai curry to name a few. Make sure you get there early, Shamles Kitchen is usually sold out by mid-afternoon!
Los Moros, or The Moors in the Queen’s English, is a independent food venue on the Shambles specialising in the cuisine of the Islamic Moors who settled in Spain from Northern Africa in the middle ages. The menu encompasses a range of cuisines, reflecting the Arabian, African and Spanish tastes the Moors will have been exposed to. Los Moros make food to be used as a social tool, food not to be taken seriously with some serious taste. The menu is simple succinct yet the resulting plates are delicious, the falafel is to die for. For a quick bite with amigos or familia, check out Los Moros!
For these and many more amazing places to visit, be sure to check out The Shambles!