The first thing you notice when exploring the City of York is that it is full of historic buildings and magic. One of the most well-preserved medieval shopping streets – The Shambles – dates back to Medieval times and it is one of the most visited streets. An open air slaughterhouse and meat-market, the most of the building have been restored, but some properties still have exterior wooden shelves – reminders of when cuts of meat were served from the open windows. The street was made narrow by design to keep the meat out of direct sunlight and it is one of York’s most famous shopping street.
Among the structures of the Shambles is a shrine to Saint Margaret Clitherow, the wife of a butcher who owned and lived in a shop in the street. Her home is thought to have been No. 10 Shambles, on the opposite side of the street to the shrine, which has a preist hole fireplace. Some shops on the street still have meat-hooks hanging outside and, below them, shelves on which meat was displayed. The Shambles Market is open daily and is situated between The Shambles and Parliament Street. The Shambles is also believed to be the inspiration behind Diagon Alley from the movie adptation of the Harry Potter series even if the author, J.K. Rowling, has denied this and has stated that she had never been to the Shambles.
The Shop That Must Not Be Named has an extensive range of Harry Potter gifts, from homeware to a wide range of Harry Potter collectables, toys and games.
The Potions Cauldron is a gift shop and a magical marketplace, keeping the history of magic on Shambles alive! Since the 14th century potion makers have resided at 9¾ Shambles York, brewing and selling potions and elixirs to the people of the city…some medicinal and some magical.
The Disney Shop from York has clothes, toys, games, music, and movies including personalized gifts based on your favorite Disney characters, costumes, clothes, and sleepwear from magic princesses like Ariel The Little Mermaid, Rapunzel, and Cindarella.
One of the most magnificent cathedrals dating from the 7th century, the York Minster has attracted people from across the globe for more than 1000 years. With a breathtaking medieval architecture with stained glass and handcrafted stonework, the York Minster is one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe.
The Minster has been at the centre of Christianity in the north of England and today remains a thriving church rooted in the daily offering of worship and prayer. Every aspect of this ancient building – from the exquisite, handcrafted stone through to the unrivalled collection of medieval stained glass – tells the story of Jesus Christ as the The Minster was built for the glory of God (yorkshire.com)
Exploring the City of York and the medieval Walls has never been more exciting. A scheduled ancient monument encircling the historic City of York and measuring 3.4km (2 miles) of surviving masonry, the City Walls are the longest town walls in England. According to yorkwalls.com, they were built mainly in the 13th century of magnesian limestone. But one thing is certain – the Walls offer some fantastic views over the picturesque River Ouse and the city.
York’s St Mary’s Abbey ruins are now York’s Museum Gardens. Once one of the wealthiest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries in England, the abbey estate occupied the entire site of the Museum Gardens and the abbot was one of the most powerful clergymen of his day, on a par with the Archbishop of York. In medieval York, the abbey sat opposite and mirrored the Minster: two great buildings dedicated to worship. Find out more here.
There are so many fascinating things to discover while exploring the City of York and so many exciting, magical experiences that cannot be summed up in a single post. With over 30 attractions, museums and unique shops, York captivates you from the moment you visit it and it will continue to captivate you with its amazing history.