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The Shambles

This picturesque cobblestone street has a fascinating medieval history and crooked buildings that appear to almost fall into one another.

The Shambles is a medieval street in York’s center with a topsy-turvy layout full of shops and restaurants. Stroll down the quaint cobblestone road that runs through the narrow street to see the lopsided 15th-century buildings jutting out overhead. Many visitors compare the jumbled arrangement of the street to Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter saga. In 2010, the Google Street Team voted it the most picturesque street in Britain.

Imagine the bustling days of medieval Britain as you wander down this historic street. Take a tour of the area to learn about the buildings’ former uses. Join the spooky  ghost-hunting tour that departs nightly from the Shambles’ southern end.

The Shambles’ name comes from the Saxon word “fleshhammels”, which is drawn from the street’s original use as a butcher’s district. Note the cobblestone strip and patterned tiles that run down the center of the pedestrianized road. Butchers used this channel to wash away their waste.

See the shrine to St. Margaret Clitherow , located halfway down the street. Clitherow was a Catholic woman who was sentenced to death for sheltering priests.

After visiting many of the city’s historic attractions, rest your feet at a quaint café. Sip traditional British tea as you look out the window at the charming Shambles. There are galleries, restaurants and gift shops dotted throughout the narrow street.

Visit the York Shambles Penny Press, which squashes penny coins and creates a design of your choice. Press your coin with a York or Shambles logo and take it home as a reminder of your trip to this historic city. 

The Shambles is situated just to the east of the River Ouse in the center of York. It is between St. Mary’s Abbey and Clifford’s Tower. Walk east for around 15 minutes from York Railway Station to arrive at the famous street.


Guide to Exploring Shambles


Map

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The Grand Hotel & Spa £127
The Grand Hotel & Spa

The Grand Hotel & Spa

Station Rise, York, England
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of York, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wheel of York, York Minster, and York National Railway Museum. York Dungeon and Jorvik Viking Centre are also within 10 minutes. York Station is only a 3-minute walk.

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    Park Inn by Radisson York City Center

    Park Inn by Radisson York City Center

    North Street, York, England
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of York, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of All Saints Church and York Dungeon. Jorvik Viking Centre and Shambles are also within 10 minutes. York Station is 7 minutes by foot.

      Staycity Aparthotels Paragon Street £50
      Staycity Aparthotels Paragon Street

      Staycity Aparthotels Paragon Street

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        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in York, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of York Barbican, Clifford's Tower and York Castle Museum. Merchant Adventurers' Hall and York Dungeon are also within 10 minutes. York Station is 21 minutes by foot.

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        DoubleTree by Hilton York

        DoubleTree by Hilton York

        St Maurices Road, York, England
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of York, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Richard III Museum, Shambles, and York Minster. Merchant Adventurers' Hall and York St. John University are also within 10 minutes. York Station is 15 minutes by foot.

          Hilton York £103
          Hilton York

          Hilton York

          1 Tower Street, York, England
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in York, this hotel is steps away from Fairfax House, Jorvik Viking Centre and York Dungeon. Clifford's Tower and York Castle Museum are also within 5 minutes. York Station is 13 minutes by foot.

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            Novotel York Centre

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            Fishergate, York, England
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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              Dean Court Hotel, BW Premier Collection £105
              Dean Court Hotel, BW Premier Collection

              Dean Court Hotel, BW Premier Collection

              Duncombe Place North Yorkshire, York, England
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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                Principal York £128
                Principal York

                Principal York

                Station Road, York, England
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of York, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wheel of York, York National Railway Museum, and York Minster. York Dungeon and Jorvik Viking Centre are also within 15 minutes. York Station is only a 1-minute walk.